THE State Government’s new fabrication facility at Jervoise Bay has completed its third small project as it continues to chase the large-scale contracts for which it was designed.
And in another sign of progress, the manager of the facility and key unions have moved close to finalising a site agreement.
The State and Federal governments have invested $200 million in the Australian Marine Complex’s fabrication precinct.
With Australia’s largest mobile assembly hall, it was designed to boost the competitiveness of local engineering and fabrication businesses.
Mike Bailey, the general manager of facility manager JBFM Babcock, said the work completed to date was helping to prepare for future opportunities.
“All three projects have been relatively small, but it is good experience for the facility and should lead to larger projects in support of the oil and gas, resource, marine and defence industries,” he said.
The site agreement will provide an overarching framework for companies that want to hire the fabrication facility.
“The key players are now fundamentally in agreement with the access arrangement,” Mr Bailey said.
“We would expect to see a fully specified employee relations plan from all users of the facility.”
JBFM Babcock would also retain the right to audit users of the facility to ensure they were implementing their agreed plan, he said.
Jock Ferguson, State secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, said he was satisfied with the pro-posed site agreement.
“We believe it will attract users to the facility,” Mr Ferguson said.
He added that users of the facility would still need to negotiate specific terms and conditions, depending on the nature of their work.
The latest project involved the loading of 18 pontoons onto a 12,500-tonne ship destined for the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.
Perth company Total Corrosion Control refurbished the pontoons, which had previously supported mineral sands mining equipment at Eneabba.
Three 40-tonne cranes were used to load the 25-metre long pontoons, which weighed a total of 800 tonnes.