WestConnex contracts help Kurnell firm recover after tornado

A contract to supply variable and permanent tunnel message signs for the huge WestConnex motorway project couldn’t have come at a better time for a family-owned business, based at Kurnell.

Aldridge Electrical’s factory was extensively damaged by the tornado, which devastated the suburb in December, 2015.

The business was put out of action for 10 weeks and repairs, costing $2 million, were required.

Business owner Jason Aldridge said the signing of a WestConnex contract one week after the disaster was “awesome”.

The contract had enabled the firm to to get back on its feet without having to wait for the insurance payout, and secured the jobs of the 15 employees.

Mr Aldridge said the firm had since secured another WestConnex contract and the workforce at Kurnell had grown to 20.

The firm will supply signs across both the New M5 and New M4 projects while they are under construction.

Mr Aldrige said this was the first time the company had been able to complete a job of this type in its home city since the Cross City Tunnel. 

“We didn’t get any special treatment and were awarded those contracts over foreign conglomerates because we were price-competitive and they knew we could get the job done,” he said.

Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres, who visited the factory with Cronulla MP and Attorney-General Mark Speakman, said contracts worth about $2 billion had been awarded to businesses and suppliers for the WestConnex project.

Mr Speakman said the contracts to Aldridge Electrical would result in $6 million flowing into other businesses in Sydney’s south.

“Aldridge Electrical favours local suppliers,” he said.

“Electronics assembly is completed by On Track Technologies in Mascot, and Alumac of Taren Point is the sheet metal provider, meaning this project is having massive run-on benefits across our community,” he said.

The 30 kilometre WestConnex project, which is two-thirds underground, will link a widened and extended M4 motorway with a duplicated M5 East.