Mick Jackson has worked in construction for almost 50 years. He is currently site supervising the construction of a 25-bed residential aged care facility in the north-west town of Coonabarabran.
Pictured with his sporty grandsons, Mick shares his insights on working in the bush, including the importance of partnering with subcontractors.
Are you local to the area?
I grew up in Maitland and moved to north-west NSW to pursue my interest in farming. I have a beef cattle property near Currabubula which is 48 km south-west of Tamworth. My father and grandfather were involved with the land, and my wife is a fourth-generation farmer. It’s in the blood I suppose.
Your background in construction?
I did my apprenticeship in plumbing at 16 and became fully licensed. At 21 I entered the world of civil engineering works for a Newcastle company where I worked on subdivisions, roads and bridges for 13 years. Then I went into commercial construction and worked on hospitals, schools and aged care facilities.
How important are subcontractor relationships?
You’ve got to respect your subcontractors. On this aged care project we have engaged subbies from Coonabarabran, Dubbo and Tamworth. I’ve worked with some of these guys for years. If you don’t have mutual respect you might as well pack up and go home.
If they come to you with a problem, you can’t throw your arms in the air and say “I’m paying you to solve the problem”. You need to solve the problems together, so that you go forward together.
What does ‘quality’ mean to you?
I take pride in handing over a quality build. If the client keeps appointing Paynter Dixon for future work and asking for the same team, then I’ve achieved the best outcome. I want the client to ask us back!
I’ve been in the trade for five decades and have worked for Paynter Dixon for almost three years. It’s a good company.