Peter Ozoux is the Managing Director of Austek Roads, a Brisbane based company specialising in asphalt repairs, road maintenance and rehabilitation. He talks to Roads & Infrastructure about his career journey and more.
- How long have you/your company been an AfPA member and why did you decide to become one?
Austek Asphalt Services has been a member of Australian flexible Pavement Association (AfPA) since 2012. We joined AfPA originally to support our industry association, as well as to gain access to industry leading training courses. Networking with our industry colleagues and potential customers was also important. AfPA was able to offer these opportunities in many ways such as industry brekky’s Golf Days and industry briefings.
- How did you start your career in the road construction industry?
I started my career at Pioneer Road Services at the age of 17 in the spray seal division based out of Geebung, Queensland working under some of today’s industry leaders. Throughout my time at Pioneer, I was lucky enough to travel across most of Queensland, completing regional spray seal programs for councils and Transport and Main Roads (TMR), along with completing major infrastructure projects such as the Gateway Bridge Upgrade and the Horizon Alliance, just to name a few. While at Pioneer, I was taught many skills most paramount to being successful today and now I have the ability to pass on this knowledge and skills to my own staff.
- What is your current role and what does it involve?
My current role as Managing Director of Austek Roads involves the organisation and strategic guidance to ensure long-term goals are achieved within all of our team. I identify opportunities and develop strategies to execute them. Most importantly, my role is to build our brand and our presence in an ever-evolving market.
- What is the best thing about your current role?
The best thing about my role is getting in the trenches with the teams, making things happen, celebrating the wins and supporting them in the losses, showing them that it doesn’t matter where you started, it’s where you want to finish, and the relentless effort to succeed. There’s an old story that says: You hang around the barber shop long enough, sooner or later you’re going to get a haircut.
- What is your biggest achievement in the industry?
My biggest achievement to date would be my investment in our Beninghoven ECO3000 240-tonne-per-batch asphalt production facility at Luscombe within the Gold Coast City Council Region. With the help of my innovative team and entrepreneurial mindset, we have developed a world first innovation called ZEROAD. In partnership with Pearl Global Limited, we basically deconstruct tyres back into their three constituents – which is recovered carbon black, fuel oil and steel. These products are utilised in our manufacturing process in a unique way which is a world-first. The recovered carbon black is added into the asphalt matrix via a metred screw conveyor and silo and the fuel oil is a 100 per cent diesel replacement in our drying process. We recycle 10 passenger tyres per tonne of asphalt produced. The social outcome for Queenslanders and Australians is huge as it’s a home-grown innovative solution that repurposes local tyres back into local roads.
- What is a recent change you have seen in the industry and how are you/the company prepared for that?
There has been a large emphasis on the use of recycled products such as RAP, glass, plastic, recovered carbon black and tyres. Austek has heavily invested in technology that is leading the industry in this space.
Another step change in the industry that Austek has also invested in is paperless Quality Assurance (QA) systems. we are now looking to connect this technology with our production teams and ultimately adapt other emerging technologies such as machinery that can also communicate with our paperless QA system, giving live compaction results, rolling patterns and real time results.
- What do you think is most interesting about the road construction industry?
The most interesting thing about the road construction industry is the different places we get to visit on a daily basis. One day, we might be on Surfers Paradise, the next day in Western Queensland, enjoying the vast changes in the scenery throughout our beautiful state and country. I also enjoy challenges and innovation. Anyone that knows the industry will understand these two points, but I really thrive on this and enjoy instilling this mindset with our teams.
- How has being a member of AfPA benefitted you in the industry?
AfPA has supported Austek from a small owner operator to now becoming an Active Producer member. Over the last 10 years, AfPA has kept us up to date with the industry and the legislative changes, along with providing our teams with informative education programs. AfPA has provided a platform for industry competitors to network and share work/life experiences that rarely happen outside of these events.
- What are your goals for the future?
My goal for the future is to continue to innovate and challenge myself, always building on our brand presence and creating a legacy that will be remembered in the industry.