The new $200 million Epiq Lennox Head development will create up to 580 jobs over the next five years, with the majority of work to be given to locals according to developer Clarence Property.
Epiq, which is currently the largest privately funded civil works project between the NSW mid-north coast and Queensland border, will deliver up to 335 jobs during its construction phase, with a further 245 ongoing jobs to be created at and supporting the project’s planned shopping precinct.
Construction is complete on the sold out first stage of the community, comprising 51 homesites and sporting fields, with the majority of work undertaken by contractors from the local region.
Clarence Property managing director Peter Fahey says he has already awarded $16 million in planning and construction work to Northern Rivers businesses and is committed to supporting local employment and economic growth as the project progresses.
Some of Epiq’s stage one contractors include Lismore-based town planners, surveyors and engineers Newton Denny Chapelle, Ballina-based civil contractors Morgans Earthworks and Lennox Head-based environmental planners GeoLink.
“It’s important for Lennox-Ballina residents to be able to take ownership of Epiq – this is a project being created by the community, for the community,” he said.
“We feel that by employing local businesses we are engaging people with the best knowledge of the region and the passion to create a place that will be a lasting legacy for their families.
“Aside from the social benefits, the economic flow on effect of keeping jobs local is astounding – particularly in regional areas. It’s estimated that the economic benefit of a local developer employing local workers is three times greater than a non-resident developer enlisting a team from surrounding areas, interstate or overseas.
“It makes sense to employ people who will spend most of their wages locally at the end of the working day so the whole community benefits.
“About 70 per cent of people who have purchased in Epiq to date are from the Lennox-Ballina area, so we are really investing in the lifestyle of our future residents.”
Clarence’s local employment drive has already come full circle, with local resident and Epiq civil engineer Josh Blackler securing a homesite.
Mr Blackler says he is excited to purchase in the community he is helping to build.
“I work for Newton Denny Chapelle, a Lismore-based firm which was awarded the contract to design and project manage the civil works for the first stage of Epiq, so I’m on site every day,” he said.
“I was impressed with the masterplan – particularly the inclusion of a shopping centre and sporting fields- so I looked into pricing for the first stage and decided to buy a homesite the same week I married my wife Cassie.
“We’ve just had our second child and we’re very excited to be raising our family in this new community, as I grew up in Lismore and have always loved visiting the beach at Lennox.
“Working at Epiq means that I can watch our new community take shape and I’m really looking forward to moving into our new home early next year.”