Work fast-tracked on superstore
WORK on the Coles superstore in the Ipswich CBD has been fast-tracked to make sure the store opens as soon as possible.
Drainage issues early this year meant the original opening date was pushed back from the end of the year to next March.
But yesterday, Coles general manager for Queensland Mark Scates said construction was being done faster - and smarter.
"We've fast-tracked the work and have completed the slab first," Mr Scates said.
"That means we can do the work underground later and get the roof on, hopefully by July.
"All the walls will hopefully be completed in late July.
"We're very pleased with the progress and very pleased with the construction. It all revolves around getting that roof on. Once we can do that we can get on with the wiring, the concrete pour for the underground car park and all the other work that needs to be done.
"If we keep having the sort of weather we had today, we're looking at opening very early in the New Year."
If that stays on track, he said, the company would look to put the recruitment campaign into motion around November.
Coles expects to have about 350 team members and is committed to recruiting them from the Ipswich area.
"We're well and truly keen to get back in and serve the community of Ipswich," Mr Scates said.
"We're very aware of the impact that number of jobs will have on that community.
"We'll be looking for butchers, we'll be looking for bakers, night-fill staff, people to work in our apparel department, grocery and deli workers.
"It's great news for Ipswich and it's great news for Coles."
The new supermarket will have an extended range of apparel and merchandise, as well as plans for a cafe.
After the former store was inundated last January, engineers realised a new store would have to be built above the flood line.
In October, the old Coles was demolished and work started on building the first Coles superstore in Queensland.
The new superstore will be 6000sq m - double the size of any store in Coles' standard fleet with hundreds of employees needed.