The biggest windsock in town

March 4, 2021 BY

One of the largest electric cranes in Australia is stationed at Geelong and can lift 24 tonnes. Photos: MCG CRANES AND HIVISUAL MEDIA

THE City of Greater Geelong’s new Civic Precinct welcomed its newest worker this week – a 37-metre-high crane.

Joint director of MCG Cranes, Glenn Martin, said it was one of the largest electric cranes in Australia and can lift 24 tonnes.

It can take the driver a nail-biting 10 minutes to climb the centre ladder to the top and Mr Martin says the job isn’t for the faint-hearted.

“You can see most of Geelong from up there, including beautiful views of Eastern Beach,” Mr Martin said.

While the views might be spectacular from the top of the crane, it’s not just the operator who gets all the benefit. When not in use, the crane goes into ‘weathervane’ mode.

Mr Martin says the back of the crane is always leaning into the prevailing winds so if you’re heading down the coast for a surf and want to check out the wind direction all you have to do is look up at the crane.

“It’s the biggest the windsock in Geelong,” Mr Martin said.

The MCG crane will be used by local company A+ Steel Fabrication, who got the gig as part of a push by council and developer partner Quintessential Equity, to support local business and the Geelong economy.

Builder BESIX Watpac has awarded 63 per cent of work to local businesses so far.

City of Greater Geelong chief executive officer Martin Cutter was glad to see that work had resumed at the site following Victoria’s snap lockdown last month.

“The Civic Precinct will be a fantastic space for the community to gather and connect with the city, and will also give our region a welcome jobs boost during the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 900 jobs set to be created during construction,” Mr Cutter said.

“I’m really pleased that workers are back on the tools to continue this exciting project.

“The crane will become a familiar sight on Mercer Street and I look forward to watching the precinct’s progress.”

According to the council, the new precinct will save ratepayers over $2 million a year in rental and energy costs. The works are expected to be completed by mid-2022.

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