WE’VE GOT THE METAL

Why our steel firms must get the sta­dium con­tract

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - DOMANII CAMERON EX­CLU­SIVE

TOWNSVILLE’S steel com­pa­nies have more than enough “man power” to win the ma­jor steel con­tract for the city’s new CBD sta­dium, ac­cord­ing to two promi­nent lo­cal busi­ness­men.

Brad Webb, who heads BM Webb In­dus­trial Prop­erty De­vel- op­ers, and Perry McDon­ald, from Perry McDon­ald Con­struc­tions, have both spo­ken out on how im­por­tant it is that lo­cal con­trac­tors get a piece of the sta­dium pie. The Bul­letin last month re­ported that sev­eral lo­cal in­dus­try and busi­ness iden­ti­ties were con­cerned that the sta­dium’s man­ag­ing con­trac­tor Wat­pac may not hon­our its com­mit­ment to use lo­cals on the $ 250 mil­lion pro­ject.

TOWNSVILLE’S steel com­pa­nies have more than enough “man­power” to win the ma­jor steel con­tract for the city’s new CBD sta­dium, ac­cord­ing to two promi­nent lo­cal busi­ness­men.

Brad Webb, who heads BM Webb In­dus­trial Prop­erty De­vel­op­ers, and Perry McDon­ald, from Perry McDon­ald Con­struc­tions, have both spo­ken out on how im­por­tant it is that lo­cal con­trac­tors get a piece of the pie.

The Bul­letin last month re­ported that sev­eral lo­cal in­dus­try and busi­ness iden­ti­ties were con­cerned that the sta­dium’s man­ag­ing con­trac­tor Wat­pac may not hon­our its com­mit­ment to use lo­cals on the $ 250 mil­lion pro­ject.

Wat­pac re­jected ru­mours the ma­jor steel con­tract would be awarded to south­ern firm Been­leigh Steel.

Mr Webb said he be­lieved Wat­pac had spo­ken to a num­ber of lo­cal com­pa­nies.

“We are more than ca­pa­ble. We have 10 or 12 steel com­pa­nies in town that have been build­ing stuff for mines and pro­cess­ing plants,” he said. “TEi Ser­vices have ex­ported all over the world, Thomas Steel Fab­ri­ca­tions have a $ 4 mil­lion au­to­mated process fa­cil­ity that can pro­duce the steel au­to­mat­i­cally.”

Mr Webb said the abil­ity of Townsville was un­lim­ited.

“I be­lieve some of our lo­cal com­pa­nies could build trusses and in­crease speed of con­struc­tion so they can ad­dress the trans­port is­sues,” he said.

“They would bring in man­power from oth­ers. This is not rocket sci­ence.

“It’s just a great big steel build­ing with a bit of archi- tec­tural steel. These ( lo­cal busi­nesses) build cop­per smelters, meat­works and crush­ing plants.”

Mr Webb said if the lo­cals had “good de­tails” and en­gi­neer­ing draw­ings, they could un­der­take the pro­ject. “How can the peo­ple in Townsville ever get big­ger if we don’t give them a go?” he said.

Mr McDon­ald said the re- gion was more than ca­pa­ble to take on the ma­jor steel con­tract for the sta­dium job.

“The main con­cern that I have is if they are more ex­pen­sive than say a Bris­bane con­trac­tor, they will ac­cept that,” he said.

“Even if they’re over by $ 100,000 I think the con­tract should still go to Townsville.

“A lo­cal con­trac­tor is go­ing to spend his prof­its in Townsville and that will go around five times.

“Ev­ery­one will get a go of it, oth­er­wise it will go south.”

Mr McDon­ald said gov­ern­ments should be able to in­ter­vene to en­sure Townsville com­pa­nies were awarded work con­tracts.

“The Gov­ern­ment should just say ‘ Right, the Townsville

guy can do it’,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Les Walker said every con­tract awarded to a lo­cal busi­ness was a big plus for em­ploy­ment.

“It’s im­por­tant we get these in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and be a part of some­thing that’s more than just the sta­dium,” he said.

“It’s crit­i­cal we get every lo­cal job hap­pen­ing. We want every job we can get.

“It’s ex­cit­ing and only a mat­ter of weeks away be­fore they break ground.”

The first sod on the sta­dium build is ex­pected to be turned in Septem­ber.

LO­CAL CA­PA­BIL­ITY: Brad Webb ( right) is adamant lo­cal steel com­pa­nies have what it takes to work on con­struc­tion of Townsville’s new sta­dium.

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