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Bikies linked to workers at Wonthaggi desalination plant

Desalination plant

Unionists with links to at least three outlaw motorcycle gangs - the Black Uhlans, the Comancheros, and the Rebels - have reportedly been active at the desal plant. Source: Herald Sun

A HARD core of union workers at the troubled desalination plant are allegedly aligned with outlaw motorcycle gangs.

A Herald Sun investigation has uncovered allegations that bikie-backed union members have snared a slice of the $5.7 billion plant in Wonthaggi, Victoria's richest infrastructure project.

The State Government says it is "extremely concerned" and has asked the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner's office for advice on tackling crime in the building industry.

Unionists with links to at least three outlaw motorcycle gangs - the Black Uhlans, the Comancheros, and the Rebels - have been active on the site, the Herald Sun understands.

But unions denied yesterday there were any members of outlaw bikie gangs on site.

Information from sources in construction and law enforcement indicates:


A TRADES assistant at the site has told co-workers he is a high-ranking member of the Black Uhlans and also a member of the AMWU.

AT LEAST one senior figure on the site has suspected links with a high-profile member of the Rebels.

A TRADESMAN with a prominent role in the ETU who has worked on the site is aligned with the Comancheros and was convicted in 2009 of theft and possession of drugs and illegal explosives.

One source said several bikie gang members had established themselves in Wonthaggi, even renting homes in the town.

"They're running amok," she said.

The Black Uhlans publicly rallied to support then AMWU figure Craig Johnston, now a CFMEU steward, after he was jailed in 2004 for leading a rampage through a recruitment firm.

Unionists believed to have been involved in that incident now work at the desal plant, industry sources say.

Construction industry figures believe another CFMEU figure, whose identity is known to the Herald Sun, retains a strong connection to the Black Uhlans.


The ETU, CFMEU and AMWU all yesterday denied their members had any links with outlaw bikie clubs.

Desal plant builder Thiess Degremont said it required professional standards of behaviour of its employees.

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