Union stands by claim bones found in imported LNG pipe

CONSTRUCTION company Bechtel has hit back over union claims that a left-over lunch found its way from an Asian manufacturer to Curtis Island, on one of the company's LNG plant modules.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union spokesman Phil Golby said chicken bones, as well as freshwater snails, had been found in the imported materials at the QCLNG site on the island.

Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said no incident had been reported.

"If this in fact happened, to not report it is a serious breach of our regulations," he said.

But Mr Golby said the issue had been raised with Bechtel at a meeting on Curtis Island on Friday.

The unionist initially said the chicken was wrapped in an Indonesian newspaper, but Mr Berg said that was unlikely.

"I'm surprised at the claim that an Indonesian newspaper was found in a module built in Thailand," he said.

Mr Golby admitted he wasn't good at geography, but said the slip didn't undermine the truth of his claim.

"On Friday there was a mass meeting on site about issues that Bechtel has been reluctant to fix for the past 14 months," Mr Golby said.

"At that meeting, one of our members raised the issue of the chicken bones. He said that Bechtel had just laughed it off when they found them."

Mr Golby claimed he'd been told Bechtel would investigate in full, and said reef and agriculture was at risk from potential bacteria.

While Bechtel denies any report was made about chicken bones, the company would not comment on whether other health and safety issues had arisen from the modules.

But Mr Berg said the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service checked the module before it was released onto Curtis Island.

"Material coming into Australia must go through a rigorous government-run inspection and quarantine process, and construction materials are no different," he said.

"If, during their inspections, anything was found by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or AQIS staff , or if there was even a question of cleanliness, the equipment would have been thoroughly cleaned and or sprayed before being released. That is what they do."

Earlier this month, a 2500 tonne module, the biggest so far, arrived at the site.

EARLIER: The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union is claiming workers at Curtis Island LNG plants have found chicken bones and snails in imported materials.

The ABC reports union spokesman Phil Golby said workers on pipeline modules that had just passed through quarantine found chicken bones wrapped inside an Indonesian newspaper.

"Looked like it was someone's lunch from over in Indonesia," Mr Golby said.

"It was all done and checked within 10 minutes, then it was released to be worked on and that's when they found the chicken bones."

Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said no report of the incident had been made.

"If this in fact happened, to not report it is a serious breach of our regulations. I'm also surprised at the claim that an Indonesian newspaper was found in a module built in Thailand," Mr Berg said.

"There are millions of tonnes of material coming into Australian ports every week, and our homes and workplaces are filled with imported materials.

"Everyone knows that equipment or material coming into Australia must go through a rigorous government-run inspection and quarantine process, and construction materials are no different. 

"The materials and equipment for these jobs is inspected multiple times at the point of origin, prior to shipment, and then there is a final inspection by AQIS/DAFF prior to it being released."

Mr Berg said if during anything was found by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service staff, or "if there was even a question of cleanliness", the equipment would have been thoroughly cleaned and or sprayed before being released.

"That is what they do," he said.




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