As part of work on the Emergency Services (ESAU) Portfolio in 2001, we recognised that there were synergies that could be obtained by standardising CFS building design. Consultation with the various CFS brigades concluded that the vast majority of buildings were similar in in their layout and construction and so we set out to standardise a series of 1, 2 and 3 bay fire station designs. This significantly reduced the cost of future design work in each of the subsequent budget years. 

We also completed another set of Project Management Procedures for control of all Capex Projects as well as implementing the Planning Package Open Plan for ESAU (which of course involved training of the permanent staff). Thus we concluded our time at ESAU with success noted by all members of the organisation. It was at this time that Greg’s nephew Anthony Cobiac started working part time for the company, assisting with the implementation of Open Plan into ESAU. He was the second family member to be part of the ongoing family involvement.

When good planning provides economic perspective

We were then called to Perth to provide Leighton’s with a detailed construction program for a 2 tower office complex on top of an underground carpark and podium / plaza at street level. One of the towers had a tight finish date as it had to be ready to receive an Anchor Tenant. The complex would prove to be uneconomic if it could not be constructed in time. There existed a Heritage Building on the site which required it to be retained as part of one of the towers. The site was called “Westralia Square”, from the old newspaper that occupied the site.

Westralia Square

City of Perth with Conceptualised Westralia Square

We worked with the Project Team to thrash out the finer details in order to set a controllable baseline for the project. It was through this detailed program that the decision not to proceed with project was made.

While in Perth, we were asked to review the Construction Program for the extension to the Roe Highway. The work recommenced, and in 2001 a new 4 km (2 mi) southwestern extension (known as stage 4) was completed from Welshpool Road to the purpose-built Kenwick Link (an Albany Highway bypass built in 1998) – most of which replaced the overtaxed William Street in Beckenham. Work on the 3 km (1.9 mi) long stage 5 was undertaken simultaneously with stage 4, bringing the highway to Nicholson Road in 2002.

Roe Highway

Roe Highway, Perth

Our efforts were instrumental in introducing significant efficiencies in various parts of the program particularly in the precast of the large T Sections for the bridges and elevated walkways.

As a result of the excellent work performed in Perth, we were asked to join the Leighton’s team in Melbourne to again work on the tendering of some major projects. One such project was the redevelopment of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In late-2002, work commenced on demolition of the Ponsford and Olympic Stands, along with the Members Pavilion, to make way for three new conjoined grandstands that encompass the entire northern side of the stadium. Complete with improved sightlines, amenities and comfort, the redevelopment was completed in time for the Commonwealth Games in March, 2006.

10 weeks were spent by GBA Projects with the bid team in the development of a very detailed construction program that accommodated the ongoing fixtures to be held at the ground. Unfortunately for Leightons and GBA Projects, Leightons was not successful in the bid which meant that Greg was unable to assume the role of Planning Manager for the project.

But this is the way the "cookie crumbles" on tenders - as some would say.

Still, whilst working away in Melbourne, GBA worked on the Construction Program for other projects, both for tendering purposes and for some that were underway. One such project was the Qantas Building. 

2001 was a year that solidified GBA's reputation for the development of detailed tender programs on complex projects. The next decade to follow included many more of these large scale developments.

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