|Issue No 61||07 July 2000|
Volleyball Stadium Accident - Questions Remain
By HT Lee
The Olympic beach volleyball stadium at Bondi Beach suffered another blow to its image last Friday when the steel platform were ripped off by the 35kmh winds.
It was more good luck than good management that no one was injured or killed.
5,000 of the platforms were installed at the time of the accident--at least 4,000 of them were blown away.
The two seated 40 kilo-platform were build as a complete inter-locking unit. They were supposed to be installed together--the seats had the bolts to hold down the platform.
However, at the time of the installation the seats with the bolts 'were still on the way from Europe.'
Commonsense would have told any one not bolting down a platform in such an open space structure next to the beach is asking for an accident to happen.
Why then did the principal builder NUSSLI, a Swiss company instructed its principal sub-contractor to go ahead and installed the platforms?
Christian Kunzli, project manager of NUSSLI when contacted said they were not allowed to speak to the media. All maters had to be refereed to APP the project management consultant appointed by the Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA). But when APP was contacted the project manager Mick Boyd-Turner said the same thing--they were not allowed to speak to the media and all matters had to be refereed to Bob Dowden from the OCA.
Bob Bowden when contacted about whether there was an engineer's report allowing the platform to be installed without the seats said OCA don't provide day to day details conderning the running of the project to the media.
When I put it to him the information sorted was not about the day to day running of the project but about an accident--Bowden's reply was 'it was not an accident' because no one was hurt--'it was an incident.'
When asked why the inter-locking platforms were imported from overseas rather than made in Australia Bowden said there were thousands of materials used for the Olympic projects and some are imported from overseas.
There are many unanswered questions not forth coming from OCA:
· Why was an overseas company given the contract as principal builder?
· Why were the platforms and seats imported from overseas?
· Who issued the engineer's report giving the go-ahead to installed the platform without the seats and bolts?
· Which subcontractor was installing the platform?
· Were there proper safety procedures used for the installation of the platforms?
· Were there Labor-hire workers being used to install the platform?
· Was there pressure from OCA to rush through the project?
Bob Bowden was not very cooperative and that is quite understandable--it seems the attitude of OCA is that they are 'Gods' and we mere mortals and lesser beings should not be disturbing them with trivial questions about platforms 'blowing in the wind.'
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International: Room for Optimism from African Poll
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