The group representing some of Gladstone’s largest industrial firms in central Queensland says local labour contractors should look to services outside the construction sector.
Hundreds of business people gathered at Gladstone’s CQUniversity campus this week for the annual Engineering Alliance conference.
Kurt Heidecker spoke for the Gladstone Industry Leadership Group, which represents Orica, Queensland Alumina and Cement Australia.
He says the construction phase for Gladstone’s major new projects is coming to the end and local labour hire companies need to plan ahead.
“It’s probably even more important that local companies supply those service to operational industries than the companies that get involved with the construction,” he said.
“Construction goes for three years – these sites will be there for 30 or 40 years – so it’s really critical that there’s relationships to be built in business and in so many other things.
“It’s that personal relationship that’s so critical to building the understanding of what the need is and to getting the trust to go forward.”
Santos GLNG supply chain manager Michael Batiste says the gas firm will preference local contractors when liquefied natural gas exports start.
“There is clearly a preference for us to engage local companies,” he said.
“Whether that means specifically Gladstone local or Queensland local, we do have a preference for long-term relationships with local companies.”