Construction News

Wed December 01 2021

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Laing O’Rourke lands $500m Australian rail package

5 days Laing O’Rourke has been officially awarded a contract worth about AU$500m (£270m) for work on the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East project in Melbourne, Australia.

It has been appointed as managing contractor for the initial works and early works package on the Cheltenham to Box Hill section. The contract for this first phase of works will create up to 800 direct jobs.

The package of works includes preparing sites for the launch of tunnel boring machines, moving and protecting underground services, ground improvement, geotechnical investigations and roads modifications.

Tendering for the package began in late 2020.

“We are delighted the Victorian government and the Suburban Rail Loop Authority have chosen to trust us to be their managing contractor partner,” said the company. “We will be the first major partner to hit the ground and we know how important it is to build a positive reputation for our client and deliver great social and community outcomes.

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“We were ambitious in our bid, committing to 14 per cent of the deemed project hours to be worked by apprentices, trainees or cadets – well exceeding the Victorian government’s 10 per cent target. We did this because we know how critical it is for industry to upskill workers to meet the unprecedented pipeline of work in Victoria.”

Laing O’Rourke said that, to reach this target, it intends to give particular support to people facing barriers to employment by setting up partnerships with She Works, Brotherhood of St Laurence and CareerSeekers. In addition, we will leverage its national partnership with CareerTrackers to provide internship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Laing O’Rourke is delighted to partner with the Victorian government to deliver the SRL Initial Works and Early Works. As well as clearing the way for the main works, we will also provide new opportunities for Victorians to be involved in this city-shaping project and we appreciate the trust placed in us to deliver great outcomes for the community,” said managing director Cathal O’Rourke.

The Victoria state government is providing new funding of AU$9.3bn towards major works on SRL East to deliver 26km twin rail tunnels and six underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill as well as investment in new community projects and initiatives in the broader areas around the stations. Construction starts next year and trains are due to be running on SRL East by 2035.

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