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Local tradies first

Global insurance broker Aon has asked their insurers to put local tradies first as Townsville rebuilds following its worst ever floods, which will make sure extra investment benefits flow right through the community.

“It makes sense to employ local tradespeople so they can get back on their feet,” Aon Australia chief executive James Baum said.

“We all need to work together to make sure there are strong foundations for a prosperous future.”

 

“It makes sense to employ local tradespeople so they can get back on their feet.”

Aon Australia chief executive James Baum

 

Aon, which established in Townsville 50 years ago, has a strong relationship with the community. It links with insurers, who then handle the claims that come from people and businesses affected by last month’s flooding.

The floods are forecast to cost $1.04 billion in claims, according to the Insurance Council of Australia. Ninety per cent of the 25,778 claims have come from households.

Aon’s message to insurers should flow through to Townsville’s 10,900 labourers and 15,000 technicians in the area. That will then benefit the local economy.

“Supporting local trade businesses will also directly stimulate the local economy,” Mr Baum said.

Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said the community and businesses needed to work together to take advantage of Townville’s skilled workforce and natural endowments to build a better future.

 “The challenge is to make sure we build on this and create a sustainable future for the community,” Ms Westacott said.

“That’s about big and small business investing and coming together to strengthen Townsville now and into the future.”

The relationship between big and small business is worth about $500 billion to the Australian economy every year.

TEi is a small to medium enterprise in Townsville and has delivered projects for big businesses like South32 and Bechtel.

They also export mining equipment to Africa to countries like Zambia, Tanzania, Egypt and Senegal.

 

“I’m so proud of things like that – look what we’ve done, this little company from Townsville that supplied a large bearing ring to NASA and it’s gone to California, that’s a feather in your cap."

TEi general manager Richard Parker

 

They have manufactured parts for NASA’s deep space radio telescopes near Canberra and California in the US.  

 “I’m so proud of things like that – look what we’ve done, this little company from Townsville that supplied a large bearing ring to NASA and it’s gone to California, that’s a feather in your cap," TEi general manager Richard Parker said.

“These opportunities to work on things like this don’t come around all that often.

“The region has great capability to deliver, we have a good university, schools and established businesses and there is great opportunity for businesses to team up with James Cook University to maximise from that opportunity.”

Lendlease’s Elliot Springs 40-year development is a $4.7 billion project and will create almost 1,500 full time jobs in its first three years.

In the first three years, it is expected to boost Townsville’s gross regional product by more than $261 million, generating $136 million in wages and salaries.

“We’re very focused on working with and supporting local subcontractors and businesses such as Hansen and Transcape to help build a stronger Townsville,” Lendlease regional development manager for Elliot Springs Simon Walker said.

“We work in consultation with the local community, businesses, local councils and partners alike, so we can create landmark projects like Elliot Springs.”

Hansen Constructions is one small business that has benefited from its contract with Lendlease.

It has installed services and built roads in the first stage of the estate, while another local contractor, Transcape, built the landscaping while employing between 30 to 40 workers.

“We’re so grateful to be able to showcase our proven track record of delivering a high standard of civil infrastructure, on budget and on time,” Hansen Constructions director Jacqui Murr said. 

“We attribute the success to our experienced and dedicated team, being a family-run business and supporting our workers and their families.”