SW firms contracted for reef work

LESLEE HALLSouth Western Times

Two South West companies will help with the manufacture and delivery of two Royalties for Regions-funded artificial reefs to be installed off the coast.

MJB Industries and Australind Pre-Mix, both located at Australind, were approached to participate in the project by NSW company Haejoo Pty Ltd, which was awarded the $1.8 million State Government contract to build the reefs.

The decision comes a week after Haejoo hit out at claims work on the project would be sent offshore to South Korea, with executive director Ryan Paik assuring there would be "vast amounts of works and opportunities'' for companies and labour in the South West.

"We value the importance of local economy," Mr Paik said.

"That is why we only consider local fabrication of modules and engaging with local companies and suppliers.''

MJB Industries operations manager Steve Hicks said Haejoo's only real option was to have the reef modules made locally because transporting them to the South West from offshore would not make economic sense.

Mr Hicks said Haejoo would be using MJB Industries' yard to set up the moulds for the reefs - which will be sourced from South Korea - and the site would produce two units per day of the 60 required for the two reefs.

"They will be manufacturing their units at our factory with local labour,'' Mr Hicks said.

MJB Industries will also be looking after the transportation of the units once completed and Mr Hicks said there may be opportunities for local divers to get involved during installation.

He said the project would result in positive future implications for the company.

MJB Industries' previous projects include the Bunbury Port Access Road and the Bunbury Inner Harbour Drainage Upgrade.

Australind Pre-Mix will be supplying the concrete for the operation, with the manufacture of the modules to start in early December and scheduled to be installed in February.

The reefs, one to be installed 6km off Bunbury's breakwater and the other off the Dunsborough coastline, are designed to bolster WA's fish stocks by attracting fish to the area.

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