Plumb job nets $20m for locals

Paul Fuller, director of Valley Earthworks, one of the local business to benefit from jail work.
Paul Fuller, director of Valley Earthworks, one of the local business to benefit from jail work. Adam Hourigan

WORK on the new Grafton Correctional Centre moved forward yesterday with the announcement a contract worth $20 million for temporary plumbing and electrical works was awarded to Laser Plumbing and Electrical Lismore.

The contract was awarded in partnership with other local businesses, including Valley Earthworks, Tradelink Grafton and Clarence Earthmoving.

Valley Earthworks director Paul Fuller said the company was in a joint venture with Laser Plumbing and Electrical.

"We're supplying all the machinery and expertise for this job, for all the work that's got to be done, all the trenching, all the back filling, the compaction, everything to do with machinery basically," he said.

"We've started out there already, we've got a couple of machines which will grow to quite a substantial job for us. We've worked with Laser Plumbing before on other jobs like the Lismore Hospital... they're always a good company to work with."

Mr Fuller said he was excited to be able to be involved in the project.

"It's great being a local job, it's pretty close to our depot and it's something we can get our teeth into and make a mark in the local area."

"We can employ local people and the money stays in the area.

"It's going to be a big project, it could be 10-12 machines, looking at the timelines. It's a pretty big job and before too long we could have 10-15 crews working out there, because there's a lot to do out there.

"We're really happy to get it, it's great."

Northern Pathways consortium builder John Holland signed off on the contract that will deliver jobs to the Clarence Valley.

Laser Plumbing and Electrical construction manager Jake Campbell said he was pleased his company was successful with its tender bid.

"For us it's huge to be given the opportunity by John Holland on this scale, the trust in us to facilitate such a large project is huge," he said.

"It came off the back of an infrastructure project we were lucky enough to do in Lismore Base Hospital and from that we've been given the opportunity to tender on this, and put in a successful bid for it.

"This will be the largest construction project we've undertaken, the infrastructure at Lismore Base was a large project and still continues to be, but this will be the largest project we've tackled but we're confident that we can put in the right systems and structures and right resourcing in process to facilitate it and make it happen."

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said the new facility would create long-term economic opportunities locally through the procurement of a range of goods and services, as well as jobs during both construction and operation.

"This is a massive win for the local area, with the project set to inject more than $560 million into the local economy over the next 20 years," he said.

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