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Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan has hit out at Transurban and the builders of the $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel as more than 200 workers on the troubled toll road project were stood down, with another 400 at risk of losing their jobs in coming months.
Senior industry, union and government sources confirmed to The Age late on Monday that about 100 white-collar staff employed by the project’s builders – CPB Contractors and John Holland – and possibly another 130 subcontractors were being stood down.
PFAS soil stockpiles near Footscray rd in Footscray in March.CREDIT:LUIS ENRIQUE
The companies had not announced the job losses by Tuesday afternoon, so no official reason has yet been provided.
But sources with detailed knowledge of the project said the cuts were linked to claims by the builders that costs had increased due to the landfill levy associated with the dumping of contaminated soil already dug up and being stockpiled along the West Gate Freeway.
The builders wrote to head project contractor Transurban on March 31, advising the company that if a site was not found to dispose of the project’s soil within the next two weeks, it would cut up to 600 jobs in the next 12 weeks.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan hit out at the project's builders and Transurban on Tuesday, raising the possibility they were playing a tactical game aimed at extorting the Victorian taxpayer.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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