The Australian Steel Institute (ASI) remains unconvinced that the Victorian Government or the developers of the Eastlink project take their own construction standards seriously on safety measures ahead of the tollway’s imminent opening.

The ASI recently announced the results of tests by a NATA-approved assessor that indicate at least 25 percent of safety rail posts being significantly below the set VicRoads thickness specification. The ASI’s original field tests support that finding with indications of about some 30 percent of posts being non-compliant. The ASI is the peak body representing the Australian steel industry. ASI National Manager – Industry Development, Ian Cairns said that the Australian steel industry holds grave concerns that cost-cutting measures on the project may have allowed sub-standard guard rails to be installed along Eastlink. “The local steel industry is dismayed that it has deployed expensive systems to ensure that its products meet regulators’ specifications for the job only to see non-conforming products accepted,” he said. “ASI members are encouraged to stay competitive and compliant with their offerings.” The ASI has attempted to get answers from the organisations concerned for the past seven months - Theiss/John Holland, ConnectEast, Southern and Eastern Integrated Transport Authority (SEITA) and VicRoads but is still to be given a definitive answer on the matter.

“These bodies keep refusing to meet or acknowledge the reports we give them,” Mr Cairns said. “They continue to claim that the crash barriers meet the specification and that their own independent experts have signed them off, yet they have refused despite our requests to show us empirical evidence of the testing methodology or data that supports these claims. “The ASI is not a safety authority but we trust that the road regulators established the guard railing standards for good reason. “It doesn’t take an expert to recognise if sub-standard materials are used on what is essentially a road safety item, the potential for compromising the safety of that item increases markedly.”


Name: Ian Cairns
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