ACT News


Parkes Way work resumes

A key Canberra road building project is scheduled to get back under way on Friday after two days of industrial strife.

Workers walked off the Parkes Way widening job on Wednesday morning amid allegations that an engineering firm that collapsed owing workers and contractors more than $5 million was back on the job - but under a different name.

But a peace deal was brokered on Thursday after some subcontractors left out of pocket in the collapse were given guarantees of payment for their work on the Parkes Way project.

Victorian-based civil engineering outfit Bridge and Marine was placed in liquidation in early December after an application to the Federal Court by the Australian Tax Office, with the company owing more than $5 million, much of it to workers and companies in the ACT region.

The lead contractor on the $14.5 million Parkes Way project, Canberra's Woden Contractors, has hired a company closely linked to Bridge and Marine to help complete the job and workers and subcontractors downed tools at the lakeside site on Wednesday when they were told of the links.

Bridge and Marine was the civil engineering subcontractor for ACT government road projects at Horse Park Drive in Gungahlin, and owed debts from the now-completed widening of the Monaro Highway in Fyshwick.


Documents from corporate regulator ASIC show the same man, John Denis Thomas, holds the positions of director and secretary in both Bridge and Marine and Civil Bridge and Wharf, which is due to start work on the arterial road.

Woden has not responded to requests for an interview and Mr Thomas could not be contacted at his new business address in Melbourne's east.

The CFMEU ACT Secretary, Dean Hall, said his members were happy to return to the site if they knew they were going to be paid for the work.

Civil Bridge and Wharf is undergoing an ACT government process to ensure it is qualified to undertake the work required of it.