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A question of circumstances

The argument between the Kalinga Wooloowin Residents’ Association and City North Infrastructure, the government body set up to manage the project, hinges on differing interpretations of the “special circumstances” referred to in the project conditions. The KWRA claims the state Coordinator-General’s original conditions for the project only allowed surface construction works between 6.30am and 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, except in special circumstances.But CNI said TJH are working within the requirements of the project deed and the 24 hour works are not precluded by the conditions set by the Coordinator-General.CNI said the 24-hour works currently being undertaken – building the tunnel boring machines and the installation of canopy tubes under the North Coast Railway – are clearly defined as special circumstances work under the project conditions.“The Coordinator-General’s conditions clearly state that tunnelling work and works in rail corridors can be conducted 24 hours a day,” a CNI spokesperson said. “Construction contractors Thiess John Holland are trying to minimise community impacts where possible and are doing that by working in accordance with the strict conditions of approval and by providing extensive mitigation for residents living close to the worksites.”KWRA president Brian Nally said the community had relied on promises from politicians that its interests would be an important consideration in the way the construction works were managed.“In retrospect, the community’s beliefs were naive,” he said.“Those who were obliged to protect the community’s interests simply abandoned us.”

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