Cyclone work offers shelter to industry
A CAIRNS company awarded a contract to build a category 5 cyclone shelter at Port Douglas says it will provide a huge boost for the ailing construction industry.
The $5.5 million project will employ about 37 subcontractors in the Far North, said Graham Boddington, Northbuild Construction’s general manager for regional Queensland.
"It’s wonderful news moving into 2012, which will be a tough year," he said.
"It is definitely encouraging for the local industry."
Construction contracts from the State Government have kept Northbuild and its subcontractors busy during the industry slowdown in 2011, Mr Boddington said.
"We appreciate the Government continuing to put out good size projects and that local businesses are being given the opportunity to tender on these," he said.
Looking at the year ahead, Mr Boddington was concerned there appeared to be fewer construction projects on the horizon in the region compared with 2011.
"It’ll be tough in the construction industry because there’s limited opportunity," he said.
The company is aiming to start work on the cyclone shelter in early February and it was expected to be ready for the 2012-13 cyclone season.
The shelter will accommodate 780 people and will service the evacuation areas of Port Douglas, Oak Beach, Cooya Beach, Newell Beach, Wonga Beach, Lower Daintree and Cape Tribulation.
The multi-purpose community facility will include sporting and conference facilities.
And Vis Constructions has been selected to build a $5.7 million shelter at Tully State School and Cairns Regional Council will receive $5 million to build a category 5 cyclone shelter at the Edmonton Leisure Centre .
The contracts to build five other shelters at Bowen, Ingham, Proserpine, Townsville and Yeppoon have been awarded to three firms with offices in the Far North – Paynter Dixon Queensland, Baulderstone Queensland and Hutchinson Builders.
The construction work is expected to create about 400 jobs in the Far North, Government Services and Building Industry Minister Simon Finn said.
The shelters are being built under a $60 million fund jointly established by Abu Dhabi and the State Government.
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Taking refuge: People crowded into cyclone shelters throughout the Far North as Yasi neared the coast in February.