Final bids today for the $8 billion East West Link

Herald Sun: Final bids today for the $8 billion East West Link. James Campbell and Matt Johnston. 8 August 2014

An artist’s impression of the proposed Hoddle Street overpass section of Melbourne’s planned East West Link. Picture: Stuart Walmsley

The final bids for the massive East West Link contract will be submitted today amid feverish industry speculation about who will win the $6-$8 billion job.

Last night one of the two bidders issued a statement in response to industry rumours that it plans to use Korean steel in the tunnel.

As the finishing touches were put on proposals to build the Napthine Government’s signature infrastructure project that will create 3000 jobs, Inner Link Group Project Director David Clements said his consortium was committed to maximising local content.

“The ILG has no arrangements in place for the supply of steel should we be successful in our bid for the East West Link project. Allegations that we have contracted with Korean companies for the supply of steel are false,” he said.

“ILG is committed to working with Australian suppliers to the fullest extent possible.

“We will fully comply with the Victorian Industry Participation Policy and have a target of 80 per cent local sourcing as a minimum under our Local Industry Development Plan.”

Mr Clements’ statement was issued in response to industry claims that ILG, which includes the Korean construction giant Samsung C & T Corporation, has plans to source steel overseas.

The East West Link will connect the Eastern Freeway in Clifton Hill to City Link in Parkville, and includes a 4.4km tunnel that will include up to 8000 tonnes of steel.

Australian Workers Union state secretary Ben Davis said steel was likely to comprise less than 10 per cent of the materials involved in the project, however, meaning it would be possible for either bidder to use foreign steel entirely and still meet government local procurement rules.

Mr Davis called for the Victorian Government to mandate tough rules to ensure local steel was used on major government projects.

“Up to 800 jobs would be secured if local steel is used on East West because for every $1 million of Australian steel, seven jobs are created,” he said.

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