Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has toured the Halfway Creek Twin Bridge construction site where 80 percent of the workforce comprises north coast residents.
Last week Mr Hartsuyker visited the Halfway Creek to Glenugie section of the $5.64 billion Pacific Highway upgrade, where contractors CMC Constructions are undertaking major dual bridge works.
Mr Hartsuyker met CMC Constructions project manager Alistair Pagan and 20 north coast workers at the construction site – the first of forty bridges to be built between Woolgoolga and Ballina.
“It’s terrific to see CMC Constructions employing 80 per cent of their workforce from the north coast,” Mr Hartsuyker said in a media release.
“These are people from Coffs Harbour, Corindi, Maclean, Nana Glen, and all parts in between, working on the … upgrade in a range of roles, from administration and engineering to frontline traffic control.
“We are seeing first-hand on construction sites up and down the 155km stretch of the Pacific Highway upgrade, local … residents directly employed by companies contracted to complete this project.
“Construction of these bridges has created many hundreds of jobs for workers with engineering expertise, as well as opportunities for local contractors and suppliers.
Mr Hartsuyker said the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the upgrade will create up to 2,500 direct jobs and 7,500 indirect jobs between now and the projected completion date of 2020.
The Halfway Creek twin bridges are expected to take six months to complete, with the bridge due to be fully open to traffic in 2017.
The Independent attempted to ask CMC Constructions for comment on their employment policy; however, a spokesperson was unable to comment directly; instead advising that comments would have to be authorised by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
The RMS had not responded to the Independent’s inquiry, made on Friday morning October 9, by the paper’s deadline, noon on Monday.