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AWU welcomes intervention after raising alarm on dodgy practices and low morale at Snowy Hydro 2.0

May 31, 2021

The Australian Workers’ Union has welcomed a decision to put the joint venture running the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project on notice, after the union sounded the alarm on low morale, poor reporting standards, and safety hazards.

The AWU has been warning the government-owned Snowy Hydro that the joint venture it appointed to run the landmark infrastructure project, Future Generation, has been mismanaging safety and conditions at the site.

Complaints raised by workers on site, including over poor fatigue management and unsafe practices, have been fobbed off by the joint venture, which has attempted to pass to buck to labour hire firm, NX Blue.

After pressure from the union, Snowy Hydro has now expressed serious concerns about the safety issues occurring under Future Generation’s watch and ordered the JV to develop a comprehensive safety improvement plan.

AWU NSW Branch Secretary Tony Callinan said it was good to see Snowy Hydro finally acting.

“After months of sounding the alarm it’s good to see Snowy Hydro finally responding to workers’ concerns,” Mr Callinan said.

“The morale I’ve seen on this project is just about the worst I’ve seen on any civil construction project. Workers who are raising serious concerns are just being ignored and fobbed off. The JV says it’s the labour hire company’s problem, and the labour hire company says the opposite.

“It’s a disgrace that workers engaged on this iconic Australian project would be copping the problems we associate with the industry’s worst dodgy labour hire practices. The JV tells the labour hire company what to do, but then takes no responsibility for the consequences.

“The buck passing on safety, the lack of accountability, the aggressive and protracted EA negotiations¬†‚Ästnone of this should be happening on this project. This project should be something Australians feel proud of.”

Mr Callinan welcomed Snowy Hydro’s announcement it would be ordering the JV to develop a comprehensive safety improvement plan.

“It’s good that Snowy Hydro has finally recognised the Future Generation Joint Venture has created a crisis on this site and that urgent rectification is needed. Given their record we will be scrutinising the comprehensive safety improvement plan very closely,” Mr Callinan said.

“Snowy Hydro will need to implement an active management plan as the JV is clearly struggling to provide a safe workplace.”

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