Local construction company Bryant Building Contractors has won the first contracts for a $42 million redevelopment of Ergon’s inner-city facilities, a project generating work for more than 360 people.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy and Speaker Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the projects would be a welcome boost for the local construction industry and its employees.
Work started Monday, 20 April to modernise the McLeod Street depot buildings, with construction of the new Swallow Road warehouse to follow in May.
“The existing depot is in a central location for Ergon Energy crews to respond to outages and serve customers across the region, so it made sense to refurbish ageing buildings rather than relocate,” Mr Healy said.
“Many of the existing buildings are 50 years old or more.
“The first stage of the project will see the original Cairns powerhouse site and surrounding area transformed into a training delivery centre office and workshop, adjacent to the existing training yard.
“The next generation of energy workers will be learning their trade on the site of the city’s original electricity supply - built almost a century ago.
“And the industry’s proud history will be reflected in the new building with Clarke and Prince Architects including elements of the original hardwood powerhouse.”
Work on the McLeod Street project is expected to be completed by December.
McLeod Street depot is a base for 153 Ergon Energy staff across a range of business functions.
The redevelopment of the inner-city site - coupled with a new warehouse at Swallow Road - is designed to make Ergon’s business as usual and emergency responses more efficient and safer.
Mr Pitt said the new warehouse would be a distribution hub for the Far North, storing power poles, cables and other equipment to supply communities from the Torres Strait to Tully and west to Normanton.
“The new warehouse site is strategically located in an industrial park close to the highway with improved access for heavy vehicles and much greater storage capacity,” he said.
“The facility will also be used as an alternative staging post for Ergon crews supporting the community during severe weather events and other major emergencies.”
Queensland’s publicly-owned electricity companies – Powerlink, Ergon, Energex, CS Energy, Stanwell Corp and CleanCo, will invest more than $2.2 billion on capital works in 2019-20, supporting up to 4900 jobs.