A newly-minted Queensland union boss ordered two officials to burn tonnes of documents and when that failed hired a truck to dump them at an Ipswich tip, a court has heard.
David Arthur Hanna is on trial for destroying, concealing or mutilating documents in April 2014 that could have been required as evidence at a royal commission into alleged trade union corruption.
The now-former president of the Queensland CFMEU is on trial in the Brisbane District Court, where prosecutors on Monday argued he deliberately buried the documents soon after taking on the senior role.
Prosecutor Glen Rice QC told the court Mr Hanna deliberately set out to destroy nearly seven tonnes of documents after learning the Trade Union Royal Commission would turn its attention to the CFMEU.
"Were they simply part of an innocent office clean-up or were they linked to his awareness of the royal commission," Mr Rice said.
He called on two colleagues to bring two trailers to the union's Bowen Hills headquarters on April 1, where he helped them load the documents and instructed them to take them to his home, south of Brisbane.
The next day he tasked the same two men to burn the documents in a fire pit at his acreage property.
"However there were so many boxes and so many documents that attempt was unsuccessful," Mr Rice added.
"Mr Hanna said he would find another way."
So he engaged an excavator and a full-sized tip truck to cart the files from his home to an Ipswich dump where they were buried among construction and demolition waste.
"(It) shows that so far as he was concerned, the activities of document disposal between the 1st and the 4th of April 2014, were no innocent office clean-up," Mr Rice added.
The trial has been set down for five days.
Mr Hanna was formerly the head of the Builder Labourers Federation Union, taking up his role at the Queensland CFMEU when the two unions merged in 2013.
He was also vice-president of the Australian Labor Party in Queensland.
Australian Associated Press