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Tunnelling machine deploying early for North West Rail Link

24 March 2014
NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian have announced the first North West Rail Link tunnel boring machine will be in the ground before the end of October.

Mr O’Farrell, Ms Berejiklian and local MPs David Elliott and Bart Bassett gathered at the site of the new Bella Vista Station, where excavation has now started to prepare the site for the first tunnel boring machine.

“I am pleased to announce we will deliver on our commitment to get the tunnel boring machine in the ground ahead of schedule. Instead of the end of year, the first tunnel boring machine will be in operation here at Bella Vista by October, after a detailed assembly process on site,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“We’re getting on with the job of building the biggest public transport project in the country and a critical piece of infrastructure that will change the way of life for the people of Sydney’s North West.

“The $8.3 billion North West Rail Link is on budget and moving forward rapidly.

“The North West Rail Link is a crucial part of the NSW Government’s record $60 billion infrastructure budget, which includes the South West Rail Link, WestConnex upgrading the M4 and M5, and NorthConnex linking the M1 and M2.

“The tunnelling phase of construction will support around 900 jobs – with a major recruitment drive now underway. This is great news for jobseekers in Western Sydney,” Mr O’Farrell said.

Ms Berejiklian said tunnelling consortium Thiess John Holland Dragados is targeting Western Sydney in its recruitment of workers.

“The tunnel builders have started a massive recruitment operation to source the construction workforce to join the project over the coming months,” she said.

The workforce includes trades such as boilermakers, carpenters/formworkers, TBM operators, road header operators, tunnellers, electrical and mechanical trades, steel fixers, concreters, riggers, general labourers, scaffolders, traffic controllers, shotcreters, tunnel lining builders and truck/special vehicle operators.

Opportunities for direct employment will be available to young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as applicants from disadvantage groups.

Transport for NSW has set up a skills and employment advisory group made up of key State, Federal and industry stakeholders to provide advice on training, skills development and supply chain engagement.

More detail is available via the jobs section of the North West Rail Link website.

The remaining three tunnel boring machines will follow soon after the first, as work ramps up on building the 15km twin tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping.

The North West Rail Link includes eight new railway stations and 4,000 commuter car parking spaces.

Transport Infrastructure
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