Wednesday 31 October

Hansard of the Legislative Council



Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - This is a good-news story. The member for Windermere and I received news overnight of a special award Shaw Contracting has received and I want to make note of that in the Council. Most Tasmanians are aware of our own civil construction, earthmoving and mining industry contractor, Shaw Contracting. We are always being diverted past their roadworks and you see their signs on major construction sites. Their name is also on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment.

They are a Tasmanian success story. It is a very innovative and nimble organisation with a workforce of nearly 200 highly skilled and motivated people, both directly or by subcontract. I was speaking with Ace Shaw today, who wisely lives in my electorate, about the contract for TasRail that has gone to China, and he feels that is to the detriment of us here in Tasmania. He made the point that he recently put in a contract with the government and the contract went to New Zealand. He had to move his operation to Darwin to keep his workforce and people in work. That is probably a discussion for another day.

Alwyn tells me he has been trying to win this particular award for 15 years. It is called the Australian Earth Award and they have been announced as the winner. It is for projects in the $5 million to $20 million category, and there were entries from all states and territories in Australia. It is in recognition of achievement in engineering excellence, innovation and preservation of environmental and heritage values. Shaw's entered the 2012 Earth Awards with its client, Tasmanian Irrigation, and they won the award for the Winnaleah irrigation scheme augmentation, valued at $10.8 million. It is a shame the member for Apsley is not here to enjoy the mention of this project in her electorate. It doubled the sum irrigation capacity of the system. We were contacted by the CEO of Shaw Contracting, Mr John Lamb. He accepted the award in Cairns last Saturday, saying he considered the award an honour because of the hard work by the Shaw team over many years. Anybody who has talked to Ace Shaw always talks about his team and the members of the workforce that he cherishes so much.

Winning an Earth Award is immensely satisfying because it endorses Shaw's approach to business. They value safety, environmental care, innovation, quality and excellence in all they do. The award-winning Winnaleah project involved the laying of 14 kilometres of pipeline in very steep country, upgrading the 100-year Frome Dam and crossing the Ringarooma River. Mr Lamb said the task of installing pipeline in steep country, with the associated sensitivities of heritage and environmental values and consultation with local landowners, was a substantial challenge. The successful outcome is a tribute to the innovation and dedication of the entire project team and support staff in the Shaw family. Tasmania can do some things very well. I thank members for their indulgence in my presenting that Tasmanian good-news story.