Gladstone company scores contract for Philip St
WORK on the opening stage of the Philip Street Community Precinct will be carried out by a local company.
Long-standing Gladstone company Blomfield Excavations was awarded the contract for Stage 1a by Gladstone Regional Council at its recent meeting.
Mayor Matt Burnett said the $4.93million contract would involve initial earthworks.
"Earthworks are the biggest part of the project because it's a steep site so we are developing the front section and leaving 50 per cent at the back as green space," Cr Burnett said.
"It's a big project funded mostly by the Federal Government but in partnership with (the) council, the Gladstone Foundation, Salvation Army and the State Government.
"The exciting thing for Stage 1a - which is earthworks, internal infrastructure like water, stormwater, sewerage, electrical and telecoms - was it went to a local company."
Cr Burnett said preliminary work had started on the site with the removal of grass trees, and indigenous group Gidarjil had been consulted about surrounding cultural heritage.
"We had 400 grass trees removed in the last week and Main Roads will be on site for the duplication of the road and signalisation of Reef St, which will go into Dave Burns Dr," he said.
"Blomfield will do the rest of the internal work including Pengelly St up the top and they'll be on site near the end of (the month)."
Cr Burnett expected the precinct to be complete by December next year.
"That doesn't include the retirement village which we'll be calling on expressions of interest soon," he said.
"We've called expressions of interest in the past but every time we put in an application to build a retirement village there, it triggered the upgrade of the intersection and the duplication of the main road.
"Your not-for-profits who were very keen to put a retirement village had to walk away because they had to upgrade the main road.
"(Flynn MP) Ken O'Dowd has got the $20m to upgrade the road and now I'm sure we'll have retirement villages falling over themselves to get on this site - it's been a long time coming."
Cr Burnett said despite delays in breaking ground on the project, he felt the job would be done right.
"More than anything (those delays) have allowed us to get the money because without the Federal Government this wouldn't have happened," he said.
Mr O'Dowd said the precinct would be a central location for health and social services.
"The precinct has been designed to strengthen Gladstone's social service system by clustering community facilities," he said.
"I believe it is an invaluable project that will have significant benefits to the Gladstone and surrounding communities."
Blomfield Excavations was contacted for comment.