– The owner of the Carlton development site where two pedestrians were killed – and – possibly some workers there – could face criminal prosecution if investigators determine the accident was caused by negligence.
Worksafe and detectives from the Melbourne North Crime Investigation Unit are investigating the collapse of a large section of a brick wall into Swanston Street on Thursday.
But union leader John Setka is already blaming construction group Grocon.
“They don’t care about safety, they never have,” said Mr Setka, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union secretary.
“People can say I’m trying to make political mileage out of it. I don’t care. I’ve kept my mouth shut for long enough who it comes to Grocon.”
Mr Setka alleged that in an incident last Monday, a worker on the Myer Emporium site was skewered in the leg by a concrete-reinforcing steel bar.
Another recent incident involved a crane dropping it’s load in strong winds, he said.
A Grocon spokeswoman confirmed that the crane incident had taken place but no one was harmed.
Grocon had no knowledge of an incident at the Myer site, she said.
In February, a crane driver fell 35 metres to his death at the site.
No work was under way at the time of Thursday’s wall collapse at the former Carlton and United Breweries site, which Grocon has earmarked for a massive residential development.
But industry sources say Worksafe is investigating whether the wall was appropriately supported and what role advertising billboards or wind may have played in the incident.
Any prosecution would hinge on investigators finding evidence of negligence on the part of the owners, workers, contractors or managers for any work that was done or failed to be done on the site.
Under the Occupation Health and Safety Act, an employer has a duty to ensure that the public is not exposed to health or safety risks from work sites.
Worksafe can prosecute cases under the states’ various health and safety acts or, in certain circumstances, refer the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecution under the Crimes Act.
Mr Setka said staff at the CFMEU office opposite where the accident happened were traumatised.
On the CUB site, Grocon has removed the remaining sections of the brick wall and replaced the wall with wire mesh fencing.
The company was investigating the collapse, spokeswoman Jane Wilson said.
Late Friday, the company issued the following statement: “Grocon will continue to cooperate fully with all authorities to understand how this tragedy occurred – there are one four inquiries under way. It is inappropriate to speculate any further at this stage.
“We are very deeply saddened by the deaths of these two young people and again send our deepest sympathies to their families.”
Earlier, Grocon chief Daniel Grollo expressed his sympathy via social media.
Grocon said the CFMEU have been locked in a power struggle on building sites across the city.
Accidents involving members of the public are rare. But in 2011, Melbourne Bin Hire Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $20,000 after a woman was killed by a reversing skip truck in Essendon North in 2009 – Chris Vedelago & Simon Johanson

About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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