After spending over two years in Papua New Guinea project managing the delivery of multiple building and infrastructure projects Peter Bowden professional engineer and founder of Wildara has returned home choosing Newcastle to establish his client-side project management and engineering consultancy.
What’s your businesses purpose?
The Australian construction industry has a well earnt reputation for being corrupt, deceptive and self-serving. This often results in clients getting burned by their builder and being left with a poorly executed project that wasn’t what they thought they were buying. We created Wildara to help government and private sector clients regain control of their projects by providing professional client-side project management and engineering services.
We know most people aren’t construction professionals and most have never even stepped foot onto a construction site. Unfortunately, builders often exploit this fact as far too often we hear stories of dodgy building work, budget blowouts, schedule delays and a helpless client with no control over any of this.
It just amazes me just how willing people are to handover huge sums of money to builders to deliver projects without a proper understanding of what they are actually buying. One of the biggest fundamental issues and where the trouble normally begins is when we see clients who sign a contract which is prearranged by the builder, I mean who would think this is actually good idea? It’s just crazy, the client is the person who needs to retain control over the projects budget, schedule and quality but almost always this control is relinquished to the builder by signing a prearranged contract which invariably protects the builder and not the client.
How does Wildara create value?
We’re construction professionals who specialise in client-side project management meaning we essentially provide the client with extra muscle to ensure they stay in control. We’re not builders which means project decisions are always based on what’s best for the project not necessarily what’s best for the builder. We are there from the very moment our clients decide to embark on the journey of a construction project and work with our clients long before a builder is engaged. We start all our projects by defining why the project is needed, establishing the business case and determining the imperatives for project success. Once these are determined we manage the engineering and design phase ensuring all parties are informed about what is actually being proposed for construction and all costs involved. The construction phase is where our clients get a huge advantage as we ensure control of the overall project is kept with them. We generally manage the contract on behalf of the client and our industry experience allows us to ensure the builder is performing and delivering the works as agreed.
Why did you choose to establish Wildara in Newcastle?
My wife and I recently moved to Newcastle having both grown up in Sydney. We instantly fell in love with the great location and general vibe of the place. As engineers, we both think Newcastle is a place which has enormous potential. I think Newcastle needs to focus on supporting itself and developing local capability, and to break away from the feeling of security provided by services available in Sydney. We have amazing local architects, engineers and builders but too often we still rely on the services of businesses based outside of our community. All of Wildara’s suppliers and partners are based in the Newcastle and Hunter regions which means important decisions are made by people who live in our community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
How do potential clients get in touch with you?
We love meeting new people and encourage anyone who is thinking about undertaking building works whether it be a small refurbishment or building fitout to large complex infrastructure projects to simply drop by our office in Innx to tell us a little about their big ideas. Alternatively, people can connect with us through our website www.wildara.com.au.