Business Construction Workshop held in Quorn

RADIOACTIVE WASTE: Members of the Wallerberdina Station Economic Working Group at the Business Construction Workshop. PHOTO: provided.
RADIOACTIVE WASTE: Members of the Wallerberdina Station Economic Working Group at the Business Construction Workshop. PHOTO: provided.

A Business Construction Workshop hosted in Quorn showcased the potential opportunities for local businesses during the construction phase of the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

Several business operators in the region attended the workshop hosted by the Wallerberdina Station Economic Working Group at the Great Northern Lodge Conference Room on Wednesday, July 18.

Businesses were informed about the array of work packages available during construction, should the facility proceed at the Wallerberdina Station site, including catering, earthworks, labour and infrastructure.

Representatives from engineering firm AECOM, SafeWork SA, Industry Capability Network SA (ICN) and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) all presented at the event.

Economic Working Group Co-Chair Ian Carpenter described the opportunities for local business people throughout the Flinders Ranges and Upper Spencer Gulf as phenomenal.

“We’re aiming to use as many local businesses as possible. It has been stressed that we must use local people where they are available,” he said. 

“We’re also hoping some of the contractors take on traineeships so that young people coming out of school can get training in construction or an electrical apprenticeship.”

Businesses interested in work packages can register to the ICN to connect with tier 1 construction companies.

Regional Development Australia Far North (RDAFN) Deputy CEO Paula Osborn encouraged local businesses to use the system to present their capabilities to contractors.

“I think for any project or investment in the region it’s key for businesses to be involved and keep informed throughout the process, that way they know what opportunities are going to be available out there and they can also prepare themselves for what may come,” she said.

Ms Osborn said local business operators were keen to find out more about the potential work packages.

“It was good to see quite a few local and regional businesses engaging early in the process to find out how they may benefit if such a facility does proceed,” she said.

The Wallerberdina Station site is one of three nominated locations for the national facility, with the other two both based in Kimba.

A postal ballot is set to commence on August 20 to measure the community support for the three nominated sites.

Many locals have rallied against the proposed facility, but Mr Carpenter believes the project is a great opportunity for the region.

“If I didn’t think this was safe, I wouldn’t be spruiking it. I’ve been to (ANSTO) Lucas Heights, I’ve read as much as I can, I just think we’ll never see another project like this again in our area,” he said.

“We have a lot of people saying it will be dangerous, but it can’t go ahead unless all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.”

ANSTO recently announced the facility would create 45 ongoing jobs.