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Aussie crane company’s international success story

Aussie crane company’s international success story

Simon Marr was getting used to having doors shut in his face, so to speak.

The boss of Aussie crane company, Marr Contracting, put it down to the way people do business in the UK.

“You get people stuck in their ways, that’s how people are,” he said.

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“Generally, construction can be quite conservative, and there was pushback.”

Marr’s business provides the largest capacity cranes to construction sites around the world, including Sydney Metro.

But it’s taken the same deal that’s opened up Tim Tams to UK consumers, and longer working holiday visas for Aussie backpackers to get hold of valuable contracts in Britain.

It’s 12 months since the landmark Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the UK came into effect.

The deal has been heavily criticised by British farmers and traders, who believe they were dudded in former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s race to get a deal with, well, anyone.

Turns out, the deal is better for Australia than even those who were in the room when it was done ever thought.

“When we were negotiating we were very much looking at tariffs and quotas. They’re what got all the headlines,” said Elisabeth Bowes, who was the chief negotiator, and is now Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK.

“But actually this is an example of an Australian services company delivering its services here in the United Kingdom.”

Marr Contracting now has two cranes helping to build the new Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant outside Northwich in the north of England.

Worth nearly $A1 billion, the project sees a former coal-fired power station converted and rebuilt into a facility that will turn waste products into power, providing enough electricity for 148,000 homes.

Simon Marr said when his company previously bid for work in the UK, they were rejected because they weren’t a British business. Now, that’s changed — Australia cannot be discriminated against.

“We get treated on an equal footing as a UK business,” Marr said.

“The UK is a really easy place to work. It’s very, very similar to Australia. So businesses back in Australia thinking about coming to work in the UK, especially with this Free Trade Agreement in place now, look, you should come.”