Stimulating simulators

ENGINEERING and construction company Abigroup will now have greater access to its Gold Coast operations with a new $6 million facility in Yatala.

Abigroup national operations director John Kirkwood, says the facility will act as a plant maintenance yard, a telecommunications headquarters and a world-first training centre.

“We have to make sure we have people trained in how to use the scrapers, the dozers, the excavators and the dump trucks,” says Kirkwood.

“We’ve set up four simulators at this training facility and two of them are the only of their type in the world,” he says.

He says Abigroup is quite unusual in that it supplies its own plant equipment, so the 7,526 sqm site will benefit the company in many ways.

“We see it as beyond financial. It’s about maintaining our core competency in our operations and training the workforce to use our plant fleet, which is at the heart of our engineering and construction business,” he says.

“Why Yatala? There’s a few reasons – one is that when we’re transporting equipment we won’t need permits and it’s well placed on the Pacific Motorway.

“We do a lot of shipping of equipment into north Queensland, regional Queensland and the southern states, plus it also allows us to service Brisbane and the Gold Coast as well.”

Kirkwood says the land cost Abigroup $1.5 million at the beginning of last year, with $4 million spent on the building and $500,000 on the fit-out.

It is estimated that 600 staff will be trained at the facility annually.

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