Statement regarding Sydney Morning Herald article on Landcom complaints at Macquarie Park.
SafeWork NSW wishes to clarify reported information in an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 26/05/2019 titled ‘A fatality may occur letter reveals concerns over building site where teenager died’.
SafeWork NSW would like to assure the community that safety issues raised by Landcom in 2017 have no relationship at all to the tragic events that occurred at the Macquarie Park construction site recently. SafeWork’s investigation into that incident is ongoing.
The article referred to correspondence from Landcom to SafeWork in 2017 regarding safety concerns at the Macquarie Tower site excavation. It noted. “Despite raising those concerns, a SafeWork NSW inspector responded a week later to decline an offer to discuss the problems "in the interest of impartiality”.
The correspondence from SafeWork referred to in the article said in full: “Thanks for the offer to meet on site, however in the interests of impartiality I think it is best I complete this matter without external influence (actual or perceived). I will ensure compliance with identified issues is met as per normal operating protocols”.
SafeWork said in a statement to media: “Notices were issued to the former Greenland contractor and were complied with.”
Rather than simply declining to discuss the problems, the inspector “ensured compliance” would occur, issued Improvement Notices to the contractor, and noted they were complied with.
As a matter of protocol, people raising issues with SafeWork NSW are not included in compliance visits.
During its investigation of the Macquarie Park scaffolding collapse, SafeWork NSW is working closely with other authorities as it prepares a report for the NSW Coroner.