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Locals helping to transform Bunbury’s waterfront

Friday, 20 September 2019

When the Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront project is complete, many locals will not only be able to enjoy the enhanced areas but proudly reflect on the role they have played in making the city an even better place to live and visit.

Take for example Jetline Kerbing Contractors, which is one of five South West businesses which are currently playing a key role in the Department of Transport’s $12.3 million Jetty Road causeway upgrade project at Casuarina Boat Harbour.

The Bunbury business is working on retaining walls, concreting and kerbing as part of the $5.8 million Phase 2 works contract currently underway.

The upgrade includes the reconstruction of Jetty Road, construction of a multipurpose building incorporating public toilets, increasing parking, improvements to utility services in the area, and the introduction of shared paths and landscaping.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said it was great that the State Government’s Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront project was continuing to generate work opportunities for a range of businesses. Phase 2 will see five local sub-contractors with a workforce of 20 engaged in construction ahead of completion in mid-2020.

“This project really demonstrates that when the Government makes investments in Bunbury, local companies have the capacity and capability to take advantage of the opportunities that arise,” Mr Punch said.

“Having 80 per cent of the subcontractors as local businesses will be a great boost for jobs in the area and is a chance to show off the quality of our local businesses.

“With a number of significant Government projects still to come in the local area, there will be even more opportunities for local businesses to secure new contracts and create new jobs over the next few years.”

Engaging local skills has been a focus of Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront, which aims to turn underused spaces into thriving destinations.

The first stage of the project, which is now complete, saw 16 South West contractors involved in revitalisating the Koombana Foreshore.

The redevelopment of the Dolphin Discovery Centre was delivered by Bunbury contractor Perkins Builders from designs by Bunbury practice MCG Architects. A total of 46 local contractors and suppliers worked on the expansion and upgrading of the DDC, with 204 workers involved in construction including eight apprentices.

The Bunbury Development Committees facilitates planning for Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront and its chair, Robyn Fenech, said the inclusion of local content through the various stages of the project was a great outcome.

“Creating job opportunities for locals is a really important aspect of the project,” Ms Fenech said.

“Where possible, jobs are made available to local contractors and suppliers.”

The South West Development Commission has worked with stakeholders to connect local businesses to opportunities on the Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront project as part of the State Government’s Local Content Adviser Network.

SWDC acting chief executive officer Ashley Clements said the Commission’s local content adviser aimed to maximise local supplier, contractor and job opportunities in the region.

“The South West is home to very capable businesses and a skilled workforce – and we want to see as many people, contractors and suppliers as possible involved in major projects in the region,” Mr Clements said.

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