Living through renovations is always a bit of a pain, so the staff over at the ABC’s Melbourne office will be glad it’s nearly over. Construction of the new building should wrap up by the end of the week, with staff moving into their new digs shortly afterwards. The process has been a bit of a pain for staff at the Southbank building, with tipsters telling us some complaints have been more serious than others.

Ms Tips hears some staff were exposed to epoxy fumes in the office while the renovations were taking place, and problems with the air-conditioning left presenters sweltering through News Breakfast and the 7pm bulletin each day. And then there were the journos fighting for hot desks, camera operators struggling to find power sockets to charge their batteries, and some taps simply not working. To make matters worse, the extra-sensitive smoke detectors in the new building mean they aren’t even allowed toasters any more, as reported by Crikey last year.

An ABC spokesperson said construction work had met the required workplace regulations at all times, in response to Crikey‘s questions about the exposure to epoxy fumes. “Once the building is opened and fully operational there will be sufficient resources and spaces for all activities,” he said. “The project is on time and comfortably within budget.”

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey