Civil construction experts who worked on the Burswood casino and golf course projects in the 1980s have warned that Premier Colin Barnett's hand-picked stadium site is highly unstable and likely to lead to huge construction costs.
John Brennan, a former project manager with Burswood Casino, and Ken Wride, who was Multiplex's external works manager, said there was simply no way of telling what was in the ground under the proposed stadium site, on the northern nine holes of the Burswood golf course.
The men recalled extensive difficulties with various aspects of the Burswood works, including a lake on the golf course "disappearing", brick paving near the casino's pool sinking nearly 2m and underground drainage and sewerage pipes collapsing owing to slushy soil conditions. They said building waste, including previously dumped junk excavated from the casino project, had been spread across what became the golf course's fairways.
Mr Wride said a lake dug for the golf course "backfilled itself" within 12 hours because of the instability of the silty and contaminated soil. "We dug out the lake and finished work for the day at 4pm," Mr Wride said. "When we came back the next morning, the hole had filled in, level with the ground. "We dug it out a second time and the same thing happened."
Mr Brennan said the golf course had been constructed by spreading rubbish and covering it with a layer of uncompacted clean fill. He said the land had been vulnerable to "differential settlement", which saw the unstable soil settling at different levels.
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