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Construction has begun on Australia’s first mass timber fire station in Maryborough, and Wombat Hire is on it. Working under Hutchinson Builders and with stakeholders including Hyne Timber, XLam, Baber Studios, Construction Skills Queensland, the University of Queensland, and the Queensland Government, Wombat Hire has been contracted to assist with plant and equipment supply, earthmoving services, and more.
The Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) complex will replace the current Lennox Street fire station building while keeping the brick facade. Wombat Hire’s plant for hire and earthmoving services helped to set the groundwork for the project. The first step fro Hutchinson Builders was careful demolition, dismantling, heritage facade restoration, and surrounding construction on the project. For Hutchinson Builders, Hyne Timber, and government stakeholders, protecting the site’s heritage value was paramount. By engaging Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) construction and glulam construction methods, this project upheld Maryborough’s proud nickname, ‘The Timber City’.
As a local Fraser Coast contractor working on a range of vital projects across Maryborough and surrounds, Wombat Hire has contributed to the community’s development and innovation with quality construction services. Supporting local was treated as an essential part of the project’s management, ensuring products were sourced from nearby renewable plantation forests.
This is also in keeping with the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s Wood Encouragement Policy.
Hyne Timber executive director James Hyne said, “From the local plantation forest through to the Tuan sawmill and ending in our new Glue Laminated Timber plant, this building in the heart of our hometown will be a showcase of contemporary, mass timber capability, proudly grown and processed right here in the Wide Bay.”
The Wombat Hire team’s experience on a range of niche projects across the region enabled them to perform high-quality earthworks that effectively prepped for CLT construction. Maryborough’s new fire station is built from 500 cubic metres of mass engineered timber. The material is essentially formed by sticking thin layers of soft wood together. Slabs of wood like this can exceed the durability and fire resistance capabilities of concrete and steel. CLT construction is also more environmentally friendly than alternatives – when it comes from renewable forests like the ones used for the Maryborough fire station, the supply chain costs come out approximately carbon neutral.
Hyne Timber’s strategic relations manager said, “From the seedling’s nursery all those years ago, to the mature plantation pine through to the sawmills and glue laminating plant, many local Queenslanders have had a hand in this project.”
“Everyone involved in the project has been passionate about creating a sustainable building that’s great to work in for our emergency services personnel.”
As of August this year, construction has officially begun on this 12.1 million dollar project. MP Bruce Saunders and representatives from Hutchinson Builders, Hyne Timber, and QFES started us off with a sod turning (ground breaking) ceremony on July 20.
“This is probably one of the best things I have been involved in since becoming Member for Maryborough,” Mr Saunders said.
The project is set to be completed by late 2022.
Wombat Hire upheld their high standard of work even throughout challenges on site, including wet weather and PFAS contamination. These delays were no match for the Wombat Hire team – by rearranging our project schedules to suit site conditions, we were able to work rain or shine through the process until PFAS removal was complete and weather was dry enough for effective concreting and other rescheduled work.
For Maryborough locals reading this: don’t worry, your firefighters are still operating as normal during construction. You can find them on Lindah Road.
93 Sorenson Rd, Gympie, QLD 4750
82 Sandalwood Lane, Forest Glen, QLD, 4556
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