Housing Estate Also Builds Careers

A new housing estate being built at Cherbourg will not only help ease overcrowding in the town – it will also bring many other benefits by the time it is finished in three years.

Sunshine Coast pipe layer Paul Tretheway with Cherbourg born-and-raised heritage co-ordinator Carl Simpson on the site of the new sub-division

June 26, 2015

by Marcus Priaulx

A new housing estate being built at Cherbourg will not only help ease overcrowding in the town – it will also bring many other benefits by the time it is finished in three years.

Construction company Carruthers Contracting is building the 28-home sub-division.

The firm began more than 25 years ago with just three people; it now hires between 70 to 120 people – along with more than 100 contractors – but is only using part of its workforce for the job.

Half of the local employees working on the project come from the Cherbourg or the surrounding area.

They’re working on the site as heavy machine operators, joiners, pipe layers, labourers and cultural heritage monitors.

They’re putting in roads, drains, water supplies, sewage systems and electrical conduits to feed power to the homes.

The local employees were selected via CTC Employment and Employment Services Queensland and were chosen for their previous experience or qualifications.

Some have also had on-the-job training and are now qualified to work anywhere in Australia.

“Everybody we’ve hired is doing a good job,” construction manager Peter Stewart said.

The construction of the first 10 houses will begin in the near future once the basic infrastructure is in place.

The other 18 will follow over the next three years.

Cherbourg Council CEO Warren Collins said the new houses would bring many benefits to the town.

“These houses will create jobs and business opportunities,” Warren said.

“Having fewer people within the homes should also benefit the health of the community and ensure our kids do better at school.

“That’s what we want, because it’s vital for their future and the future of this community.”

Studies have shown that residents of houses with two or more children sharing a room have more illnesses, and these illnesses are of greater severity.

And the added pressure of noise and lack of sleep compounds over time, making it difficult for children to succeed at school.

“This estate will reduce overcrowding and give younger people the option to move into their own places,” Warren said.

“It will also relieve stress on families and hopefully lead to a better society.”

Murgon State High School principal Greg Smith agreed the new houses could bring many benefits.

“The impact of having overcrowding when kids don’t get enough sleep is significant,” Greg said.

“When you see siblings who’ve not had much sleep, their behaviour mirrors it.

“This estate will be a much better outcome for the kids.”

Work has begun to lay the foundations of the new estate, which has pleasant views over the surrounding countryside

Alex Pyne, Coolum; Perry Cobbo, Cherbourg; and Adam Brosz, Redcliffe, hard at work on site


Construction manager Peter Stewart chats with cultural heritage monitor Lewis Williams


Cherbourg’s Charlie Fewquandie has a Certificate III in Civil Construction and drives rollers, dozers, bobcats, front end loaders, back hoes and all types of heavy machinery; he earned his qualification in 2004 and has been employed ever since

Joiner Perry Cobbo and labourer Cecil Sullivan, both from Cherbourg, are part of the construction team


A Certificate III in Machine Operations, Civil Construction, has allowed Coverty’s George Palmer to work on the project

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Bevan Anderson from EMC Training

Bevan Anderson would recommend working in construction to anybody.

He’s been doing it for 30 years and said it pays well, is full of variety and allows for plenty of movement around the country should people want it.

“You get a lot of job satisfaction as well,” he said while working at the new Cherbourg housing estate.

“You can take your kids around and show them where you’ve put in a street or a corner. The guys working on this sub-division will be able to do the same.

“They’ll be able to show their kids photos of when there was nothing here and say ‘I helped to build all this’”

The industry can also lead to many other careers ranging from labouring to heavy machine operation, working in the trades, engineering and management.

“It opens a lot of doors,” Bevan said.

“If you’re physically fit you can start as a labourer and you might do a bit of work with a surveyor, a plumber or laying out an electrical supply. You might then think that’s what I want to be: a surveyor, plumber, electrician!”

As Bevan’s own career testifies, there is no limit to how far you can go now.

He started as a labourer before becoming a leading hand, foreman and co-ordinating manager within 12 years.

Bevan then became a TAFE teacher and started his own registered training organisation, Earthmoving Mining Construction (EMC), four years ago.

“It’s been good,” he said.

“I’d recommend construction as a career for anybody; girls included. They’re usually better operators because they’re more careful and pay attention to detail.

“They’re not rip, tear and bust.”

[Photos: Marcus Priaulx]

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