1. CONSTRUCTION of Yeppoon’s new Bunnings Warehouse project is officially underway.

    A swarm of dignitaries gathered at the $35m Capricorn Coast Homemaker’s Centre this morning to watch the shovel go into the ground as construction for the multimillion-dollar Bunnings development begun.

    Queensland builder De Luca Corporation was awarded the tender in August, from a shortlist of five prequalified tenderers.

    The new Bunnings is expected to open in the second quarter of 2021 and is set to recruit up to 250 workers during the construction period, at least half of which will be hired from within the Central Queensland region.

    The new store is much larger than the current neighbouring one at 8,900 sq m, providing more than 7,000 sq m more space.

    Artists impressions of the new Bunnings Warehouse to be built at Capricorn Coast Homemakers Centre.

    Senior evelopment manager for Gibb Group, Angus Holloway believes the Bunnings Warehouse development represents a significant investment in the local community, boosting job opportunities and economic activity.

    He said it was exciting construction was beginning on the site after what had been years of planning.

    “It will come together really quickly now,” he said.

    Mr Holloway said those driving by could expect to see lots of work at the site over the coming months.

    “Things coming up out of the ground, walls going up, steel structure, roof going on,” he said.

    At this stage COVID-19 doesn’t appear to have caused any delays with supply delivery and construction on track.

    “The weather is always a risk, we can’t control that and we are entering the wet season,” Mr Holloway pointed out.

    Artists impressions of the new Bunnings Warehouse to be built at Capricorn Coast Homemakers Centre.

    Hungry Jacks, Gus’s Coffee and Fresh Trading Co are also poised for the site with construction set to start on their premises’ soon.

    Tenders are expected to open for the two food outlets soon and Procon Developments will be constructing the fuel station.

    “We always like to employ locally based builders like we did for Reece Plumbing,” he said.

    Bunnings Yeppoon store manager Kath Dingley was excited to bring a bigger and better offering to local customers.

    She said the new store would allow them to stock a broader range of home and lifestyle products.

    The new store will create more than 60 additional jobs for locals.

    “All our team members from the existing Yeppoon store will transfer to the new store once complete and will continue to provide customers with the best service,” Ms Dingley said.

    Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland, Gibb Group’s Angus Holloway, Bunnings Yeppoon Kath Dingley, De Luca Corporation’s Jeremy McKenzie, Bunnings’ Michael Heggie, Capricorn Enterprise’s Mary Carroll, Livingstone Shire councillors Tanya Lynch, Adam Belot and Andrea Friend with Keppel MP Brittany Lauga at the new Bunnings site in Yeppoon.

    Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll welcomed the development from Gibb Group that would provide enormous benefit to the community.

    “Capricorn Enterprise is proud to maintain our longstanding relationship with Gibb Group, who continue to ensure high quality developments are delivered in our region,” Ms Carroll said.

    “The quality partnerships that Gibb Group consistently bring to the table, such as Reece and Bunnings, reflect the quality of their operations and we are grateful for their continued belief in our thriving destination by providing development opportunities and job creation.”

    Over the past decade, the Capricorn Coast has recorded a 1.6 per cent population growth (equivalent to the growth rate of Queensland), and this trend is predicted to continue well into the future.

    Source: The Morning Bulletin, 14 October 2020