Good news story – Nicholson Construction (Buy Local and Social)

Stephen Allen, Director of Nicholson Construction has provided this story relating to Local and Social Procurement.

Please provide a brief background and some context.

Nicholson’s are thrilled to be commencing work on Anam Cara’s new facility at the Deakin University Waurn Ponds campus.  Such a significant and important project for our Geelong community. The project consists of two interlinking buildings where the southern wing consists of a 20-bed guest facility and the northern wing entry, reception, amenities and infrastructure.  There is also a considerable civil car parking scope as well as landscaped areas encompassing a Wadawurrung Cultural garden.

What steps did you take to make a change?

This project was identified as a significant opportunity for Anam Cara and Nicholson to achieve excellent local and social outcomes given, both Anam Cara and Nicholson are signatories to GROW.  With both the client and contractor committed to adding social and local value through this project we sought recommendations from GROW as well as reviewed the latest GROW signatories through the GROW website. Our procurement policy then required consideration and weighting of social and local outcomes.

What was different after the change?

It’s a little early to definitively say what the benefits have been for this project. However, given the importance of this project and the philanthropic funding this project has received the buy in from local suppliers has been, and will continue to be, integral to the success of the project. By using local suppliers who live and work in the Geelong region it is easy to demonstrate just how important this project, once complete, will be to the Geelong community.  The enthusiasm to ensure this projects success is a result of our contractors’ commitment to Geelong.

What was the outcome?

To date we’ve been able to secure the services of Norris for the civil and concreting scopes, an excellent result given their commitment to GROW.  We have also identified a number of other opportunities for local and social outcomes including Gleaming Genies Cleaning Service, Fagg’s Mitre 10, Corio Waste Management and Go Traffic. Further to this we are in discussions with Ricky Kildea at Wan-Yarri to provide a member of the local Aboriginal community an opportunity to work on this project and develop lifelong skills as well as exposure to a potential career path.