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A sky rail manager will have to repay more than $90,000 after he admitted taxpayer-funded labourers carried out secret renovations on his home using excavators and tools belonging to the government project.
Steven John Winter was the signalling construction manager on the $1.6 billion Caulfield-to-Dandenong sky rail project in 2018 when 30 of the project's workers renovated his backyard while he was on an overseas family holiday.
Steven John Winter leaving the Ringwood Magistrates Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to deception charges CREDITENNY STEPHENS
Workers each earned thousands of dollars, including weekend penalty rates, for a single shift on the clandestine, three-week operation.
At Ringwood Magistrates Court on Wednesday, the former CPB Contractors manager received a community corrections order requiring 200 hours of voluntary work and a $90,771 repayment to the project. Winter pleaded guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deception.
Winter, who managed 80 employees on the sky rail project, allowed a team of labourers to build fences, walls and a driveway at his home in Selby near Belgrave in August 2018.
The renovation was orchestrated by former Lendlease manager Kory Oxley, who pleaded guilty to authorising $75,000 in labourers' wages for the works and Perry Diaz, who also admitted charges relating to the renovation.
The house in Selby that was allegedly renovated by sky rail workers.CREDIT: LUIS ENRIQUE ASCUI
On Saturday August 25, 2018 a group of workers attended Oxley's Berwick home for breakfast at 7am. They drove trucks and excavators leased for the level crossing removal project to Winter's address two hours later and worked a nine-hour shift.
The tradies returned the following day to continue carrying out the works. By Friday August 31, Winter had left for his overseas holiday.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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