In this blog, John discusses the long relationship that Superior has with providing stable floating helicopter landing pads for the Gold Coast 600 – Aerial footage courtesy of Gold Coast Helitours www.goldcoasthelitours.com.au
A highlight last week was my visit to Patterson Lakes a short drive down the Mornington Penninsula from Melbourne. This wide expanse of canals is under the management of Melbourne Water and they have Fulton Hogan as the Project Managers to deliver the largest infrastructure upgrade in the past 20 years. Each structure in the canals has been audited in a complete survey by GHD and the old wooden structures are being removed to receive a replacement jetty. This new design still has a wooden piles support, however the deck is supported with long lasting aluminium and a timber deck. Each home owner is consulted and offered the option to upgrade to a floating pontoon if desired.
Superior has a 25 year tradition of servicing residential clients so it has been a good partnership with a permanent crew on site along with one of our barges, Lobster, permanently located in Victoria for piling and demolition work. The Lobster craft is ideal along with pusher workboat Shrimp to access the tight lock gates and service the whole project from outside the residential estate.
Scott Edwards and the team at VCMC are our partners in this project and this team produces Superior products now in Victoria close to the site for quick and efficient response to client needs. On a water tour this week I was struck by the amount of floating equipment on the canals with more than 50% of customers choosing floating pontoons in preference to fixed structures. One tinny hanging by its mooring ropes was proof enough that fixed moorings are not a great idea anymore when floating is so easy to install and operate these days. Added to this were many boatlifts, skidocks, cruisers and kayaks showing living by the waters edge has similar appeal wherever you live.
Superior is now delivering the Sunstream boatlift solution to Victoria so we now have stock on site and ready to go to store your boat through the winter. Now is the best time to buy while transport is subsidised with the other works on site.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting one of our long term customers in the Seychelles, Eden Island Development Company. Seychelles is an island nation that lies a four hour flight south of Dubai and three hours from Johannesburg in the Indian Ocean. Eden Island is a beautiful complex five minutes from the airport and downtown Victoria on Mahe island. There are 500 villas and maisons in the final 50 Ha developed island which is connected to Mahe by a bridge. Each dwelling has a marina berth and we have worked closely with The Eden team and their project managers IOPM for over five years.
The team has been very thorough to ensure great architectural themes flow through the project but are still suitable for daily use. The design cues are based on traditional Seychellois buildings with steep rooflines and overhanging verandas to cope with the torrential tropical rains. The construction is of a high standard with solid concrete buildings and extensive use of traditional timber.
When it came to the berths the architectural team were looking for a subtle low profile system that continued the timber theme. The Superior Capri system fitted the requirements with the same timber decking as the verandas and a structural support system from a series of galvanised steel universal beams off the revetment walls. All of the floating structures are prefabricated from AutoCAD drawings with adjustable pile brackets. This makes on site connections a breeze and has allowed the teams in three different countries to stay on top of the project and deliver a simple solution.
On the economic front it has been fascinating to watch the nation develop so rapidly in the past five years we have been visiting. From a base of about four flights per week, there are now daily flights from three airlines into Africa and the Middle East. Eden Island itself boasts an improvement to the nation of over 7% GDP. Other new developments are springing up as well and tourism is an important growing industry. This was very evident on Friday while attending the awards at La Plage restaurant for the National Culinary Competition, with three winning chefs original dishes served in seaside splendour. Under the watchful eye of a 2 star Michelin chef, the local chefs produced an amazing original banquet that shows the Seychelles has a bright future with originality for those looking to escape for a unique experience.
Last week the annual conference of ARMA, the Australasian Rotomoulding Manufacturers Association was in Cairns, North Queensland. I was attending as a delegate and also provided one of the presentations on Becoming a Design Led Company. ARMA is a wonderful organisation that provides members in Australia and New Zealand with very professional representation in industry, government and internationally with the scientific community. As a former member of the Board of Directors I was able to see first hand the excellent results that Leisa Donlan and Michelle produce for members. Every year they surprise us with something new and this has allowed the industry to remain resilient.
One of my favourite results from ARMA has been the learning and friendships that result from having a genuine support group of like minded individuals. There are business deals, product sharing, technical benchmarking and international research all active from within ARMA. This is one of the reasons why I am sharing our experience at Superior on becoming design led in the hope to assist other companies to evolve with their unique brand values, a deeper customer insight and exciting new designs that improve the entire experience for all stakeholders.
The other reason is that many years ago when we had suffered a fire that severely limited our production for a few months, Leisa was immediately there to assist us. She gave us introductions to other ARMA members who could help us and they manufactured product for ourcustomers until we were back on our feet. I have never forgotten this as we would not have wonderful customers like Riviera, Fox Environmental or Greystone today if not for this generous support. Lets hope last week we could, in some small way, return the favour.
It has been a pleasure in the last week to host our joint venture partners from Superior Jetties China on the Gold Coast and give them a real insight into our operations. We especially want to thank the guys for giving up their Chinese New Year time with their families.
Superior Jetties China’s Peter Xu and Wang Feng are here to familiarise themselves with our manufacturing techniques spending time with our team learning our processes and systems and various aspects of production. Peter is the director of our China JV and Wang is operations manager.
Superior Jetties China trades as “Shen Bo Jin” in China and recently completed the NanChang Marina in Jaingxi Province. The Chinese have lots of exciting projects in the pipeline which include the installation of the concrete Elite pontoon and Capri range of Superior products. Our concrete marina systems bring a new standard of flotation to the market with its low maintenance ideally suited to the region.