Richard Pottie starts his working day around 5.30am.
Managing Director of Ladex Construction Group, Richard oversees the many large-scale construction and excavation projects being undertaken across the region, estimates new work and is heavily involved in a number of committees including the Civil Contractors Federation.
“Established in 1987, our company was originally Ladysmith Constructions and we also started a small earth moving wing of that business – Ladysmith Excavations – and that’s where the name Ladex came from.
When we merged the two to form Ladex in 1998, we had 12 staff predominantly doing commercial, retail and industrial work as well as small scale earth moving contracts. That has now grown to between 45 and 50 full-time staff, up to 100 contractors and 50 pieces of plant in our earthmoving business. Our turnover now is in excess of $21,000,000.”
The Wagga Wagga trotting track complex, a processing facility at Lake Cowel Gold Mine, refurbishments at Tumbarumba Hospital, various Defence and Kurrajong’s Hildasid project are just some of the many jobs Ladex has in the pipeline.
They have also recently been accredited by Essential Energy to their contracting panel, one of just five firms in NSW, and recently took out the MBA Award for Best Residential Renovation over $1,000,000 for the Deltroit Homestead refurbishment, as well as the Safework NSW award for Innovative and Facilitated Communications Ensuring Safety.
For Richard, the best part of the job is to drive past a project he’s overseen from conception right through to completion.
“It’s quite rewarding to drive around and to see your work standing there and for your kids to know the projects you’ve done.”
Richard is also keen to have an impact on the region, beyond the work of Ladex. Through his role on various other committees across the region, Richard sees a number of challenges facing Wagga Wagga and has some firm ideas about how to face them.
“Our biggest challenges are around sustainable growth and for that we really need a lot more commercial and industrial development here. It’s alright having high population growth but without the infrastructure and jobs behind it, we generate social problems. When you look at our very high youth unemployment, you realise it’s something we really need to address, and more industry here would help counteract that problem.
I think we’re starting to see the NSW Government realise that there’s enormous potential in regional areas like Wagga Wagga, Tamworth and Dubbo. We need Government initiatives to support regional cities and incentivise businesses to move out here.”
Advocating for initiatives that promote sustainable growth was one of the reasons Ladex joined Committee 4 Wagga.
“I think they are a group of very committed individuals – locals keeping an eye on what the different levels of government are doing, to lobby and to use the knowledge base of the committee to shape and build a better community.
I am quite passionate about Wagga Wagga. I think it’s a great place with a great potential and I’m not someone that will criticize without doing something. I think if you’re going to complain you need to roll your sleeves up and do something about it. Joining Committee 4 Wagga was one way to roll up our sleeves and try to be proactive in getting businesses to come to Wagga Wagga.
I think they now have runs on the board and a great foundation to build on for our city.”