Overflowing sewerage halts work on WestConnex

Work on the electrical fitout of the WestConnex motorway tunnels in Sydney’s inner west has been hit by further delays after raw sewerage overflowed from portable toilets at Haberfield, forcing hundreds of workers to down tools.

More than 200 electricians were forced to halt work following the sewerage leak.
Electrical Trade Union officials this morning met with electricians on the project to investigate their reports of unsafe and inadequate amenities on the $16.8 billion motorway project.
Workers at the meeting also raised a range of other health and safety concerns regarding conditions inside the tunnel, including: poorly maintained access and egress, limited lighting and signage, inconsistent and ad hoc evacuation instructions, and a lack of effective communication.
ETU Secretary Justin Page said union officials this morning carried out inspections of a number of areas of the tunnel, in particular examining the health and safety implications of inadequate and unhygienic amenities.
“Our members are doing their best to get this massive infrastructure project finished, but it’s impossible to do their job when they are being exposed to raw sewerage because management can’t even ensure they have access to functional amenities,” Mr Page said.
“More than 200 electricians were left with no option but to down tools, with their employer sending them home due to the unhygienic and unsafe presence of raw sewerage in their workplace.
“It is absolutely incomprehensible that the state’s biggest infrastructure project, which is costing taxpayers $16.8 billion, can’t even manage to have working toilets.
“It’s time for the Berejiklian Government to put an end to their hands-off management of these massive infrastructure projects and take charge to ensure the health and safety or workers is protected.
“The reason so many of these major infrastructure projects have seen delays, cost blowouts, and serious safety issues is because the NSW Government refuses to actually take responsibility, instead leaving it to private contractors who have proven they are unable or unwilling to manage these projects safely.”
/Public Release.