Adam says the day in 2015 that the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife engaged AJR Construct to build an overnight stop on the Three Capes Track in southern Tasmania was the most pivotal in its history. AJR is now the go-to company for delivering eco-tourism infrastructure in Tasmania, and responsible for a large portion of the projects in Tasmania constructed by helicopter.
In 2018, the company completed two high-end sites for the Tasmanian Walking Company, which provides fully guided, high-end wilderness experiences. The 18-month project was a step up in degree of difficulty and quality from AJR’s first job on the track, the crew battling time and the weather to construct top-end facilities that included pools, massage rooms, full solar arrays, hot and cold running water, ovens and dishwashers.
AJR has developed its own systems to manage the military-like operation to safely drop in men, provisions, equipment and components, and set up facilities for a long campaign. To save time, labour and money it has established its own workshop to manufacture prefabricated components, and that has had spin-offs in other areas of work.
Adams says that on some projects site time has been slashed by 80 per cent. His crew includes a couple of boilermakers because the company makes all its structural steel as well.
But for an old chippie, the eco-tourism projects’ extensive use of hardwood timbers is a real treat. ‘Our boys love dealing with that sort of work. It’s real bespoke carpentry,’ says Adam, who still enjoys being on the tools when he can.
The work is demanding and requires a multiskilled and adaptable team, which Adam has taken pains to build over the years, with a strong focus on training. Eighty per cent of the team trained with the company and it employs a half dozen apprentices as well.
‘We like training new tricks into new dogs, it always works well,’ Adam says. ‘We have some kids working for us who get in a helicopter to go to work and they simply don’t know any different.’