Mackay construction company, Fergus Builders, has secured the contract to build the $7 million Resources Centre of Excellence – a world-class engineering, industrial and technology hub in Queensland.
The Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region is home to 34 operating coal mines and the region is one of the largest Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) hubs in Australia.
The Resources Centre of Excellence, a joint Queensland Government and Mackay Regional Council project, will be an important nexus between research, education and the resources industry. Its objective is to leverage existing local expertise and further advance the state’s METS vision.
A key feature of the centre will be the inclusion of an underground coal mine simulator which will be available for testing, demonstrating and filming new equipment and products operating in confined spaces.
It will also enable new emergency response procedures to be practiced and refined and will allow tourists to experience what it is like working in an underground coal mine.
The Resources Centre of Excellence is expected to generate up to 22 direct and indirect jobs on-site and through the supply chain.
The Mackay Regional Council is managing the delivery of the Centre on council-owned land at Crichtons Road, Paget, with the facility to be operated by the Resource Industry Network once complete.
Resource Industry Network General Manager, Adrienne Rourke, said the awarding of the tender for construction was another important milestone in what would be a significant landmark for this region as a leading global METS hub.
“We’re extremely excited to be part of this innovative development for the Mackay region and are eagerly looking forward to operating the Resources Centre of Excellence,’’ Ms Rourke said.
The $3.28 million contract includes the construction of an administration building, workshop, laboratory, landscaping and utilities and sets it up for the next stage, which will include fit-out of the underground mining simulator.
Construction works are due to begin shortly, with completion slated for March 2020. The facility is set to be operational and ready for its first intake of students soon after.