A Foundation of Fifty Years to Build Upon

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-By Aleisha Parr

Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in Rockhampton this year, Central Queensland building group J M Kelly (Project Builders) Pty Ltd is one of the region’s leading privately owned construction companies. As a large, regionally based contracting company, J M Kelly directly employs its own trades and is parent company to ten individual and diversified businesses which operate as subcontractors within the construction industry. J M Kelly is able to undertake projects across Queensland and Northern NSW through its offices in Rockhampton, Brisbane, Gladstone and Mackay.

Although JM Kelly has extensive experience across all market sectors including Health and Community, Education, Commercial and Retail, Industrial, Government, Heritage, Sport and Leisure, Multi-Residential and Resort and Tourism, it is currently focussing its efforts in the Defence and Primary Industry sectors.

J M Kelly Project Builders holds a State Government Pre-qualification Registration (PQC) to carry out State Government contracts. Its PQC rating is level 3 and its allowable annual turnover in the Government sector exceeds $180 million.

The company devotes great attention to upholding its high level of quality and performance, and maintains third party certified Quality Management (ISO 9001) and Health and Safety (AS 4801:2001) Systems and has attained accreditation by the Federal Safety Commissioners Office. Currently, it is in the process of developing its Environmental Management System in line with ISO 14001 for accreditation early next year. J M Kelly maintains its QBSA open builder license and Government PQC rating to Level 3 and is a CostX certified partner.

Geoff Murphy, the company’s Managing Director, says, “We are a well-established regional based company that offers value for money and relationships within regional Queensland that provide advantages to any project that a client wishes to construct.”

Those relationships are essential to J M Kelly’s continued success, both within the communities in which it works and also in-house with its own employees. J M Kelly believes firmly in supporting local communities both through the sourcing of its materials, systems and services (which as an added benefit has also helped the company reduce its carbon footprint as well as support local employment and community growth), and in the hiring of its nearly four hundred local staff members, of which more than a quarter are apprentices or trainees. As such, J M Kelly is Central Queensland’s largest employer of apprentices, and in a recent survey, was noted as contributing either directly or indirectly to the combined wages of at least one in five households in the region. This is a notable accomplishment in terms of helping to increase the number of employed skilled workers in a region currently experiencing a work shortage due in part to the influx of construction companies responding to the resource boom.

To this end, J M Kelly has implemented and maintains an apprentice coordinator program over the last three years which has consistently exceeded the Queensland Government Apprentice Training Requirements. The improvement program is supported by an Apprentice Coordinator and a dedicated HR Manager, who assist in the delivery of staff initiatives such as the recently launched Diploma program in Project Management – available to all J M Kelly staff – which ensures industry recognition of qualifications.

“We believe that personal improvement programs of this type have a beneficial impact on our services, the self-worth of our staff, and as a major local employer, a flow-on effect to the community as a whole,” explains Mr Murphy. “J M Kelly employees are part of the J M Kelly family, there is no policy that defines this; it is just the way things are.”

The JMK Management team is a group of experienced professionals from diverse industry backgrounds, many of whom have worked their way up to management positions from trade backgrounds and within the company itself. “We have a flexible and experienced management team with an understanding of the various roles undertaken by their colleagues and an ability to support and offer advice as required.”

With a staff of experienced Planners, Project Managers, Construction Managers, Quantity Surveyors and Civil Engineers with expertise gained over many years of practical experience, J M Kelly is prepared for any project, big or small. The infrastructure and resources of J M Kelly (Project Builders) Pty Ltd extends to the full utilisation of the J M Kelly Group of Companies.

“Each year we hold a Management Conference where we bring our senior personnel (about seventy managers) into Rockhampton to share successes and challenges of the past year and to look ahead. The conference is followed by a social function where we continue to share experiences and to acknowledge good work and long service.”

All of this focus on building strong relationships and nurturing employee skills has had a definite impact on how the company performs in the industry. J M Kelly has built for itself an uncompromised reputation for integrity and fairness in dealing with project teams and partners. Innovation and quality are the cornerstones to the company’s operations and are present in all projects completed by the group.

“Solid industry relationships are the key to providing consistent high quality service and advice to our clients which is evidenced in our expanding return client base.”

Beyond that, J M Kelly has a tradition of recognised success and has been recipient to numerous industry awards over the years. “JMK are proud to have won a hat-trick of Master Builders Housing & Construction Awards this year to add to the plethora of awards from previous years.”

Awards for 2011 include Refurbishment and Renovation under $4 million (Regional and State) for the Heritage project at Rockhampton School of Arts; Sporting and Community Service Facilities under $4 million for the All Abilities Reserve in Yeppoon; and Commercial Premises under $4 million for the office refurbishment at 609 Robinson Road, Aspley.

As the Central Queensland construction industry continues to find its way despite its slow growth, no doubt we will continue to see J M Kelly expand upon the strong foundation it has patiently and carefully built over the last fifty years. With its strict attention to quality and safety, and its exceptional relationship building skills, the company plans to spread out further afield, progressing not only its reach but also making positive contributions to the state of the industry and quality of life for each community it works within.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

July 14, 2020, 3:04 PM AEST