Myer Melbourne and secret tunnels?

On the city block bounded by Lonsdale, Elizabeth, Little Bourke and Swanston Street is the site of the new Emporium shopping centre, being constructed by Grocon on the site of the former Myer Lonsdale Street store.

Grocon's Favco 1500 luffing tower crane

In Friday’s edition of The Age was an article titled Riot police move on Grocon site as talks with union break down, describing the management response to a 10 day long picket line outside the site:

Police have refused to confirm claims that workers sneaked into a Grocon construction site in the heart of Melbourne this morning through tunnels to evade a union picket line that has shut down work for more than a week.

About 100 police officers, some of them dressed in riot gear, massed at the troubled construction site from 3am today to ‘‘take control’’ after late-night talks between the construction company and Victoria’s largest building union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, failed to break the impasse.

Commander Rick Nugent said police had safely escorted some workers into the Lonsdale Street site today at 7am. He would not say how many workers had been escorted in, other than to say it was more than one.

Asked about union claims that workers had gained entry to the site via tunnels, Commander Nugent said he was not going to comment on the ‘‘operational tactics’’ used.

I’m not sure why they are trying to hide how they got into the site, as during the demolition of the Myer building numerous underground tunnels were out in plain sight.

First off is a tunnel under Little Bourke Street into the basement of the David Jones department store. A new addition to the city block, this tunnel will link a loading dock in the basement of the Emporium building to the back of house area at David Jones.

A bit more work on the tunnel leading into the David Jones

A few metres down Little Bourke is an underground connection into the Myer basement – originally built to link the two halves of the Myer department stores. I believe when the new shopping complex is completed this tunnel will only be used for goods traffic.

Blocked up Myer pedestrian tunnel beneath Little Bourke Street

At the Strand Arcade around the corner on Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets is a blocked off doorway, which once lead into the ground floor of the adjoining Myer store.

Blocked off walkway between the Strand Arcade and the former Myer store

And in the basement of the former Myer House is another way to sneak into the site cut through a basement wall – I believe this tunnel will form a link between the Myer basement and their existing parcels pickup area off Lonsdale Street.

Basement passageway in the new 'Emporium' shopping centre

All up – three underground tunnels from adjacent buildings, and a boarded up doorway. I wonder which one police used to sneak in workers?

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