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How ACIRT’s helping Justin Cross the River in style

Justin Durham likes the camaraderie of working underground, the diversity of skills that tunnelling requires, the way progress can be measured before your eyes. ‘You become a machinery operator – excavators, bobcats, Moxy trucks,’ he says. ‘You’re excavating with a tunnel boring machine or road header, you can see the distance you’ve made each night, there’s a sense of achievement every day.’

Working on Brisbane’s Cross River Rail, he’s switched from formwork carpenter to water treatment operator and is enjoying the ongoing security that tunnelling work provides. ‘Once you’re in the industry you pretty much stay in it, follow the work around.’ He reckons there’s nothing better than having work in a time of crisis such as a global pandemic, ‘and you don’t have to think or have anxiety about how much is coming in’.

Having the added security of ACIRT has given he and wife Caroline even greater peace of mind. ‘I remember just thinking, “Yay!”’ Justin recalls of how he felt when he first joined ACIRT, soon after he’d switched to carpentry after driving catering trucks at Brisbane Airport around 20 years ago. ‘What it’s meant, it’s been a backstop. It’s an idea that you have a reserve flow of cash when you need it.’