Fixing The Missing Link and Driving Local Jobs

MELBOURNE, Mar 17: The search is on for workers to build North East Link – Victoria’s biggest ever road project, which is set to create more than 10,000 jobs.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan announced the recruitment drive in Bulleen today, where work is underway to prepare for the project’s 6.5-kilometre road tunnels by moving a section of the Yarra East Main Sewer.

In a major milestone, 4 million hours have been worked on North East Link. New people are starting every week as work steps up on the project that will fix the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network, slash travel times by up to 35 minutes, and take 15,000 trucks off local roads.

There are already more than 1000 people working on North East Link, with opportunities already provided for 100 apprentices, trainees and cadets, who have worked 100,000 hours.

With an $11.1 billion contract awarded for the North East Link tunnels, dozens of jobs are now advertised with hundreds more over the coming months, to join the team that will deliver the twin road tunnels.

To help fill the range of roles needed to plan, design and build the tunnels a dedicated Skills and Jobs Centre in Watsonia is open to connect locals to training and jobs on the project. The Skills and Jobs Centre is ready to connect people with apprenticeships, TAFE courses, worksite tickets and licences, and other VET programs.

A range of project roles are now advertised, covering everything from traffic, utility and construction engineers, to digital engineering specialists, project managers and all levels of project engineers.

Corporate positions will also play an important role in supporting the project – with the hunt on for contract administrators, commercial managers, community engagement specialists and administration roles.

Across the life of the project, ten per cent of construction hours will be completed by apprentices, trainees and cadets. In addition, the project has an Aboriginal employment target of 2.5 per cent of the project’s labour hours.

Crews have already made significant progress preparing for the North East Link tunnels, with three mini-tunnel boring machines building a new 1.8-kilometre section of the Yarra East Main Sewer.

On top of that, 4.5 kilometres of gas and power lines have been moved to the west of Greensborough Road, and construction is underway on the fast-tracked Bulleen Park and Ride – the first part of the Eastern Express Busway.

This year, we’ll establish work compounds to support major construction of the tunnels, order the project’s tunnel boring machines, and select preferred bidders for the next key parts of the project – including a massive overhaul of the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne’s first dedicated busway, and the completion of the M80 Ring Road.

Crews will also switch on the new section of the Yarra East Main Sewer, we’ll wrap up moving almost 100 utilities, and seek local feedback on local elements of the design including open space and walking and cycling paths.

It comes as Victorians are encouraged to plan ahead and allow extra travel time during a massive amount of work underway in the North East. Crews are working around the clock in a six-week blitz to remove a major traffic bottleneck at Main Road and Fitzsimons Lanes – Eltham’s busiest intersection.

In Eltham, major works to upgrade the Porter Street intersection to traffic lights will commence in late April, with Porter St to be closed between Fitzsimons Lane and Edwin Road for seven weeks as a result.

North East Link is funded $14 billion from the Victorian Government and $1.75 billion by the Commonwealth Government. For information about North East Link jobs, visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au/jobs or visit the North East Link Skills and Jobs Centre at 17 Watsonia Road, Watsonia – open weekdays from 10 January.