Safety protest over airport link
A PROTEST at the headquarters of the company managing the Forrest field Airport Link raised safety and quality concerns about the $1.8bn project.
The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) led the protest outside the Redcliffe offices of Salini Impregilo with state secretary Mick Buchan calling on the company to “tidy up your act” following a series of onsite incidents, including the formation of a sinkhole near the airport and claims of worker safety at risk.
“Safety is appalling… workers are being exploited and we’ve had enough,” he said. “There are environmental issues around contaminated soils and safe disposal, storage water that may end up being contaminated and dust suppression. We have a lot of questions not getting answers.”
SI-NRW project director Richard Graham said the Forrestfield-Airport Link was being constructed to international standards.
“WorkSafe has completed more than 35 inspections since construction started and last inspected the sites on November 9,” he said.
“There were no notices raised. We operate eight open sites and provide union access to relevant areas three to four times every week. Unions have made almost 300 visits to our sites since construction commenced,” he said.
“We are employing the highest standards and achieving incredible engineering feats, including having now completed 6.4km of tunnelling.”
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Government was doing everything to make sure the project was safe for workers.
“We have had WorkSafe visit the site on dozens of occasions and we have increased the government resources in monitoring the project, including increasing the amount of surveillance to make sure there is now 24-7 coverage.”