Wide Bay Group Linen Service operations manager Helen Stevens talks with Russell Weigel as he controls the company’s linen shute.
Wide Bay Group Linen Service operations manager Helen Stevens talks with Russell Weigel as he controls the company’s linen shute. Jocelyn Watts

$1.4m upgrade for linen service

WIDE Bay Group Linen Service has bolstered its commitment to the Fraser Coast region with a $1.4 million upgrade to its plant on the outskirts of Maryborough.

“All that is, basically, is one new washing machine and four dryers,” operations manager Helen Stevens said. “But the project also involved taking part of the roof off and walls coming out.”

The upgrade took a month to complete with Sydney-based specialists, local electricians and a programming expert from Belgium installing the American-made equipment.

Located at Moonaboola Industrial Estate, the company employs 75 staff who process 50 tonnes of laundry, five days a week, for public hospitals, ambulance stations and nursing homes from Bundaberg to the Sunshine Coast and west to the North Burnett.

“The equipment we had was 14 years old and breakdowns were common. It was installed when this building opened in 1996, when the laundry service at Maryborough Hospital moved on to this site.

“This upgrade means we now have the capacity to process a lot more linen.

“A new Kawana Waters hospital (on the Sunshine Coast) is expected to be built in 2014.

“We may get the contract for that and, if so, we’ll increase operations to seven days a week and employ more staff.”

Ms Steven said the company’s 75 staff members included nine drivers – six based in Maryborough and three in Nambour – who picked up and delivered laundry seven days a week.

The majority of other staff were laundry assistants who collected, washed, ironed, folded and packed everything from single bed sheets and towels to bunny rugs and theatre gowns.

“Fraser Coast hospitals, and a lot of the other hospitals we service, no longer have laundries. They might have just a washing machine in case there’s a flood or other emergency.”

Ms Stevens said Wide Bay Group Linen Service was the only Queensland Health laundry north of Brisbane.

“There’s no linen service between us and Brisbane. There is one in Toowoomba but none further north where they either get the prisons or private laundries to process their linen.”



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