GETTING STARTED: Woollam Constructions managing director Craig Percival, Gladstone and Banana Shire executive director Sandy Munro, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Central Queensland Hospitals and Health chief executive Steve Williamson at the turning of the sod for the hospital's new emergency department.
GETTING STARTED: Woollam Constructions managing director Craig Percival, Gladstone and Banana Shire executive director Sandy Munro, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Central Queensland Hospitals and Health chief executive Steve Williamson at the turning of the sod for the hospital's new emergency department. Matt Taylor GLA070219SODT

'Backbone of our business': Company putting locals first

WOOLLAM Construction's Managing Director Craig Percival is keen to hire local contractors to help build Gladstone Hospital's new Emergency Department.

"We work in most regions throughout Queensland and we're very keen to make sure locals are given every opportunity to be part of these projects," he said.

"They're the backbone of our business."

"The State government has got some really good policy stating we have to use local contract partners and provide training.

"Part of our plan is to exceed those expectations and the size of this project gives us a lot of opportunity to make sure training and local participation gets the full benefit."

The emergency department upgrade will support 100 jobs during construction and includes moving the department to the front entrance of the hospital, in a new 3000 square metre building, a new main entrance and a link-way to the existing hospital and car park.

It will be equipped with 36 treatment spaces, more than double the 15 spaces in the current Emergency Department.

Local businesses are invited to a Contractor Information Evening tomorrow night at 5pm at the Reef Hotel to learn what opportunities are available to be involved in the project.

"I think this gives us the opportunity to stand in front of people and let them ask questions and hear information first hand," Mr Percival said.

"We also realise that the term 'local' might include businesses within a couple of hundred kilometres of Gladstone as well.

"We're encouraging them to come along as there might other stuff we're doing around the state they might be interested in as well."

Mr Percival admitted there was some negativity in construction industry.

"We're big believers in face to face contact, sharing information about our business so local contractors can meet us and know how to contact us if they need to talk about the project," he said.

"We are big on the fact they are not subcontractors, they're our contract partners.

"For a couple of years now the reality of what we do is 85 per cent with our contract partners.

"It's not us and them, we're in this together."

Woollam Construction holds the prestigious title of Queensland's oldest privately-owned construction company.

From a small family construction business started by an optimistic migrant in the late 1800s, the company continues to design and construct future proof buildings for healthcare, aged care, schools, airports and social infrastructure.

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