NICE SHIRK IF YOU CAN GET IT
Life’s a ball for road workers
WORKERS on billion-dollar state infrastructure projects which have brought the centre of Sydney to a grinding halt are getting about $35 an hour to smoke, text, lounge on kerbs and even bounce tennis balls.
A special investigation by The Daily Telegraph has also caught high-vis clad employees flouting safety protocols by smoking at work as well as spending large portions of their shifts on their phones.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance yesterday condemned the “mucking up” in plain sight of the frustrated Sydneyside who have to put up with the inconvenience of the work.
He said the workers needed to get on with the job.
“I expect better,” Mr Constance said yesterday.
“We have businesses along the light rail route under enormous pressure, who expect the contractor to work hard to get out of construction zones on time.
“I have zero tolerance for mucking up.”
Mr Constance said the city had an ambitious infrastructure program and contractors had to work to deliver the projects on time and on budget.
On Sydney Water’s $1.2 million project to replace a 200m section of water main between Crown and Bourke Streets, controllers were seen sitting on parked cars and smoking cigarettes when they were meant to be controlling traffic.
And yesterday at a construction site on Devonshire St in Surry Hills, one worker was even passing the time bouncing a tennis ball in a solo game of handball.
Another worker at a different construction site lit up three cigarettes in the space of 40 minutes as she leaned on a parked car.
Most of the employees were traffic controllers employed by Roads and Maritime Services — who can earn up to $35 an hour for casual work.
“We are contracted to the light rail to manage traffic,” one worker standing around at Surry Hills roadworks for the $2.1 billion light rail project said yesterday.