Contaminated cement used in major Adelaide projects: CFMEU
Several major construction projects around Adelaide have been using contaminated cement, following an issue at South Australia’s Adelaide Brighton Cement, the construction union says.
The company said it was investigating the problem, which occurred in the manufacture of its “bulk cement during a four-day period between April 7 and 10” at its Birkenhead plant.
The cement was distributed by several companies, including Boral.
“As soon as Boral was alerted, an immediate review was undertaken, with a number of strategies implemented to minimise the effect of the Adelaide Brighton cement supplies,” a spokesman for Boral said.
“This included the appropriate disposal of a large volume of cement prior to manufacture into concrete.”
Boral said it was working with effected customers.
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) secretary Aaron Cartledge said it was still trying to determine how many construction projects had been impacted.
“We know that it was contaminated, we know it went to jobs, all we’re asking is that people come clean with where it went and what it was used for, and is it safe,” Mr Cartledge said.
“This can be very dangerous. If it was used in a manner where it needed structural integrity, then they need to get that checked out by an engineer.”
Mr Cartledge said Sarah Construction poured 18 foundation piles at its Brighton Dunes housing development with the contaminated concrete.
“Those piers have got to be a certain strength, and they only come up to about half that strength,” he said.
“What it basically means is the integrity of those piers is compromised and they can’t do the job they’re designed to do.”
Could take Government days to investigate impact
The union said it also believed the concrete may have been poured at the State Government’s Torrens Junction and Torrens to Torrens projects.
A Transport Department spokesman could not confirm those projects had used the contaminated concrete but said it was “working with its contractors … to determine if any concrete has been supplied to its projects which may have been affected”.
“This could take up to several days to collate,” the spokesman said.
Mr Cartledge said companies were forced to source concrete from interstate for several days.
“While this process went on they had to ship cement in from Victoria to make sure that they had a product that they knew was sound until they rectified the issues with Brighton Cement,” he said.
Sarah Construction has been contacted for comment.