Com­pany on the move with Con­nec­tions

Shepparton News - Country News - - WATER TALK -

Win­ter is the per­fect time for Rochester com­pany Ward Bros Earth­mov­ing to chase work in the Goul­burn Val­ley, with win­ter work tripling the busi­ness’ em­ploy­ment.

That’s be­cause Peter and Mark Ward’s com­pany is linked to Goul­burn-Murray Water’s Con­nec­tions project.

‘‘Usu­ally we’re chas­ing jobs across Vic­to­ria and in­ter­state, even in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory,’’ Peter said.

‘‘But come win­ter, over the last seven or eight years, we’ve got ev­ery­thing hap­pen­ing and it’s right here in our own back­yard.’’

In­stal­la­tion of more than 115 reg­u­la­tors has kept Ward Bros busy as part of this year’s Con­nec­tions project win­ter works through con­trac­tor John Hol­land, as well as me­ter in­stal­la­tion, main­te­nance and lay­ing 20 km of stock and do­mes­tic pipe­line.

They have also laid 11 km of pipe­line along the Mid­land Hwy west of Stan­hope us­ing an in­no­va­tive, trench­less method usu­ally used to bury fi­bre op­tic ca­ble.

Over the decades Peter and Mark de­vel­oped their ex­per­tise and built the busi­ness on the back of on-farm laser-grad­ing, ir­ri­ga­tion pip­ing and all man­ner of earth­mov­ing.

‘‘When Fu­ture Flow (now the Con­nec­tions project) came along in 2007, we were able to de­velop our civil con­struc­tion ex­pe­ri­ence and re­ally take ad­van­tage of the in­vest­ment in ir­ri­ga­tion and agri­cul­ture across north­ern Vic­to­ria,’’ Peter said.

‘‘Be­cause much of the heav­ier cap­i­tal works take place out­side the ir­ri­ga­tion sea­son, it’s meant we’ve been es­pe­cially busy over win­ter in re­cent years.’’

Mod­erni­sa­tion of the re­gion’s ir­ri­ga­tion in­fra­struc­ture has meant a tripling of em­ploy­ment at Ward Bros to about 60 full-time staff in the past 10 years.

‘‘The ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem is be­ing up­graded right across the re­gion with more in­vest­ment than ever be­fore,’’ Peter said.

‘‘It’s a his­toric thing to be a part of what is the most im­por­tant up­grade to the long-term fu­ture of our farms.’’

Pa­trick Ward and Jack Hayes of Ward Bros Earth­mov­ing at Stan­hope, where the com­pany has com­pleted win­ter works for G-MW’s Con­nec­tions project.

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