Builders work on how to cope in boom time

ORANGE’S building industry is headed for a boom year with builders saying they will need every available tradesman to handle the massive workload.

Although Orange builders have not landed work in the Federal Government’s first 20 per cent stimulus package allocation of school building works to start next month, builders are gearing up for the next big wave of tenders in July involving Orange schools.

Orange builders Mick Banks, Luke Knight, and Matt Lindfield held talks yesterday with Master Builders Association representative Mark Shearwood who is coordinating expressions of interest in the national tender process for Orange members.

Mr Lindfield said for many Orange builders the new work would be a great boost but also a juggling act because of heavy work commitments already in place.

“There’s no recession here - I have used every available tradesman there is in Orange and I’ve even advertised and have got men coming up from Sydney,” said Mr Lindfield.

“I had one bloke ring me and ask when he could start, drove to Orange and stayed in a caravan park and started the next morning.”

Mr Knight said Orange builders were conscious of looking after existing customers.

“We have to make sure we keep everyone happy and it’s going to be a real balancing act,” he said.

Mr Shearwood yesterday offered assistance to builders to help them fill out their expressions of interest applications to be lodged with the coordinators of the national schools building program, Laing O’Rourke.

Mr Shearwood said expressions of interest would include provisions for employers to take on Indigenous apprentices.

Among the smaller towns which have been included in the first round of announcements by the Federal Government are Stuart Town and Canowindra and successful tenderers will be announced in the next few weeks.

A representative of Laing O’Rourke said although it had been working with the Master Builders Association holding workshops around the country, any builder can lodge an expression of interest for construction projects in schools in the area.

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