This post aims to help understand junior concrete worker base payment rates in Australia. The post was written in March 2023. Any specific rates or percentages should be reverified by the reader (you) when considering this information as they do change over time.
This post discusses information when considering employment under the Building and Construction Award as described by the FairWork Commission in Australia.
We recently completed a patio/pool surround and house surrounds at Elanora. The customer chose to use an exposed aggregate mix, specifically Sodalite from Nucon.
Sodalite is a white coloured concrete mix with primarily light brown stones. The stone in this mix was smooth and flat. Sodalite has a base cost of $550 + GST per cubic metre (material only). It was only available from the Nucon Southport plant.
In our photos here the concrete looks almost like a pale brown colour. When wet, the mix colour does look almost like a latte or coffee colour. The brown from the stone really contributes to this when wet and most likely will appear this way if a wet look sealer is applied.
When dry, the mix really lightens up and appears closer to a white colour. It can be rather glary on the eyes when in full sun. The customer on this job is going to install a fly over roof above their patio area.
From the concreter’s perspective, Sodalite was a fast moving mix. In moderately hot November temperatures (high 20s, low 30s C) the mix was hard and ready to wash within 2 to 3 hours of the truck arriving on site.
The mix is rather “chalky” and doesn’t seem to rapidly bond to materials as much as regular concrete does, so washing tools and surfaces was easier with this mix compared to usual.
The white colouring does create a lot of staining if you wash off into a drain or guttered area and damming the drainage is absolutely necessary.
We barrowed this mix in as the job access was limited and pumping exposed aggregate mix is a risky endeavor, especially when it costs this much. The job was split into two pours to increase access to the work areas, provide wash areas for the 2 house surround areas, to remove the need for a concrete pump and the use of a “pump mix” and to make the pours more manageable overall.