Alex Fraser has thanked its customers for their support of its COVID-19 hygiene and social distancing measures, as the company experiences a spike in demand amid Victoria’s continued infrastructure boom.
Construction has long been held in high regard by governments, the community and businesses as an invaluable outlet to stimulate economic growth in times of crisis. In Australia, the COVID-19 health crisis has fast become an economic one, as the Federal Government, states and territories leaped into action to reduce community transmission via stage 1, 2 and 3, restrictions.
Governments have assured communities and the road construction sector that vital infrastructure pipelines will continue. Construction was also been declared essential under stage three restrictions, with new guidelines introduced to the sector, agreed to by a number of unions and industry associations.
The NSW Government has extended construction hours so they can adhere to social distancing by spreading their work throughout the week.
Over in Victoria, the state’s premier Daniel Andrews has said construction will play a major role in Victoria’s economic recovery following COVID-19.
“It’s probably too early to tell what the impacts of this coronavirus will be on a whole range of different projects: both government projects — level crossings, road and rail, hospitals, schools — and also private sector projects,” Mr Andrews told ABC.
“When we get to the other side of this, the biggest construction boom in our state’s history will need to be even bigger. We will need to do more to protect jobs, to create new jobs, and to make sure that we bounce back from this as strong as we possibly can.”
As the pipeline charges on, the state’s biggest transport project, the Metro Tunnel Project is keeping Victorians in work, with the last two tunnel boring machines hitting the pavement.
The Frankston line also remains shut from late May as part of the biggest level crossing construction blitz – the Level Crossing Removal Upgrade (LXRA).
Alex Fraser is supplying thousands of tonnes of recycled products for construction and maintenance projects across Victoria like the LXRAs. The company is currently experiencing a spike in demand across its three Victorian sites, and has agilely responded to ensure the health and safety of its customers and its people.
Recent projects include supplying the Southern Program Alliance almost 200,000 tonnes of tonnes of recycled construction materials on the Mentone and Cheltenham Level Crossing Removal Upgrade (LXRA).
The project, expected to be completed in early 2021, is using recycled materials and is expected to save 170,000 tonnes of material from landfill, 1110 tonnes of Co2 emissions, and 185,000 tonnes of natural resources.
Works commenced in April 2019, as contractors removed level crossings at Balcombe Road in Mentone and at Cheltenham’s Charman and Park Roads. The construction of the two new stations is complemented by a 3.5 kilometre shared use path and expansive public space.
It’s not only rail projects capitalising on the benefits of recycled products; major roads projects – like the Mordialloc Freeway, Monash Freeway and Western Roads upgrade – are utilising thousands of tonnes of recycled materials, including millions of glass bottles from kerbside collections.
“We’re reprocessing priority waste streams into high quality construction materials to supply rail and road projects with a range of high-spec, sustainable products that cut costs, cartage, and carbon emissions, and reduce the strain on natural resources,” said Alex Fraser Managing Director Peter Murphy.
Mr Murphy said the Alex Fraser team was focussed on helping their customers finish their projects safely and on time.
He said customers had demonstrated an enthusiastic and proactive approach towards the changes put in place to ensure safe operations during COVID-19, including the switch to electronic payments, reducing the use of dockets and bringing their own PPE and radios to sites.
He said that Alex Fraser customers’ immediate and accepting response to the company’s introduction of COVID-19 safety measures demonstrated great community spirit and goodwill.
“We’re been very encouraged by our customers’ response to our hygiene and social distancing measures,” Mr Murphy said.
“Our employees have done a stellar job at implementing a wide range of new controls to our workplaces, very quickly. Many of these involved changes to the way we interacted with our customers, who have all been understanding and supportive.”
Image: the Alex Fraser team at Laverton’s Sustainable Supply Hub meet for a pre-dawn toolbox meeting to discuss COVID-19 safety.