WA firm eyes Gladstone to meet call for retaining walls

WITH 160km of retaining walls required across the Queensland coast, a Western Australian company is looking at setting up in Gladstone - with the potential for 50 new jobs.

Lomwest Enterprises managing director Cliff Strahan told The Observer this week that with problems such as Boyne Island areas washing away, his strong, fast, safe and green C4M building blocks would benefit the area.

The C4M is essentially a concrete tyre bale that when turned into a structural building material, has applications including retaining walls, sound and impact barriers or low-cost insulated walls.

Mr Strahan said he was looking at building two franchises, one in Brisbane and one in Gladstone, before the end of the year.

"We'd be hoping to get a contract in the meantime to back it up," he said.

Speaking at the Gladstone Engineering Alliance members update earlier this week, he said the way the company was built minimised logistics.

"The first projects went in 10 years ago.

"But it was a slow walk because I had to fund the project myself," he said.

"Over the years we built and tested the business model.

"There are some hire costs, but when you get the project done and it's raining and you don't have to wait for other issues.

"We found it looked to be 30-35% cheaper than current practice.

"BP is our crowning glory at the moment," he said.

"It was a temporary blast wall they asked for on the Thursday. By Tuesday we had it built."

As an example, he said the cost alone of taking traffic management controllers out of the equation, was $2000 less than building with limestone that would take two weeks.