Mulwala Business Park splurge

By Robert Muir

When Yarrawonga Manufactured Housing (YMH) set up business on Mulwala’s industrial estate in 1998, the only other building on site was the relatively new works depot of the former Corowa Shire Council.

“The industrial estate was privately owned when we commenced building cabins for Lakeside Caravan Park and Sun Country Holiday Village,” YMH General Manager Nathan Tresize told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

“YMH was known as Lakeside Cabins & Annexes, at Lot 11, and had one employee and one sub-contractor builder.”

The then Corowa Shire Council acquired the Industrial Estate and, slowly, blocks were starting to sell.

“In 1998 a short part of McCarthy Street developed, including ADI Drive and Defence Drive.

YMH was the only tenant at that stage along with the Corowa Shire Council depot.

In 2015 YMH approached Federation Shire Council regarding the lack of developed Industrial land and that YMH needed land to expand its operations. 

“General Manager Chris Gillard and Planning Manager Bob Parr were able to offer a 20,000m2 parcel of undeveloped land with the view to providing at a minimum a sealed McCarthy Street frontage and at least a gravel surface extending Defence Drive for truck access,” Mr Tresize said.

“In the meantime YMH applied for a Federal/NSW State Government Grant. Council provided formal support to our application which was successful. YMH in turn provided formal support for the council’s own successful application for funding to complete the Industrial Estate Development.

“We moved construction in our new facility in July 2017 followed by our administration in October 2018.”

Today, YMH has a workforce of 35 employees: reception, accounts administration, estimating/quantity surveyors, project management, drafting, carpenters and apprentices, trade assistants, painters, tilers, roofers, steel fabrication, procurement and storemen.

Recently YMH was appointed to the Victorian Government Department of Housing and Human Services (DHHS) - Modular Housing Panel. 

As one of only 12 builders appointed to the panel, the Department will construct up to 1700 dwellings across Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne over the next three to five years. 

“This is a huge acknowledgement that YMH has the capability, capacity, experience and quality to be selected alongside several larger Modular Building businesses such as Fleetwood with a $350M T/O per annum to supply product designed and manufactured by YMH,” Mr Tresize said.

“This contract will provide YMH with even more growth over the coming months and years and provide many career opportunities for both local and regional tradesmen, sub-contractors, project management and design professionals.”

In June this year, Federation Council released a new, final 32-lot estate at the Mulwala Business Park to meet ongoing demand for industrial land, approximately doubling the total number of lots on the estate.

Council’s infrastructure construction works have been completed which see, for the first time ever, the road system joining up with Tocumwal Road and therefore, another entrance into the industrial estate.

“I’d expect that within, say five years, every block will have been built on,” Mr Tresize said.

Mulwala-based Councillor Andrew Kennedy of Federation Council said the Mulwala Business Park is the main growth industrial estate in the shire.

“In the early days there were only the (Corowa Shire Council) shire depot and YMH (Yarrawonga Manufactured Housing) that had employees on site but now there are multiple sites which have workers on site,” the Director of the 1974-established Kennedy Builders Mulwala said.

“Nearly all the original blocks on the original stages are built on. There is a good mix of different businesses on the estate.
“I think there has been quite a lot of interest in the new blocks.”

In acknowledgement of the extensive government and community support for Mulwala Business Park, an official opening of the latest developments will take place today (Wednesday, December 11) at 11.10am at the park, at the corner of Tocumwal Road and Defence Drive.