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Created Tue 6/03/2012, Last Updated Tue 6/03/2012

Safety Concerns for workers on ASIO site

The CFMEU has serious concerns for the safety of workers on Lend Lease’s ASIO project in Canberra, after at least 19 large glass panels cracked and fell to the ground from above the main entrance on Constitution Avenue.

“Fortunately, no-one was injured,” said CFMEU ACT Secretary Dean Hall. “But the onus is on builder Lend Lease to ensure no further incidents occur.”

CFMEU ACT is further concerned that Lend Lease is hiding behind ASIO’s security restrictions to deny the Union proper access to the site.  The Union was not informed of the incident of the falling glass panels for days, even though CFMEU members were at risk.

''The issue for us is the builder at ASIO has put two things in place,'' Dean Hall said.

''The first thing is restricting Union right of entry whenever they can, and the second is hiding behind their client ASIO: and the spooks don't speak.

“The CFMEU believes this is not an acceptable way to address workers’ rights to access their union representatives or to protect the safety of workers on the ASIO project.”

The 19 glass panels, measuring 3.8 metres by 1.7 metres, had not been permanently fixed to building. They cracked and disintegrated progressively from about midday on February 24.