Metro Trains cuts off cleaning contractor

Metro Trains has terminated its contract with the cleaning contractor accused of paying secret kickbacks to one of its managers.

Chief Executive of Metro Trains Raymond O’Flaherty said on Friday he had given notice to Transclean that its agreement was being terminated and a new cleaner sought.

The move comes after the last day of public hearings for the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission’s Operation Esperance about alleged misconduct relating to Melbourne’s trains.

The investigation has revealed carriages were not cleaned properly during the city’s first wave of coronavirus, an issue Mr O’Flaherty said would be rectified with a new cleaner.

Transclean managing director George Haritos was questioned for a second time on Friday at IBAC and repeatedly denied all wrongdoing, even after listening to damning tapped phone calls with Metro Trains manager Peter Bollas and V/Line chief James Pinder.

Counsel assisting the commission Paul Lawrie put to Mr Haritos that

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Melbourne trains were not CLEANED properly during coronavirus by contractor paying off Metro manager

Dirty dealings: Melbourne trains weren’t being CLEANED during the height of the coronavirus pandemic – because contractors were paying off a Metro Trains manager

  • Metro Trains’ operational fleet manager Peter Bollas said he was taking bribes 
  • He said Transclean boss George Haritos paid him $150k for cleaning contracts
  • In return Mr Bollas kept hidden that Transclean were not properly cleaning trains
  • Mr Bollas swore at Mr Haritos about the cleaning quality in a recorded phone call 

Melbourne metro trains were not cleaned properly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic because cleaning contractors bribed a Metro Trains manager to cover up their work, an inquiry found.

Metro Trains’ operational fleet manager Peter Bollas admitted to receiving $150,000 from Transclean boss George Haritos, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) heard on

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Melbourne trains not cleaned properly during COVID by contractor paying off Metro manager, inquiry hears

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In the conversation played to the hearings on Thursday, Mr Bollas takes issue with Transclean’s poor cleaning of Melbourne’s trains during the pandemic.

“The state is paying you more now, to do more work which you’re not doing,” Mr Bollas says on the phone call to Mr Haritos.

Mr Haritos responds: “I am.”

Later, Mr Bollas says: “They didn’t even f—ing spray the train.”

Mr Haritos: “I know because they were satisfied, because the trains weren’t sprayed … they were happy the state was spotless, and that’s why they left. They went back to the job where they were.”

Further on in the conversation, Mr Hartos says: “One was clean, they were clean.”

Transclean staff cleaning a Metro train carriage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transclean staff cleaning a Metro train carriage during the COVID-19 pandemic.Credit:Metro Trains

Mr Bollas: “Doesn’t matter, they have to be f—ing sprayed, you’re not listening. We’re paying you to f—ing spray them.” He added:

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