Episode 90 - A once in 50-year project with Brett Winter from Geelong Port - The APP Group.

March 26, 2023
Episode 90 - A once in 50-year project with Brett Winter from Geelong Port - The APP Group.

Aaron Kyle 0:01
Brett Winter from Geelong Port, welcome to Build Hatch.

Brett Winter 0:03
Thank you. Great to be here.

Aaron Kyle 0:04
That's right now I say this every week, but I'm really looking forward to this one because it's such a sophisticated and challenging project. And we're here on build hatch. We have this saying that a picture tells 1000 words but doesn't tell the story. And it's not until we actually come to a project as sophisticated as this one, that people get a true appreciation about what goes into this project. So like all I guess, we always like to go back to the very beginning and find out how they got into their career. Now, you're the CEO of Geelong port here. So take us back to the beginning. Did you grow up here in Melbourne?

Brett Winter 0:39
I did. I grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Look, I started my early career working for Twitter, Australia, I always wanted to be involved in shipping and chips. And you know, I did international trade degree started off fortunately working with Twitter over in Port Melbourne. In their exports team, we were shipping cars out to the Middle East. And then from the economy to a bunch of different logistics base rolls, you know, it's always import export, handling different things. I've got to be closer to ports, through a few different roles, managing some production facilities around the country handling of on wolf cars and things like that, that are going to stevedoring for a wall. If you ever heard about stevedoring you get some great stories just ever podcast just there. And then I'll probably leave that one for a follow up though. And then the opportunity came up to come and work at the great Portage along. I snapped it up pretty quickly. And I've been here for the last six years.

Aaron Kyle 1:29
That's really interesting. How do you know that you want to sort of get into logistics or shipping? Because it is a bit of a niche, isn't it?

Brett Winter 1:36
It is it is. And look, I think that sometimes you just tend to gravitate towards things that you just naturally comfortable with. And logistics or supply chain is all about how you organise things, how you pull those things together, how you get the teams and the people involved to collaborate, working on a lot of different complexity, and then moving things through the supply chain is always a really satisfying thing, you get to see it end to end. So it's such a lot of different things in supply chain, which is one of the most appealing things. So I think I've just, I've kind of like most people, you sort of grow into your career, you find what you're good at, and you sort of keep doing it.

Aaron Kyle 2:11
Tell us a bit a little bit about shipping, like we're here in Geelong. And we'd have to be one of the biggest ports in Australia would it be?

Brett Winter 2:18
Yeah, look not quite as big as some of the main reports that you'll see or export ports, you'll see around the countryside, these big sort of mining ports, but we were Victoria's second largest port. So we handle about 12 million tonnes of trade every year and about 600 vessels. So that's gone up quite considerably. Now we've got the spirit of Tassie in here every single day. And we serve as a range of different trades. So everything from fuels and bulk liquids, which accounts were probably around about 6 million tonnes through construction industry, cement clinker, you've obviously got forestry involved as well, and a lot of agricultural trade, so fertiliser and grain too. So it's a real nexus of critical supply chains for the Victorian economy. And as such, we really do look at ourselves as being a real driver for the Victorian economy, handling billions of dollars with trade every year and making sure those different supply chains keep on ticking.

Aaron Kyle 3:10
Along ports recently been working with the Spirit of Tasmania, which, for anyone listening to this, who doesn't know, the Spirit of Tasmania, how often does it travel between here and Tasmania?

Brett Winter 3:23
Yeah, it's a daily service. So they are the critical sort of link between Tasmania and the mainland Victoria, there's a couple of different ships that service it. But Spirit of Tasmania is really unique one in that it carries both passengers and freight. So it's really important from a tourism perspective. And it's also very important from a freight perspective, like fresh produce and whatnot is coming between the two states. So they have around about 450,000 people travelling on the spirit every single year. So it's a very busy scheduled daily, what they call roll on roll off ferry service. So everything's actually driven on and off the ships. And I can get into that little bit later on around the design, but it's an iconic part of Tasmania, everyone, you know, around the country has either been on the ship or send the ship. And so for us to have it now here in Geelong is a real coup for the entire region.

Aaron Kyle 4:12
So as I said at the start, I was really looking forward to discussing this project. You know, if you're a business and you're looking at stepping it up with the big guys and dealing with, you know, a humongous array of complexities and challenges with a project such as this one. How does how does it all work? Like, take us back to the beginning, you know, does it go back to pre-feasibility stage, were you thinking we want to grow the port or attract a certain clientele? Like what's the motivation to do that sort of project?

Brett Winter 4:49
Yeah, look at he's a really big strategic one for us. And I mentioned earlier the port has quite a range of different trades, a lot of them a few related trades, and so we're quite concentrated in our view. names. So one of our strategies like many businesses is to, you know, how are we going to find alternative trades to help diversify the port, particularly, because a lot of the trades that we're doing in that space at the moment, obviously are linked to fossil fuels, which as we all know, over time, the usage is going to decline. So we've got a business problem in that, we need to be able to find alternative trades to help supplement that growth, and then that loss of volume that we will eventually get over a longer period of time. And so from our point of view, we identified very early on that there was some things that our port could do and some things are poor couldn't do. And what we do is we go through a process of trying to assess, you know, like many businesses, all those strengths and weaknesses, and what kind of opportunities sort of come out from that. And the Tasmanian trade opportunities was one of those that came out from it. Now, at that point, you know, we didn't have any relationships, we didn't have any specific plans, we didn't know all the major players. So we really did start from ground zero, reducing ourselves and

Aaron Kyle 5:55
for those that are listening, we're here in Geelong, which is what 45 minutes difference in travel by car

Brett Winter 6:03
that's 70 kilometres, so it's got a good freeway connection. So it's probably a little bit closer to one hour out of Melbourne,

Aaron Kyle 6:08
was quite a quarter coy really, isn't it, and I take it from Port Melbourne to idiot.

Brett Winter 6:14
I'm still probably suffering a little bit from that I have to get my head down in Melbourne when I walk around there. But, but yeah, Geelong is absolutely in love with the spirits and the entire region is going to benefit. It's such a beautiful fit. From a tourism standpoint, from a freight standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. You know, so we went through a quite an elongated process, obviously, to bring the spirits across, working with spirit of Tassie directly. And of course, they're owned by the Tasmanian Government. So we got the opportunity to work in a little bit more closely with the Tasmanian Government as well along the way.

Aaron Kyle 6:47
And like, Is it cold calling? Or did you have relationships with these people to try and find out,

Brett Winter 6:54
it starts off just like anything else, there's a phone call writes a coffee, it's classic, let's go and have a coffee. You don't know us. But here's what we do. Here's what we can do. If there's ever an opportunity or something you're thinking of come and talk to us. And that early point in time that unfortunately had what's called a breakaway incident at their pier over at station pier, which is where the vessel comes off. Its off its moorings, pretty painful for them because it shut down their business for a period of time. And so they'd been looking for a what they call a contingency berth somewhere that they could go just in case they had a problem with their home base, like a backup, then they'll be exactly right. Yeah. And so we pretty much came in on the back of that. We said, Hey, we could talk to about being that backup. And then as the conversation evolved, we got more understanding of their business. What were the pain points for their business, which is a really important thing to identify with your customers. Okay, what if you could start with a blank canvas? What would you do? What would you fix? What would you change? And so we spent quite a lot of times in discussions, working through different designs, understanding that before we sort of came to the realisation said, You know what, we could do the whole thing for you don't worry about contingency, why don't you move the whole thing down here. And we'll make it worth your while we'll make it commercially attractive, will give you a site 12 times bigger than your current site, dedicated birth incentives in those first few years to get off the ground. All those things that really made it an offer that they couldn't pass up on,

Aaron Kyle 8:12
you know, it's so true. It does start with those, those early conversations, being the CEO of such a large business and organisation, I imagine, you would find yourself thinking, Well, are we going to manage this internally, ourselves? Or do we go to external consultants? How do you weigh that up and make that decision?

Brett Winter 8:33
Yeah, that is a dilemma. And that's one that we really grappled with the port, whilst we manage about 15 birth source piers, and about 96 hectares worth of land, we are not a major projects organisation, what we do is really asset maintenance. So we've got teams and engineers that specialise in working in this kind of maritime environment, making sure everything's, you know, coming together nicely. But stepping into a major construction space is a different beast. And to be honest with you, a project the size of the spirit, at the port wouldn't have undertaking something like that for more than 50 years. Not since they really did the cells will upgrades. And even earlier than that, obviously, the expansion at Refinery pier and point Henry. So this was a really big project. And the organisation wasn't really geared up for that. And so you're right in saying that, how do you make that leap? Do you talk about onboarding? Now, one of the key things that we wanted to do early on, was really make sure that, you know, hey, we recognise that we need to help, we do need some outside support, because it's not our main game. But we also want to make sure that we get the benefit internally of some of that knowledge along the way. Not so much that we want to replicate it ourselves next time. We're always gonna run these kind of hybrid teams to be able to do something like this. That's the only way you can really sort of flex up and down because these projects just do not come along every year or anything. That's right. You said 50 years Correct. Exactly. Right. But we do want to make sure that our people get some experience from it. And they understand how that world works, because it's a different beast. You know, once you start working in those larger construction projects, it's almost an art form, as we've learned, and so the decision we made early on was to onboard some additional staff, they got complicated by the pandemic, I won't dwell too much on that. Yeah, we signed the deal as an example in April 2020. Alright, so that's one month after things started to look a little bit out of control with the pandemic and had all sorts of issues with recruiting people and getting right people into jobs. But then when it got to the actual construction phase, and the delivery of that we realised, hey, we really need some help here. And that's when we spoke to the AP crew. And we felt comfortable immediately with them. We had a good chat with their project director, Paul Kirkwood, he came on board. And he came on board from about May 2021. And so really, from May 21, through to October 23. For the launch, he talking about 18 months to deliver a massive project, you could imagine the pace that we're going, so yeah, for us, it was a blend, we wanted to blend two people on a blend of areas. So we got the experience, we also recognised Hey, this is not your main game, don't step into this idly, you got to really make sure you got some extra skill and a helping hand.

Aaron Kyle 11:21
So you guys effectively carried out, I guess, pre-feasibility if you like,

Brett Winter 11:26
correct? Yeah, we did a lot, a lot of that early work, we did that work with the customer, or design work with some engineering firms, obviously, around concept plans and things like that. But then when it came to executing what I'd call the construction phase, including tendering and supplier selection, and then the project management throughout the actual phase, that's where we needed the horsepower, to be able to essentially bring in a plug and play team, to be honest with you, which is what AP gave us in that scenario.

Aaron Kyle 11:56
Yeah, I think that's important for people to understand that, particularly when you're dealing with larger projects, equally realise at some stage, whether they want to realise or not, they get to that friction point where it becomes a bit of a beast, like you said, you need these professional organisations who have the capacity, the team, the workforce, and the contacts really. Now, you mentioned Brett, before that you brought on the AP group. At what point do you realise in in your organisation where it becomes to Mammoth, if you like, or you need that expertise to reach out to these professional organisations such as a pap?

Brett Winter 12:38
Yeah, look, another great question. I mean, I'd like to say that we had that in our minds from day one. But in truth, what tends to happen when you secure some of these bigger opportunities is you're so focused on let's call it the commercial side of that process, which is incredibly complex and difficult, that you kind of take your eyes off the ball a little bit around the resource, and you just think, Okay, well, we got to build that up. We can do this. We've done this sort of stuff or similar to it before. How hard can it be? Right? It's a class of nine. Yeah, of course, yeah. No worries, we projects a project, right? Yeah, doesn't matter. It's 10 million or 135 million? Well, actually, there's a very big difference. And so in truth, you sort of come to that realisation when you start looking at your programme, looking at what you've got to do. And it's a little bit of a case of having that that moment where you just sort of go, oh, hang on. Actually, I think I think we need to be dealt with this. And, you know, in a perfect world, we would have done that earlier on. But we sort of got to the point, we started looking at a lot of the times for the procurement and started to go, Okay, I know we need to, we need to kick off now. Particularly given the context was pandemic and the lead times are starting to blow out and extend. So had you had

Aaron Kyle 13:47
any commitment to I guess, from you guys to the Spirit of Tasmania back then?

Brett Winter 13:53
We did. Yeah. So we had a deadline. So they hadn't having to move births. So basically, they had to be out of their existing facility by 33rd, November 2022. We got them here and started on 23rd of October 2020. So essentially got in by about a month and a little bit, plenty of time. I kept telling them relax, we're fine. So yeah, there was always that deadline in place. But the biggest issue was around procurement, and also mobilising resources in the middle of a pandemic. Everyone in Victoria would know. It was a bit of a special experience for us. Absolutely. And building stuff during that period was certainly not easy. So yeah, the extra resource and experience from the AP group was invaluable in our regard.

Aaron Kyle 14:39
Did you at that, you know, that critical period of time when you realise you needed to bring on the big guns if you like. Did you have those relationships? Like who do you call? Did you do a ring around and say I look at jobs getting quite big. Yeah, expand ports by the way

Brett Winter 14:56
on how to work it really comes from you know, talking to our board, our shareholders, you know, we were fortunate at the moment, we had Brookfield as one of our core shareholders who are building infrastructure through many of their assets that they own around the world. And so, you know, we were able to sort of call upon them and say, Look, who do you think who have you worked with? With someone, you could make an introduction for us? And then it was a case of really having that meeting on site and you don't it's like, Aaron, when you sit down, you meet with someone, and it just clicks, it just fits sales, right, exactly in the questions that you're answering the right questions, they're saying all the things that you expect them to say. And so for us, it was pretty much a sort of one day visit that we had from the AP group that we went through that with where the challenges were going to be, and we got really comfortable, and then we move forward from there.

Aaron Kyle 15:46
And so what was the early steps, like does IPP come out and set up an office? Do they have it set team that comes in here and goes through and develops briefs? Like how does it work?

Brett Winter 15:57
Yeah, well, look, we had a bit of work that had already been done. But the problem was from a programme perspective, we have some challenges. And so really, the first step that we had, there was for the IPP team to come in and say, Okay, let's just do a bit of an assessment of where you sit right, now, let's just have a look at what's coming. Let's try and identify what the key risks are, where the things are going to really hurt your programme. And so it's a classic looking at critical path, okay, if you don't have these sorted by that date, you're not going to be able to build the ramp, you're not going to be installed this incremental do that. And so they've got a very systematic way of how they tackle those kinds of things. And whilst there was a bit of information to draw out through the existing team, very quickly, they were able to build a bit of a roadmap and, and be really transparent about where their headaches were, and where the problems were. And that's, that's one of the most important things upfront that, hey, this isn't going to be smooth sailing, these are your critical things that we need to work on. And we need to get on top of these things quickly. That's, that's how we're going to deliver the project. And I think it's important because you know, when I sit down as an example, with my board, or my CFO, even shareholders and say, here are the hurdles we have to go through, it gives them a bit of a heads up to say, This is what's coming. And we need you and everyone else to be aligned, so that we can make quick decisions and move through this process fairly properly. So doing that groundwork upfront, plotting where the icebergs are, and knowing that we're gonna have to navigate those made my job a lot easier, it's almost like a bit of a heads up that, hey, this is going to be coming in a few months, and he's going to come after that,

Aaron Kyle 17:27
I'd imagine also to wearing the hat of the CEO, managing this day to day stuff would be the last thing that you would want to get caught up in,

Brett Winter 17:37
understand, and that's not my skill set. That's not my game, I'm not a project director. As soon as I start delving into that space, you know, we're gonna have issues that is going to come off the ball elsewhere.

Aaron Kyle 17:47
And I also find a lot of people in your role to, you get very frustrated, because, you know, there's an old saying, about see having a memory of a goldfish, you know, because if you get caught up in those intricate little things, you know, operating at the right level. So you need to, you know, move on, find someone or something, sought that, that Spotfire out and move on to the next thing, it's not that you're not giving it the thought that it needs, it's you're operating at that CEO level.

Brett Winter 18:18
Yeah, it's very much a case of just making sure you're working the right level. And then with a project, there's so many different moving parts. On any given day, you could get drawn into an issue, the thing that I always sit back with amazing and watch quality project management, people working their craft, they are problem solvers, day in day out, there'll be things that will come up that will solve those problems or work through them. Obviously, it's been a lot of time planning and communicating and aligning things, but there's always gonna be something that comes up. And so the tempting thing for a CEO is always trying to interject yourself and say, Oh, we can fix this, we can fix that. But you can get overwhelmed pretty quickly. And so having the right people focusing at the right level, is really critical to the project and also the business overall.

Aaron Kyle 19:01
Yeah, definitely. Now, you mentioned right about the size of the project, what does it project such as expanding import costs roughly like ballpark?

Brett Winter 19:10
Yeah, so the spirit project was $135 million. And in essence, we were repurposing an existing birth that we had over at crikey south and an old cargo shed, converting that into a proper passenger terminal, which is a bit of a effort in itself. And then developing essentially 12 hectares worth of land, all the services that you can imagine that go with that to support, you know, the movement of all these vehicles in and out of the site. So for us, there's really sort of three main packages that we had to focus on as part of that. The first one would be in the marine package, which is basically the row ramp, which is kind of like building off a bridge and then attaching some link spans on the end. Think of it as being like a bit of a drawbridge that sort of loads down onto the ship. Then we have the terminal itself, which as I said, is this old cargo shed when you see the before and after pictures, you'd be amazed?

Aaron Kyle 19:59
Literally just We'll be able to put some up on our socials because I think that'd be really interesting.

Brett Winter 20:03
Yeah, you'll be fascinated to see that that transformation got a pretty good time lapse as well. And then of course, you know, the Civil Works Patty package, which is civil is one of those things that everyone always underestimates. I just see the hardtop at the end, they see the asphalt down and they go, Oh, that looks pretty straightforward. But you don't understand the amount of work underground to instal his services and navigate all those sorts of latent conditions on the site. That makes it quite challenging. So doing all those three things together, was going to be how to achieve the date that we achieved. And I think one of the unique things that we did with these, which I don't necessarily recommend to your listeners, but it was the only way we could really accelerate programme is we actually broke up those packages. So one of the really unique parts about this build was that we literally had three principal contractors operating at our site. Now it's a big sites effect, so we can sort of divvy up areas. But typically, the way these projects get done is they'll pick a single contractor, or run the whole site, and they'll sub out what they need to, we went with a bit of a different model, which really helped us accelerate the timelines. And I think also, that model work because we had a great project management team that was able to really connect the different principal contractors and make sure we didn't have any conflict there. And early on, the principal contractors really made quite a commitment to making it work. Given the high profile iconic nature of the project.

Aaron Kyle 21:27
Yeah, I'd imagine that would help Spirit of Tasmania, what a great opportunity to be a part of it. So to have three contractors working, you know, in their own little areas did

Brett Winter 21:38
exactly good. Initially, we had BMD working on the civils, their first class in terms of how they operate, we had Fitzgerald's working on the marine side, they've done a number of big projects around Australia, really clever guys are supported by Krypton engineering on linkspan. And then we had Kane, a bit of a local hero working on the terminal. And Kane's work is sort of scattered right across the Geelong. region as well. So talking to them about the project early on, everyone understood it was a legacy project. Yeah, this was a minimum 30 move for the Spirit of Tasmania, 30 to 50 years. And you've got the entire community and region excited about this, you know, we want to make this work, we want to make it good. And so that was really helpful. I mean, you had people really going out of their way to make sure that that everything clicked. And I'd imagine that anyone who's worked on a site with sort of multi subcontractors on it, there's always a few headaches here and there. But I was really impressed to be honest with you the way these, the PCs actually pulled together and got the result for it.

Aaron Kyle 22:36
So where the contract packages completely like was it DNC or complete or construct only everything was designed to

Brett Winter 22:44
be to a mixture, but it would make sure we had DNC in there, we had lump sum as well. And then we also had target price. So if you like complexity,

Aaron Kyle 22:52
this is the second time I've heard target price in terms of, you know, tendering and dealing with clients in the in the last week. So I think it might be a new initiative that's starting to creep up in competitive times.

Brett Winter 23:06
It could be it could be I mean, it's the first time I've seen it deployed, it was something that we worked with the AP group on, they had to sort of coax us into confidence on that front, because we'd never used it before. Everyone's pretty straight. Everyone's pretty much across DNC and lump sum, right? We know you're getting that in that side. This one requires a little bit more trust from both parties. Yeah, that definitely played a certain way. And so it was pretty unique. But again, it's worked out, it's worked out in the end, for both parties in that regard,

Aaron Kyle 23:33
essentially involves you revealing the magic number, probably minus a bit of spare capacity for scenes and stuff like that. Telling you, your number to your contractor, if you like from the beginning.

Brett Winter 23:48
Yeah, that's right, more or less, you're establishing that target. And then you basically sort of creating a bit of an incentive for over and under. So there's a bit of a pain, share, gain share for each party in that regard. And you're very transparent about that saying, Look, we want to work with you. This is the number that we're targeting. And of course, you can't be silly with anything like that. These are experienced contractors, they know what they're doing. And, and vice versa. There's a degree of trust on our side, too, as well. So that was the first one, we've done that. But again, I probably wouldn't recommend doing three different styles on the project, I think our legal team would probably throw me off the end of the end of the wolf by the end of the project. But it came together It really did. And again, because we had a great project team in there that helped help make it work in each scenario. So in many ways there and it's kind of like we've done three projects in one. And it all be a little bit different. I'm sure there'll be a few Project Management Professionals scratching their head saying, Oh, what are they doing here? How did that work? But given the constraints that we had, you know, that was the best way for us to maximise the tension in the tendering five but also still get the quality we needed. Because in a day we had a date we had to deliver on.

Aaron Kyle 24:53
Well, I think you've hit the nail on the head there where you said, you know, there's that critical delivery date so you kind of have to move and roll with it, this was sort of kicked off in 2018, you went through that whole process during COVID, construct the construction industry kept going. So it was very difficult to find people. So I think that's probably the most interesting aspect out of the whole initiative is to find a business model that works. So you can deliver those outcomes. It is

Brett Winter 25:23
I mean, it wasn't cookie cutter by any means. I mean, the entire deal right from the start wasn't cookie cutter. But it was sort of based on this premise that, you know, we can keep solving these challenges as we go. And I use this analogy a little bit with my team sometimes, and I'm not sure if they hate it or love it. But I say to them, guys, we're building the plane as we're flying it, right. And it sounds a little scary in that regard. But the reality is, sometimes these commercial opportunities only come up, and they're there for such a short window, if you don't see them, it might not be perfect, they might not be laid out a nice cookie cutter. And you've got five years to do this and do that, which is typically when you're doing big infrastructure, how it all works. But this is this is our opportunity. So we're gonna have to close this deal and then work through a bit of a different process that we've not worked through before. And that takes, you know, the degree of risk in it. That's how you see all these kind of opportunities, you have to take a little bit of that risk. no risk, no biscuit is the is the phrase, right? So you've got to say, go for it. Within the reasonable grounds, of course, for my shareholders that are listening in. But yeah, it is one of the things that does, it comes back to people really comes back to people, if you don't have the right people with the right mindset, then you can take those kind of risks, and it can just blow up in your face. Yeah. 100%.

Aaron Kyle 26:35
Now, what about behind the scenes? So the AP group, were project or the programme manager of the Spirit of Tasmania and the port expansion now, with you as the client, like are they reporting to you on a weekly basis, daily basis? How does it work? Yeah,

Brett Winter 26:54
it's a pretty much integrated project team. So we actually even had some of our engineers working in reporting in TPP. And then there's other services you need to provide to a project right beyond managing this sort of, you know, programme and things like that. So we had our legal team working on it, we our safety team embedded in the project safety environmental team. And then from a commercial standpoint, obviously, you still have to be the face to the client as well. But in essence, I had a project director reporting straight into myself. And we became a little bit like Batman and Robin, I guess, for the project, you know, we'd be in the other state goes the clients Decaux and in the shareholders decal, as well. We sort of divide and conquer that way. I'm not sure who was Batman and Robin, maybe I'll claim that maybe, yeah.

Aaron Kyle 27:38
Yeah, definitely. I'm still fascinated how you've managed to be able to grab the Spirit of Tasmania convinced them to move their facility here to you right in the heart of Geelong. What's next in the pipeline with you and the port here?

Brett Winter 27:52
Yeah, well, look, our confidence is riding pretty high as you can imagine, and this is a pretty big deal. We've done a few other larger deals in the last sort of five, six years as well. But we've got a really strong strategic plan, we know the areas we want to target, we're really trying to be ahead of the curve. And so one of the bigger things that we're focused on right now is the development of an offshore wind farm terminal. So you would have seen potentially through the Victorian Government, their policy and their strategy setting, setting around energy, that there is a real pivot towards constructing these offshore wind farms, the first ones being constructed, essentially off Gippsland by star of the South. And, you know, we've put forward a concept earlier in the in the year, which basically sees us transforming ourselves precinct into an offshore wind farm handling terminal. So you can imagine these large blades that are coming in 90 metres plus over dimensional loads, getting loaded on to specific barges to support the offshore wind farm construction industry. So, we're trying to get into those projects that are all part of that energy transition, we also launched the hydrogen hub, as well. And we're working with some partners there. So we've got about 25 hectares of land over the cells, we were looking to develop new berthing infrastructure, and all that land behind that within the sort of next three to five year window. So for us, we're deep into the next phase, working with potential customers, working with all the different planning authorities, what we need to do how we need to do it. And the great thing is because we've come off spirit, we've learned so much from that. Right now. We're now in the game. Right now. Now we've sort of taken the shine off the new ball, we know how the next one's going to come down. And so we're already thinking about the best way to mobilise teams and how we do all these different things. And it's a really exciting period for the port. It's a really exciting period of growth. And so I think that'll be the next big one. You'll hear from us in the certainly in the in the short term. You know, we're hoping to land something on that within the next sort of two years, and then get cracking on build.

Aaron Kyle 29:51
The most fortunate thing about you here in Geelong is you've got the real estate I guess, to expand and you're not so restricted. By, by space, I'd be really interested to know what this has done for the city of Geelong. It's gone from Port Melbourne, which is pretty bustling sort of Cafe lifestyle and Bayside to here in Geelong. I bet there's a few Cafe owners and hospitality people that just

Brett Winter 30:19
love it, I think they're pretty happy. And they were really happy. And you know, we've got a couple of different precincts in and around the port, you've got pivot city, which is literally just a few minutes up the road, which has been sort of revitalised and turned to this sort of bustling cafe restaurant district with a few other businesses mixed in there as well. You've got the local cafes in the area, too. But I think there's sort of two ways you can look at it, you know, as a CEO is always going to look at the numbers, you know, the hard numbers are really that this is going to add about $107 million in economic value to Victoria by about 2930. And that's really because it's supporting the growth of the spirits. The exciting thing is that they're actually bringing new ships into play, which they haven't constructed over in Finland at the moment in about 2024. Right, so bigger ships about 40% more capacity. So it's really going to help their business grow and accelerate quite a lot, which means a lot more people through the door. So if you look at the hard numbers, you're talking, as I said, 100 70 million into Victoria. Now, anecdotally, though, and this is the thing that I enjoy the most is if I'm wearing the Geelong port uniform, and the corporate shirt, and I pop into a cafe, and all I hear about is people talking about, oh, we had some people from the spirit in here this morning. Yeah, and it's just that sort of grassroots stuff that's really valuable to the local community, particularly because of those areas got hit so hard during the pandemic, definitely. And the Spirit story became a real beacon locally in that regard. Because, you know, we announced this, essentially ground zero in April 2020, where people were looking pretty glum and thinking, Oh, what's gonna happen, where we gonna go from here. And I think that's really helped, how much it's been embraced by the local community in that regard. And so that's probably the we'll call that the pub test. I think I think it's passing that.

Aaron Kyle 31:59
I think also to the interesting fact is that to take it from Port Melbourne is, if you want to catch the ferry from Queenscliff, over to Sorento, it's just down the road as well.

Brett Winter 32:11
Absolutely. And that's the thing, the connections that you start to create, because remember, these are people that are going on driving holidays. So put the freight aside for a moment, obviously, a 24/7 freight yard 150 truck parking bays, you know, that's a dream scenario for a freight operator. But for the foreigner of 50,000, people that are coming through Iceland, we're gonna leave driving holidays, they want to see the countryside, they want to see their regions and spend money in the regions and go down to Tassie and, and enjoy the beautiful things down there. And then you get this ability to sort of start to connect up all those planes where you can come in, if you're coming from Tasmania, you come into Geelong, you enjoy the beautiful scene and, and all the things that the greater Geelong has to offer. , you know, 12 apostles Great Ocean Road, or the wineries, all those different things, then you head down to Queensland, and you can hop on the ferry down there, Matt running sea road ferries down there that you can connect into the other side of the bay. So it really lends itself to those sort of connections, that that before simply weren't there. So it's a nice story. And we hope people start to weave that into their holiday plans where they can really connect across the whole region and enjoy regional Victoria.

Aaron Kyle 33:16
Yeah, definitely. Brett, when you're not busy being the CEO here and in Geelong port, what do you like to do outside of work?

Brett Winter 33:24
Yeah, that's a great question, too. I, I've got quite a young family. So I've got a daughter who's seven and twin boys that are five. So when I say I've been the CEO for the last six years, you know, I've also been in trying to sort of feel my way through being a dad for the last six or seven years as well. So my hands are pretty full after hours, to be honest with you, the logistics of juggling the job, and then the family life is probably the biggest challenge of all, which I'm sure a few releases sort of going through that as well. But yeah, for me, it's all about family. It's all about making sure that the kids have got what they need. And they are enjoying some time with dad, the role can be pretty intense and pretty busy. And so yeah, that's the best way for me to switch off is, is go home and have them bring me back down to earth pretty quickly.

Aaron Kyle 34:06
All right, well, Brett from Geelong, poor, it's been really nice having you on the show. And I truly congratulate you. We've had a bit of a look around the port and to have this project be delivered in that tight timeframe. And in those challenging time periods, which are well documented. It's not an easy feat. So we'll hold on to

Brett Winter 34:23
thank you. Thank you. I'd really appreciate the opportunity. And yeah, big thank you to all our suppliers and contractors and team members who've delivered such a wonderful project that's really going to be an iconic part of the Geelong coastline for many years to come.

Aaron Kyle 34:36
Yeah, and I'm really interested to hear what's next to you know, you mentioned these alternative energy type markets and opportunities. So very wise so stay tuned

Brett Winter 34:45
We'll I'm sure we'll have some more news to come in the new year. Thanks Aaron.