Local contracts on Woolgoolga to Ballina = more local jobs

Media Release

DC107/2017

03 May 2017

Joint release with:

Melinda Pavey

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight

Kevin Hogan

Federal Member for Page

Chris Gulaptis

NSW Member for Clarence

In another boost to jobs across the north coast region, nine local quarries have been awarded contracts to supply road building material for the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway Upgrade.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the awarding of the contracts was the final major supply agreement on the upgrade.

“It is terrific to see local businesses bidding for, and winning, contracts on such an enormous infrastructure project. The dividends from the jointly funded Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade will be safer, more efficient roads for drivers—but also continued support for local jobs, businesses and families,” Mr Chester said.

“The upgrade of the Pacific Highway is a critical component of the Coalition's record $50 billion infrastructure investment programme, which is delivering a stronger and safer national road network.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said works along the Woolgoolga to Ballina section were progressing well, with the award of contracts another positive step.

“With the contracts recently awarded for precast bridge elements as well as concrete and piling, this upgrade is well on track to open to traffic by 2020. Because the contracts will provide a fixed price and continuity of supply of road building materials to the major contractors, it guarantees value for money for taxpayers, and ongoing employment at the quarries,” Mrs Pavey said.

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the benefits of contracts being awarded to local operators would be shared across the region.

“The nine north coast quarries awarded contracts on this section are a combination of large and small operators, which means support for a range of jobs across the region and more dollars into the cash registers of local businesses,” Mr Hogan said.

“More than 1,700 people are already working on the Woolgoolga to Ballina project, and up to 4,000 workers are expected to be employed across the Pacific Highway when works ramp up later this year.”

New South Wales Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade was supporting local employment opportunities wherever possible and sourcing materials from companies near the project.

“Having quarry materials close to the route of the upgrade, and minimising haulage requirements, was an important consideration and will deliver both cost and safety benefits,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“The safety of the community and workers during the upgrade is of the highest importance, and where possible, material will be moved within the project boundary to reduce the number of construction vehicles on local roads.”

The Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway Upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments on an 80:20 basis.