Dubbo tradies are capitalising on the unprecedented investment in regional NSW, saying the opportunity to work on the Mindyarra Regional Rail Maintenance Facility is “priceless”.
Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said locals are not only being employed on the project, but also getting opportunities to upskill through Transport for NSW and CPB Contractors.
“We know local businesses are perfectly capable of delivering on landmark projects, but when they’re competing against metro businesses it can be tough to get their foot in the door,” Mr Saunders said.
“Not only has the NSW Government backed in regional businesses, we’re also ensuring workers are upskilled through this project, so they’ve got a better chance to secure big jobs into the future.
“The Mindyarra Regional Rail Maintenance Facility isn’t just a place to fix trains – its construction will leave a real legacy in our community for years to come.”
Central West Plumbing and Civil Drainage is responsible for much of the in-ground services, including fire hydrant mains and sewerage works, as well as installing “kilometres” of stainless steel piping within the sheds and administration buildings.
Director Tim Connolly started the business 10 years ago and now employs 15 people. As part of their involvement in Mindyarra, Tim and his staff have received training to safely access the rail corridor, and develop and implement their own safety plans.
Mindyarra is the first major government contract for the business, but Mr Connolly is confident it won’t be the last.
“It is really hard to get work like this, without having a lot of priors and a good resume,” Mr Connolly said.
“All of our workers are local and not a lot of local workers have had experience like this so it’s great that Transport for NSW is doing everything it can to get myself and all the employees the training to do this job, and others in the future.
“This is definitely the next step for the bigger works that we want to be doing.”
Electrical contractor JLE Group has up to 15 staff working full time on the project, including up to five Indigenous workers and eight apprentices.
Project manager Brock Harris said experience working on such a landmark project would set up JLE’s staff for “rest of their working lives”.
“It’s great to have a job this big, and the experience our guys will get from this will take them through for the rest of their lives, so it’s a great opportunity,” Mr Harris said.
“We do a lot of work around regional NSW and to bring our main core of staff back to where we all live, that’s priceless,” Mr Harris said.
“We go back to our families every night and not a lot of the boys have been able to do that for years. It’s unreal.”