Increasingly, the NSW Government and the Sydney Motorway Corporation have failed to enforce safety and compliance conditions on WestConnex work sites and recent reports of serious defects in contractor’s trucks, shows that this project is running out of control and putting us all at risk.
The NSW Minister for WestConnex, Stuart Ayres is ultimately responsible for the safety of residents and workers in relation to all WestConnex works. He must demand that the Sydney Motorway Corporation enforce all compliance conditions and that contractors and sub-contractors conform to all road safety regulations.
We have written to Stuart Ayres seeking his urgent intervention to resolve the mounting serious health and safety concerns regarding WestConnex construction worksites and truck haulage but to date he has not responded.
Safety issues include:
- Demolition works in St Peters and Haberfield commenced without adequate safety measures in place to protect residents from asbestos contamination, dust and debris.
- Exploratory drilling and demolition works in numerous locations throughout the Inner West commenced and proceeded prior to adequate pedestrian and traffic control measures being put in place.
- Drilling occurred for extended periods using diesel petrol without adequate warnings to residents close by and without contractors wearing any gas mask protection which is mandatory according to SafeWork NSW.
- Materials on demolition sites have been left unsecured which in one recent case on Campbell Street, meant that large sheets of roofing iron and timber were blown onto the road and into residents properties in the middle of the night.
- Service relocations and the impact of footpath and road closures/diversions have meant that residents have been put at risk continually without adequate safety provisions and prior consultation.
There have also been a significant number of breaches of conditions of consent, including:
- Repeated breaches of noise and works conditions in relation to hours of operation
- Repeated breaches of specified truck routes so that local streets used by large semi-trailers and B-Double trucks moving spoil placing residents and their children in danger on local roads
- Lack of traffic control, security fencing and sit signage on construction sites and drill sites
- Lack of a 24 hour contact service to report breaches to the SMC
Truck transport safety issues have been exposed as WestConnex contractors and sub-contractors have been found to be breaching safety and vehicle registration requirements including: