Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council workshop undertakes a wide range of work for Council, private owners in the community, and visitors to the region.
The range of vehicles serviced within the workshop is huge, and consequently the inventory of tools and equipment is considerable, allowing the workshop team to handle just about any eventuality.
Heading the workshop team is manager, Allister White, who, though born in Mossman, spent most of his early life in Lockhart River, where his father was Workshop Manager in the Nineties.
Working alongside Allister are the Workshop Supervisor,are two tradesmen and two apprentices, who are always on the go, managing breakdowns around the town itself, and undertaking preventive and reactive maintenance on Council’s vehicle fleet and all plant and machinery employed in the extensive roadworks being carried out throughout the area.
The team carry out extensive work for Council besides the above vehicles and machinery, for example gardening equipment for Parks and Gardens from a whipper snipper to a zero turn ride on mower.
Keeping the road gang working particularly during the dry season, some priority is given to essential plant and machinery such as tipper trucks, backhoes, graders, dozers, tractors and forklifts, to name a few.
Council’s earthmoving gang is continually employed on large projects, with particular emphasis on getting as much work done before the wet, it’s essential downtime is kept to a minimum by supporting the road gang effectively and working hard to get machinery back on site in the shortest possible time without compromising safety or quality of work.
In addition, there are Council’s 30 light vehicles, Hilux and Landcruisers, as well as trucks, including the garbage truck servicing the township, as well as contractors’ .
Due to the challenging terrain both within and enroute to Lockhart River, tourists are frequent customers of the workshop, bringing vehicles, trailers, dirt bikes, all manner of equipment.
Beside general servicing, repairs and maintenance, the workshop undertakes hydraulic and air conditioning works, fabrication and overhauls. Occasionally parts have to be procured externally, but for the most part, due to the extensive range of machinery in the Shire, the workshop is well covered for any eventuality.
The most common works performed are tyre repairs, not surprisingly given the nature of the roads in the Cape. One apprentice works full time in the tyre bay. The workshop also handles a significant amount of auto electrical issues, often caused by underestimating creek crossings, the water a little bit too deep and outside a vehicle’s capability, so wires get wet, computers get wet, and systems break down.
Inexperienced, and sometimes experienced drivers come to grief on Frenchman’s Track, which is not for the faint hearted or inexperienced four wheel drive vehicle and driver, and the workshop effects repairs and electrical diagnostics on many cars that have rolled, or got into deep water. Although tyres are not kept in stock, the team can repair damaged tyres to 100% capacity.
Being the only mechanical workshop in town, the team repair and maintain all the local community cars, with the busiest peaks coming just before external events requiring long drives.
Visitors’ vehicles are attended to as swiftly as possible, with a great deal of hard work and overtime happening to juggle priorities and satisfy both internal and external customers. In the case of remote breakdowns, Weipa has RACQ, who will drive out to help . The LRASC workshop can also assist – the hourly rate is contained in the prices schedule.
At the moment the workshop does not undertake maintenance on boats, although that might well happen in the future, or there’s a good opportunity for a private enterprise to embrace the opportunity.
“All our tradesmen in Lockhart River are local, and we warmly welcome new apprentices. We have a great team here in the Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council workshop. There’s never a dull moment, and unlike workshops in regional centres and cities, we service a huge range of vehicles, plant and machinery, so our apprentices acquire more extensive experience than their counterparts in the Big Smoke. We first took on an apprentices in the workshop here at Lockhart in the late 90s. One of those apprentices is still with us, and a valuable member of our workshop team. In recent times, we’ve had a trade assistant starting work here. He’s been given a new tool box, He’ll tell you, he loves it, and when he’s not working here, he’s using the skills and knowledge he has acquired to undertake projects for his family or himself. Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council is fully committed to seeing our young people benefit from their own community, and what better place to take advantage of Council’s support and team mentorship than here in our own workshop. With another lad recently joining the workshop, we’re looking to extend this opportunity to more of our youth, boys or girls. It’s a fantastic career, and who knows, one day you might start your own mechanical workshop!”Allister WhiteMechanical Workshop Supervisor
Phone: 07 4031 0155
Fax: 07 4031 5720
Address: 7 Anderson St , Manunda QLD 4870