Associate // Project Director
1. How long have you been with Groundwork Plus?
I started with Groundwork in 2013, so it is coming up 7 years! One of the key differences to my previous roles as an urban town planner is the level of project management and the long-term advisory role we provide to our clients. What I like about this distinction is that we are not just assessing or preparing a development application and moving on to the next one. Most of our initial clients and sites from 40 years ago are still very much active today, which is testament to how the firm operates.
Becoming an Associate felt a very natural next step, given the enthusiasm and work ethic of all levels of this business. In this role the range of legislation, the geological knowledge and the level of persistence required are important aspects in servicing the quarry and mining industries. Groundwork Plus has given me a much stronger appreciation of just how important the quarry industry is to maintaining and facilitating the projected growth of all major cities in the country.
2. What is your role at Groundwork Plus, and what does it entail?
I found out recently that one of our staff termed me the “glue” in the organisation - I was pretty chuffed about that. So many services and diverse units of the business (petrology, stormwater monitoring, environmental assessments, drone survey, safety management systems, to name a few). The importance of the firm working as a team despite this diversity cannot be overstated. My role as an associate is to make sure the communication and teamwork keeps getting better.
I had a laugh with my colleague, Jim Lawler, about how we can go for some time without touching planning schemes and associated town planning documents. Whilst this is still the largest part of my role, I have a much broader role in matters such as various environmental assessments, Environmental Authorities (EA) and quarry material allocations for sand resources (watch this space…). The diversity of my role and range of legislation I tackle is very much something I enjoy. No two days are the same. In one day this week I started with an industrial development in Brisbane north to QA review of an Environmental Assessment Report to accompany an EA, then over to a court matter for existing use rights and sand allocations out in the Moreton Bay navigation channel, with a leadership team meeting in the middle there somewhere – amongst a day of phone calls to/from interstate staff and clients.
3. What are your areas of particular interest or your proudest accomplishment?
There are quite a few. Tricky oil and solvent recycling yard (aka industry) in Narangba, BCC’s extension to the Bracalba Quarry up near Woodford (piece of trivia – I also worked on this site in 2006 as a Council officer for the first major extension of that quarry! good old Caboolture Council days), Bromelton Quarry near Beaudesert, Warrill View Quarry was a big job for Neilsens, which is a major new greenfield quarry operation out Boonah way. We have assisted with a number of new concrete plants and upgrades for Neilsens, Hanson, Holcim and Adelaide Brighton (sorry if I left anyone out…). Asphalt plants are flavour of the month at the moment.
Still love doing the urban work as well, which has encompassed most of my professional working life. Ranging from two (2) lot subdivisions (RiskSMART), up to a sizeable industrial development in Staplyton and residential townhouses in Mackay.
4. What is your favourite way to spend a weekend?
My friends call me the “grass man” and no, its not for the wrong reasons… I have the best lawn in the street. I don’t mind admitting I have a bit of a green thumb. I enjoy getting out with the family, try to get out on my pushie (bike has been gathering dust a bit lately though…), the NRL, V8s and general car hobbies take up a fair bit of time also. My wife is a bl**dy good cook and we love entertaining, so that’s another chunk of the weekend, usually.