Roadworks Tracey Joynson

RMS not responsible for entitlements

ROADS and Maritime Services have rubbished claims made by the CFMEU about Pacific Complete's responsibilities to workers on the Tyndale to Glenugie section of the Pacific Highway Upgrade.

On November 24, The Daily Examiner ran an article titled Workers' plea fall on deaf ears: No help for victims of Ostwald collapse, in which the CFMEU claimed the state government was failing workers affected by the Ostwald Bros collapse by failing to act.

It also stated lead contractor Pacific Complete was a subsidiary of Laing O'Rourke and that under federal legislation it must ensure all workers were being paid their legal entitlements such as superannuation, which an RMS spokesperson has refuted as false.

"Roads and Maritime Services engaged Pacific Complete as the delivery partner for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade to manage procurement packages for the project," the RMS spokesperson explained.

"Pacific Complete is not a subsidiary of Laing O'Rourke but is a joint venture between Laing O'Rourke and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. Pacific Complete do not enter into contracts for work on the upgrade and are not responsible for payments under the contract.

"Roads and Maritime makes payments due under the contract to the lead contractor, Seymour Whyte Constructions Pty Ltd who is responsible for the management of their subcontractor Ostwald Bros, including ensuring the subcontractors it engages meet their obligations for the payment of wages and superannuation."

"If the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union has any additional documentation supporting its concerns, they are encouraged to submit such documentation to Seymour Whyte or the appropriate statutory appeal authority for investigation."

The formal administration process involving Ostwalds started on Monday, August 28. Neither RMS nor contractor Seymour Whyte have any legal mechanism to pay the monies owing to subcontractors, suppliers, plant hire and workers of Ostwald Bros."

Roads and Maritime Services is working closely with its delivery partner Pacific Complete and contractor Seymour Whyte to consider options for workers and contractors to be reengaged on other sections of the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Additionally, job fairs have been held at a number of locations along the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade to assist workers in finding employment.

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