Woolworths breaks ground on new $135m distribution centre

Woolworths has commenced building works on the supermarket’s new Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) in Truganina, Melbourne.
The multi-million state-of-the-art facility, which will be built by Vaughan Constructions, will store and deliver fresh produce and chilled products to hundreds of Victorian supermarkets, create 200 jobs during construction and 300 permanent new jobs when it opens in late-2020.
The custom-designed facility will replace Woolworths current operations at Mulgrave, and provide the leading national retailer with a market edge in terms of supply chain dynamics. The MFDC will be co-located with Woolworths’ meat supplier Hilton Meats’ production facility.
Co-location with Hilton and closer proximity to more fresh food suppliers will take up to 600 trucks off the West Gate Bridge each week and a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year.
“This development will help us deliver top quality fruit and vegetables to our customers fresher, faster and more efficiently than ever before. At one-and-a-half times the size of the MCG field, the distribution centre will provide a significant uplift in capacity to support our continued growth in Victoria. We’re proud to be investing in a best-in-class supply chain network in Victoria – delivering fresher food to our customers, taking trucks off Melbourne’s roads, and creating hundreds of new jobs,” Woolworths Chief Supply Chain Officer Paul Graham said.
At full capacity more than one and a half million cartons a week will move through MFDC bringing customers fresh fruit and vegetables and chilled goods from more than 500 suppliers.
The $135m investment on the MFDC is majority funded by landowner Charter Hall, with Woolworths signing an initial 15-year lease on the site. This builds on an extensive national relationship between Woolworths and Charter Hall across both industrial and retail properties.
The commissioning of the MFDC will take around 600 truck movements off the West Gate each week as Truganina is located closer to more Woolworths suppliers than Mulgrave. Co-location with Hilton Meats will take a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year as it eliminates shuttle runs between Mulgrave and Truganina.
The MFDC is also targeting a Five Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, with a solar panel system on the roof, charge points for electric trucks, and fuel savings of more than 400,000 litres each year from transport efficiencies. The Mulgrave Produce DC will continue to operate until the MFDC opens in late 2020.

WestConnex comes to a stop

More than 600 tradespeople have halted work on the WestConnex M4 East motorway tunnels at Haberfield on Friday following the release of an independent air monitoring report that recorded ‘extremely high’ fungal contamination and classified it as a ‘probable health risk’.
The Electrical Trades Union said the testing of the tunnels of the $16.8 billion motorway project recorded airborne fungal concentrations more than four times higher than the highest contamination category, while surface testing found rates more than five times what is considered ‘extreme contamination’.
The report, commissioned by management in response to safety concerns raised by workers about fungal contamination due to inadequate ventilation in the tunnels, not only stated that the contamination posed a probable health risk but also required ‘remediation or removal of all affected surfaces’.
ETU secretary Justin Page said workers were refusing to enter the tunnels due to the serious health risk posed by the air contamination.
“Workers have been raising concerns about moist conditions and inadequate ventilation combining to cause a serious mould problem in the tunnel, but no one realised just how bad the situation was or how great a health risk was posed until this testing was finally undertaken,” Mr Page said.
“After finally agreeing to undertake independent testing, management is now refusing to recognise the results that have shown extreme levels of contamination that are posing a significant risk to workers.
“This morning, management has continued to refuse to meet with workers to hear their concerns or outline a plan for removing this contamination from the tunnel, instead insisting workers go back into areas that have been identified as unsafe by the independent industrial hygienist.
“Our members need to know that they are not being exposed to a serious health risk before they return to working in what they now know is a dangerous and highly contaminated worksite.”
Mr Page said the NSW Government needed to get involved and identify how the fungal contamination would be remediated before commuters begin using the tunnels in the coming months.
“This is the signature infrastructure project of the NSW Government, yet from day one they’ve had a hands-off approach and refused to take charge of the very serious issues that have resulted in cost blowouts, poor planning and horrific workplace safety,” Mr Page said.
“The Berejiklian Government continues to put the safety of workers at risk rather than take action to address the serious issues facing this bungled project.
“Premier Gladys Berejiklian must take urgent steps to address these extreme fungal contamination before the general public begin using these tunnels, otherwise it risks becoming another mess like the light rail.”

Ground improvement works complete for new Steelforce warehouse at Port of Brisbane

Design and construction geotechnical specialist Menard Oceania has announced completion of major ground improvement works on behalf of its client, FKG.
With ground improvement works completed ahead of schedule, the Brisbane site, once built, will be a new warehouse for Steelforce, a major distributor of steel products in Australia.
The 25,000m² warehouse project, located in Port West – a rapidly developing industrial estate at the Port of Brisbane – required detailed ground improvement works, as it had been previously subjected to varying levels of surcharging to provide for a 20Kpa loading condition.
Geotechnical conditions encountered on site included a variable profile which was comprised of dense sand, soft to firm Holocene alluvium, and stiff Pleistocene alluvium.
“We established to site in early July 2018 to perform the design and construction of the ground improvement works on behalf of Port of Brisbane Limited (PBPL) and the main contractor FKG Group. Although the site had been previously surcharged, the project loading requirements increased in capacity to meet the needs of Steelforce, which required the entire ground improvement / slab package to be redesigned. We are delighted that Menard’s expertise was considered by the client for the successful and timely delivery of the early foundation works package,” Geoffrey Holding, Northern Region Manager for Menard Oceania said.

Container expert SCF signs on for MEGATRANS2018

SCF, one of Australia’s largest container providers, will exhibit at multi-modal supply chain event MEGATRANS2018, which takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10-12 May 2018.

SCF specialises in new and used container hire, sales and design.

The company supplies the Australian transport, resources, construction, defence and chemical storage industries, and manages more than 13,000 containers throughout Australia as well as a depot network spanning Australia’s major cities including Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Karratha, Perth and Sydney.

SCF’s product range spans tanks, containers for site storage, accommodation and intermodal equipment, including refrigeration, side doors, pallet wide and high cube containers.

SCF joins the diverse list of exhibitors signed up for the show who cover everything from transport, logistics, warehousing solutions, materials handling, infrastructure and more.

New 20,000sqm VIC facility for Simplot Australia

Agricultural business Simplot Australia has committed to a new facility in Truganina, a 20,725m2 site with an additional 5,156m2 of super-canopy.
Simplot Australia owns Australian brands such as Birds Eye, Leggo’s, Chiko and Edgell, John West and Lean Cuisine, and distributes its products to supermarkets and foodservice outlets across Australia.
The company used the back-to-back expiry of both a third-party logistics (3PL) operating agreement and a property lease to review its mid- to long-term operational strategy, with design help from consultancy TM Insight and construction carried out by property group Dexus.
“From the outset, we worked with Simplot to design the internal and external operations with efficiency and flexibility of primary importance,” said Milan Andjelkovic, Director, TM Insight. “The end result will see Simplot implement various types of automation which will reduce order to delivery timeframes and substantially increase operational efficiencies and accuracies for Simplot’s customers.”
Chris Mackenzie, Head of Industrial Developments, Dexus, added, “This new facility will set a precedent for integrated supply chain and property outcomes in Australia with the customer, developer and experts working together to produce significant operational savings for the customer.”
The facility will be operational in the first quarter of 2018 and will have an end value of approximately $25 million.
Simplot_v2_cam1_20170510a

Industry speakers announced for CCF Summit

The Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) has announced the key individuals and business leaders set to speak at its 2017 Australian Infrastructure Summit this November.
The event will be held in Canberra on 20-21 November at the QT Hotel, with presenters comprising representatives from some of Australia’s leading corporations and government bodies, including:

  • Nick Cleary, Chairman, CLARA
  • Marc Allen, Programme Commercial Manager, Australian Rail Track Corporations
  • Sal Petroccitto, CEO, NHVR
  • Andrew Brown, Sales Director ANZ, PelicanCorp
  • John Murray AM, Australian Governments Security of Payments Legislation Review
  • Colonel Matt Galton, Director of the North Program, Capital Facilities and Infrastructure

The event also incorporates the launch of the 2017 Australia Infrastructure Outlook Report with Adrian Hart, Senior Economist, Infrastructure and Mining, BIS Shrapnel at the CCF Infrastructure Outlook Breakfast, which includes an address from Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester.
The Summit will play host to one of Australia’s most prestigious civil construction awards night – the CCF National Earth Awards, which recognises excellence in civil construction projects throughout Australia.
For more additional program and speaker information, and to register, go to the Summit website.

Pacific National responds to Federal Inland Rail commitment

Rail freight operator Pacific National has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to fund the Inland Rail project.
“More than thirty years since the ambitious rail link was first suggested, the 1,700km rail line is now well on track to become a reality following the $8.4 billion commitment in last night’s Federal Budget,” the company said in a statement.
“Pacific National believes the Inland Rail project will be transformative for Australia, helping revitalise regional communities and providing a boost in national productivity that will deliver for generations to come.”
Pacific National CEO David Irwin said, “Australia has a growing problem that can’t be ignored – we are trying to move too much freight on our increasingly congested road and rail networks along our Eastern seaboard.
“Inland Rail is a true game changer and we commend the Government for its commitment to such an important nation-building project.
“We look forward to working with the Government and all the communities along the route to see Inland Rail become a reality and ensure it’s a huge success once operational.
“We want a swift and smooth construction program and a clear path to the day the first freight trains can start using the route – and this will ensure potential investors and rail operators can plan for the future with greater certainty,” he added.

Tongue-in-cheek video takes a dig at construction and mining industries

Online plant hire equipment database iSeekplant has recently launched a new video marketing campaign, a raw and witty take on the challenges facing the world of mining and construction in Australia.
With the Australian construction and mining industries experiencing tough times, iSeekplant is using a creative way to cut through the loud market and get their message out.
iSeekplant.com.au is Australia’s fastest growing online plant hire equipment and services database with over 4, 000 customers, and 110,000 users in mining, infrastructure and construction which recently received investment backing from Seven Group Holdings.
CEO of iSeekplant, Sally McPherson, has created a series of short films that take aim at the issues facing construction and mining in Australia.
“Australia’s mining, construction and infrastructure industries are facing some of the toughest conditions yet,” McPherson said. “These industries are still some of Australia’s largest employers and the backbone of many Australian cities and regional towns. However, many players in these sectors are employing antiquated business practices and need to take a serious look at how they can shake up their business strategy to ensure they stay profitable and relevant in the modern, digital world.
“It’s vital that we take a serious look at how companies in these sectors are operating; sourcing equipment and resources, marketing, and the move to digital are all critical factors that need to be addressed.”
McPherson wanted to create shareable content that would resonate with her audience, aiming to reach over 20 million people through social media.
“Humour is often the best medicine, our videos poke fun at situations and stereotypical characters in the industry, which will mean we get cut through with our audience.
“Demonstrating our understanding of the uniqueness of the plant hire and construction industries, every frame of these videos is a celebration of the inside jokes and the humour that makes working on a construction site fun every day.”
iSeekplant’s marketing campaign videos premiered in Queensland at the Real Short Film Festival.
Aussie icons David Field (Chopper, Getting Square), David Eastgate (Under the Hammer) and Col Elliot (comedian) star in the tongue-in-cheek films that celebrate the distinctly Aussie characters and comical situations that arise at worksites across the country.
The first video ‘Poor Brian’ showcases the frustration in the industry of not being able to source the correct machines for construction or infrastructure projects. The other videos take a jab at the truckloads of trinkets that hire companies use to win jobs and also take on dodgy operators and time wasters in the industry.
To view the first video in the campaign, watch below. Two more videos were also released recently.
https://youtu.be/UX305tUVPVQ
 

JCB CEA Dealers and staff visit world headquarters

A group of LCB Construction Equipment Australia (CEA) dealers and staff travelled to Europe in January to see where the products they sell every day are manufactured, while receiving valuable product training across the JCB product line.
The trip saw 50 JCB dealers and JCBCEA staff visit the JCB World Headquarters in Staffordshire, UK where they were given the opportunity to experience the manufacturing and assembly facilities of some of the company’s leading products including the mini excavator, heavy excavator, backhoe loader, telehandler and the JCB Engine plant.
JCB CEA National Compact Equipment Manager, Phil Withell, said the goal of the trip was bringing the sales network together, providing the sales team with the “JCB experience” and further their knowledge and understanding of the brand.
“To do this, the first step was experiencing the “Story of JCB” exhibition at the JCB World Headquarters. The exhibition features full-size JCB machines including the original backhoe; the world’s fastest diesel powered vehicle -the JCB Dieselmax; and a replica of the original garage where JCB began 70 years ago,” Phil said.
“The entire facility was an investment of £5 million, with an aim to provide visitors with a clear picture of JCB’s DNA, through multiple displays and video presentations of JCB’s products and their history.
“The exhibition helped our team develop a real understanding of JCB’s heritage and future vision. The experience will help dealers and sales staff provide greater value in their future interactions with their customers.”
After the UK, the group travelled to a quarry site in La Manga, Spain, for product and industry training sessions.
“The La Manga experience was part of a JCB global training initiative which included participants from Europe and the UK. The sessions focused on industry segments such as agriculture, waste and recycling, and specific product applications were customised to address Australian conditions and applications. There was also a training on new products and marketing concepts which will be released later in 2016,” Phil said.
“Our sales team came away from this experience with a continued passion for the JCB company and brand, having seen its transformation and history, to where the machines they sell are produced and manufactured, they left with a feeling of excitement of what the future holds for JCB and their continued innovations.”

Decmil wins Hastings Terminal expansion contract

Decmil Group Limited has won the expansion contract for Hastings Fuel Terminal
in Victoria operated by United Terminals. The $27.3 million contract has been
awarded to the Group’s wholly owned subsidiary, Eastcoast Development
Engineering Pty Ltd (EDE).

To commence shortly, the expansion contract encompasses the construction
of two new 25ML flammable storage tanks, extension to the existing loading
gantry, associated product pumps, piping and fire protection systems and a
further replacement of two existing tank rooves.

EDE’s scope of work will also include the design and construction of
related infrastructure for the development, including civil, structural, mechanical,
piping, and electrical and instrumentation works.

According to Decmil CEO and Managing Director Scott Criddle, the new
contract further strengthens the company’s position in the oil and gas
industry, in particular fuel infrastructure, which has been an increasing focus
for the Group since the acquisition of EDE in 2013.

Decmil looks forward to expanding their presence,
not only in fuel infrastructure, but also in maintenance and related services
for the fuel infrastructure and LNG sectors.

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