Bannister & Hunter
Land Surveyors

ph: 02 43 24 2566
E: admin@bannisterhunter.com.au

Leaders in surveying, planning and engineering Servicing the Central Coast and Hunter

Bannister & Hunter Pty Ltd represents a leading-edge team of surveyors, planners and engineers who specialise in subdivisions, general survey work and engineering projects.

Our highly qualified team combines many years of technical expertise to provide our clients with a highly experienced professional surveying and engineering service.

Bannister & Hunter can undertake all types of surveying, subdivisions, medium density developments, and also major projects, urban planning and civil engineering.

We can complete the entire project from the initial surveying stages to designing, planning and engineering through to project managing every step along the way to job completion.

All work is carried out to the highest possible standards of quality; with attention paid to the finest details to ensure client satisfaction.

The end result will always be a first-class project delivered on time and within budget. Our design will be functional whilst meeting specific engineering requirements for:

    • Accuracy
    • Compliance
    • Cost
    • Drainage
    • Environmental considerations
    • Bushfire
    • Geotechnical Engineering
    • Infrastructure
    • Parking
    • Planning regulations
    • Stormwater
    • Traffic flow

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About Bannister & Hunter

Originally the first survey company located on the Central Coast; Bannister & Hunter was founded in Gosford in 1924 and was registered in our current business name in 1994.

Bannister & Hunter is committed to continually improving and maintaining the quality control and cost effectiveness of our services. We have developed a quality management system to achieve these objectives which has been designed to ensure that agreed client requirements are consistently satisfied through effective planning, uniform approaches to critical work processes and verification of compliance prior to release of jobs.

All staff have been involved in the development of the quality control management system and are committed to the provision of services which satisfy our client’s needs.

Our Work Health and Safety policy ensures that we provide the safest possible working environment for all employees, visitors and contractors whilst on Bannister & Hunter Pty Ltd premises and worksites.

Bannister and Hunter are current members of:

The Institution of Surveyors NSW, Australian Consulting Surveyors NSW, and the NSW Country Surveyors Association


Our Staff:

  • Chris Eggeling
  • Peter Barclay
  • Phil McKay
  • Peter Robinson
  • Kay Murphy
  • Rachel Brown

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Building Setouts

  • Protecting Your Building Investment

    A surveyor will be involved in several stages of a building construction; some of which are mandatory while most others are for the cautious owner.

  • Size & Type

    Before designing a building for a particular property; a surveyor should be consulted to determine the size and nature of the building. The actual size of the land and any easements affecting it must be taken into account. We are familiar with all the regulations relating to building lines and distances to boundaries. On most sites a contour plan will be necessary to determine the most appropriate building plan.

  • Application

    Some sites may require a DA (Development Application) while others may only require building plans to be submitted. Some designs; particularly more than one storey, may also need engineering design plans to be made by a structural engineer. The final building plan needs to be prepared by a reputable design draftsman - a number of whom can be recommended by us.

  • Set-Out

    A surveyor is the only person legally permitted to position building set-outs in respect to boundary offset and distances. Offset distances are used to allow marks to remain after footings are dug for use by the builder. An appropriate survey report is issued to the builder.

  • Drainage

    Some designs especially larger buildings; need drainage layout & pipe design plans to accompany the proposal which we can provide.

  • Check Survey

    It is advisable to check during the early stages of construction that the building is being erected exactly as it has been set out. This point is when the walls are in the earliest stage of construction.

  • Final Check Survey

    A Final Check Survey is recommended after the roof and any attached overhangs have been erected. Lending authorities usually require this final survey and it is a prerequisite for a Council Building Certificate. A final check survey is in the interests of any party who has a financial stake in the building.

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Flood Levels

  • What is the flood risk to land or buildings? How high could it flood and how often? Experienced home buyers know that when buying a home, each house on the short list should if possible be inspected during, or just after rain just to get an idea of the capability of water dispersal and/or intrusion on both land and dwelling. Such an inspection whilst useful; won’t reveal the likelihood of flooding on the property. We can provide you with a report that will assess the likelihood and severity of flooding.

  • Datum

    Surveyors can determine levels on any property – these levels being called Reduced Levels and they are heights above or below a reference level or datum. In Australia this datum is called the Australian Height Datum (A.H.D.) which has been set from the average tide gauges on the East Coast. Zero Metres AHD is equivalent to a 0.925 m tide at Fort Denison.

  • Flood levels

    Flood levels and the extent of flooding have been recorded for over 120 years throughout NSW. This data provides the basis for determining the areas of land that are affected by flooding and the expected height of flood waters. The frequency at which various heights of flooding can be expected is referred to as once in 5 years (1:5), once in twenty years (1:20) up to the maximum flood of once in 100 years (1:100).

  • Surveyor's Help

    Unless the property is obviously in a high position it can be difficult for the inexperienced person to determine whether or not the property is flood-prone – surveyors are experts.

    We can investigate records and inquire from all authorities about the flood risk for any property. Observations can be made to determine the extent of risk. Advice can be obtained on precautions required for a new building(s) or the likely depth of flooding which could be expected on existing buildings or land.

  • Building In A Flood Affected Area

    Local councils can issue a building approval in flood-prone areas with the condition that the proposed floor level not be less than a specified reduced level – usually 0.5 m above the 1:100 flood level.

    We can provide a reference point near the building site so that the council’s conditions can be met. When the building is erected we can then measure the reduced level of the floor ‘as built’ and provide a report. We can also provide advice on potential problems resulting from flooding. Whatever flood problems there may be can often be overcome with help from a surveyor.

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Identification Surveys

  • Buying a house? – Protect your investment with an Identification Survey which is required to identify existing buildings and improvements on a parcel of land. An Identification Survey can only be undertaken by a registered surveyor.

  • When is it needed?

    The purchaser's solicitor will normally obtain an Identification Report as a matter of course to protect the client against any problems which can only be detected by the surveyor. Vendor Disclosure Legislation requires obligatory warranties and other statutory information from the vendor. The Identification Survey can supply the required information and speed up the sale.

  • Why it is needed?

    An Identification Survey makes sure that the purchaser is not inheriting problems which may make the property difficult to sell in the future. More importantly it ensures that the property that has been shown is the one being bought and will often reveal defects which may devalue the property or require expensive repairs. The principle of 'Caveat Emptor' (let the buyer beware) applies to all land transactions. The Identification Survey is one of the necessary steps needed to ensure that unforeseen problems do not arise in future.

  • What is included

    We measure the site to determine the exact location of buildings on or adjacent to the land and also the fences. Easements, covenants and restrictions on land use are checked for compliance. Special attention is paid to any encroachments on or by the land. Where a residence is involved a report is prepared in compliance with the Local Government Ordinances regarding distances of walls, eaves or gutters from the land boundaries.

  • Other advisable checks

    An Identification Survey would normally be accompanied by building and pest inspections. The purchaser’s solicitor might see the need for other necessary checks to be made to protect the purchaser before final settlement. For example there are some areas where it would be prudent to check for flood or fire risk – another area within our expertise.

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Rural Surveys

  • A rural survey will be required when a property or local area is subdivided, re-zoned or has new structures constructed. We can also assess bushfire safety and flooding risks as required by insurance companies, financial lenders, council or government.

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Strata Title Subdivisions

  • Strata Title Plan

    A Strata Title Scheme is prepared by a surveyor to designate areas or units for separate ownership within a building or group of buildings. Usually the building’s common property and parcel of land are jointly owned by all the separate title holders.

    These schemes have been adopted over the years to cover townhouses, retirement villages, shopping centres and industrial complexes as well as home unit buildings. It is not necessary to have an overlapping strata as found in multi-storey buildings – a community scheme may be better suited. We can provide advice on the best plan to suit your circumstances.

  • Staged Strata Schemes

    A Staged Strata Scheme is a method which developers use to construct parts of a strata scheme by building in an orderly manner. The legislation sets out the documents required to be lodged with the Strata Plan.

  • The Body Corporate

    The Body Corporate consists of every unit owner and is registered as the proprietor of all common property. The elected committee of the Body Corporate holds monthly meetings and records minutes. It administers all obligations and responsibilities imposed by the Strata Titles Act including the setting of levies, insurance and maintenance etc.

  • Unit Entitlement

    Each strata unit holder has a share in the Strata Scheme which usually reflects the value of each unit. This is called the Unit Entitlement and is fixed at the proportion shown on the strata Plan. It is used to calculate the levies and expenses paid by each unit owner.

  • Existing Unit Buildings

    It may be feasible to convert an existing building of multiple units to a Strata Title Scheme. Existing flat buildings, commercial centres or factory complexes; which may be under varying forms of ownership – such as company title or one owner, may be converted to Strata Title if given council approval.

  • Strata Plan

    The local council will require many conditions to be met such as adequate car parking, building compliance, adequate services, fire safety etc. Once these have been met a linen Strata Plan has to be lodged with the Land Titles Office from where the Strata Title will eventually be issued. Bannister & Hunter have the expertise to help you submit a Strata Title Plan.

  • Community Title Subdivisions

    Community Title Developments are intended to provide a safe titling system for larger projects which include shared community facilities. These facilities could include a swimming pool, tennis courts, a community hall or even a community owned vineyard.

    Community Title provides a safe title that financial institutions will loan against.

    Bannister & Hunter has extensive experience with these types of developments.

  • Topographic Surveys

    Before any planning or design work can be done, a base survey that shows the existing conditions is necessary. This is known as either a topographic survey or a contour and detail survey, or a digital terrain model (DTM).

    Bannister & Hunter has many years experience preparing these plans to meet the needs of architects, builders, designers and planners. The scope of these surveys can range from part of a single lot (e.g. extensions to a house) up to several hectares. The size of the project influences the technology used in the field, and traditional measuring equipment or GPS technology may be employed.

    At the completion of the survey the plan is finalised with our computer software package and forwarded to your designer in a format that suits them. This usually involves a printed version and an email of results in digital format.

  • Commercial Lease Surveys

    Commercial Leases rely on a survey prepared in accordance with guidelines prepared by the Property Council of Australia.

    Bannister and Hunter can prepare these plans to meet your requirements – such as the number of separate offices, shops or industrial units.

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Project Management

Bannister & Hunter can effectively manage a range of specialised engineering and construction projects to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible.

We can provide contract supervision of civil works including RTA intersections, roadways, kerbing and guttering and drainage.

Engineering designs for drainage, roadworks and utilities including gas, power, sewer, telephone and water; will need to be finalised and approved by the relevant authorities before construction works can commence.

Council will need to be supplied letters from all relevant servicing authorities confirming that satisfactory arrangements have been made. All other matters raised in the Development Consent must also be satisfied; such as the construction of roadworks and drainage, and any concerns or special conditions relating to conservation areas, Aboriginal land or heritage listed sites. Ongoing negotiations will need to take place with all parties involved in the process.

In the case of subdivisions, the final step is the registration of the Plan of Survey together with the document for all newly created easements.

A Registered Land Surveyor and a Solicitor will both be required to complete the Certificates of Title so that the newly created lots can be issued. Specific required functions include:

    • Contract Administration
    • Liaison/Coordination of consultants within the project
    • Liaison with Public and Utility Authorities
    • Preparation of Feasibility Studies

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Planning

Bannister and Hunter have acquired many years of planning experience with small to medium and large scale projects.

A properly considered layout plan forms the foundation of any development which is crucial to the building of a quality residential subdivision.

Bannister & Hunter can provide Feasibility Studies for land development, Archaeological Assessments, and Environmental Impact Studies which are required for all new developments.

Planning is based on a detailed survey and takes into account such matters as access, drainage, erosion control, slope and specific site constraints such as zoning, housing density, conservation, heritage listed areas and nearby Aboriginal land.

Layout Planning in combination with Statutory Planning reporting and assessment; forms the basis of all Development Applications (DA’s) lodged with councils.

Bannister & Hunter are highly experienced in this area and can provide you with this helpful service. We can carry through the often difficult negotiation process of applications with councils.

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Subdivisions

Unless careful and accurate planning is undertaken by experts; financial estimates can easily fall well short causing a significant blow out of expenses for developers. Even small subdivisions can be very complex and require detailed and thorough planning to avoid budget blowouts, excessive delays and legal battles with council or government.

  • Possibilityclick to read
  • Costsclick to read
  • Stepsclick to read
  • Approvalclick to read
  • Construction & Servicesclick to read
  • Peg-out & Planclick to read

We can lodge the final plan at the Land Titles Office once the council has endorsed their certificate on the subdivision plan, and all interested parties have signed off on it.
When registration is completed – usually in several weeks, title documents are issued and ownership of the new lots can now be transferred.

  • Engineering Surveysclick to read

This information is given to the designer in a format that suits the computer modeling program which will create the final report.

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Civil Engineering

A quality design will avoid unnecessary construction costs, and allow the development to run smoothly through the construction phase.

The design of civil works and preparation of plans for construction purposes is aspecialist process undertaken by our experienced engineers at Bannister & Hunter.

The completed plans are lodged with council or a qualified certifier for approval and issue of a Construction Certificate before works can commence. These plans will cover Roadworks, traffic flow, drainage, erosion control and services designs. The approval of plans by the relevant authorities will be required.

Specific Civil Engineering requirements include:

  • Assessment of fire risk
  • Assessment of flood risk
  • Liaison with Public Authorities
  • Preparation of Bill of Quantities
  • Residential design of subdivision roads, drainage and services
  • Rural road design
  • Sewer reticulation design
  • Stormwater design, including trunk systems and water sensitive urban designs
  • Water reticulation design

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Urban Planning

Urban Planning involves the preparation of plans and supporting reports to form the basis of a Development Application for any project. These applications are then lodged with council and the process will usually involve further negotiation with council officers to arrive at a satisfactory consent.

This activity has to satisfy the statutory framework for planning in NSW set out by theState Government and local council, and many issues need to be considered.

In some cases a Statutory Planner may be required to provide further documentation in support of an application.

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Contract Supervision

Bannister & Hunter can oversee the supervision of all civil works on a development site, and the administration of the contracts for these works. Some projects will have site specific issues that must be addressed during construction. The agreement of both our client and council is a necessary part of development construction.

The negotiation of contract variations to satisfy the requirements of all parties can form part of this process.

Specific contract supervision requirements include:

  • Contract administration
  • Construction works
  • Liaison with Public and Utility Authorities
  • Ensuring progress with contract works is on time and carried out according to plans
  • Ensuring quality of workmanship

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FAQs

I am buying a house – do I need a survey?

It is strongly advisable to invest in an Identification Survey to protect one of your largest investment decisions. Many financial institutions will also insist on a current Identification Survey before lending money to purchase real estate.


I want to subdivide my property; what are the steps?

The subdivision of land is a complex matter that involves many steps, as a general guide you will need to do the following:

Arrange a contour and detail survey (also known as a topographic survey or digital terrain model) over which the new boundaries can be drawn.

The proposed new layout will need to meet the requirements of council and various State/Commonwealth Government planning regulations. These issues include minimum lot size, setbacks for bushfire protection, archaeological assessments and fauna/flora assessments

The various supporting reports from our sub-consultants are then prepared to support a Development Application, which is prepared by Bannister and Hunter.

Council then issues a Development Consent with conditions: All civil works such as roads, drainage, water, sewer, power and telephone systems then need to be designed and approved by the authorities before construction works are done. Once construction of those works is completed and all other conditions are satisfied, the Plan of Subdivision is lodged with Council for certification. The plan is then registered and new Certificates of Title are issued.


I want to change the fencing on our land; what type of survey do I need?

A boundary peg-out will provide you with marks to set your fencing out to.


Is it cheaper to have an Identification Survey and a Boundary Survey done together?

Combining these surveys will result in cost savings, as the survey party will only need to travel to your property once. Whilst on site, they will only have to establish the boundaries once for both types of surveys.

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Glossary

Here are some simple explanations for terms commonly used in this industry. This glossary is descriptive only, and should not be relied upon. You must seek professional advice before making any decisions regarding these matters.

Archaeological Assessment – When Councils are considering many development applications that involve a change of land use, such as subdivision, they may require this report. A qualified Archaeologist will assess the likelihood of indigenous artifacts being found during development, and make recommendations about the management of the site during the development process.

Asset Protection Zones – Many development applications over land adjoining bushland will need to incorporate a Bushfire Management Plan. One of the main protection measures are Asset Protection Zones, which ensure a separation between the bushland and habitable dwellings.

Australian Height Datum – This is an agreed height of the average sea level around Australia. That level is known as 0.0m AHD.

Azimuth – This term is used by surveyors to describe the process by which all surveys are correctly oriented.

Boundary Realignment – This term means that a common boundary between adjacent lots is to be relocated.

Building Certificate – The local Council will issue a Building Certificate based on the surveyor’s Identification Report. This is part of the documentation needed for the sale of a property.

Building Envelope – The building envelope is an area identified on the plan of subdivision as the space within which any dwelling may be constructed. It is typically used to ensure that dwellings are not constructed too close to a site constraint, such as bushfire setbacks from boundaries.

Civil Engineering – The Civil Engineer is responsible for the design of all works to be constructed. These include roads, drainage, water and sewer systems. All designs are lodged with the relevant authority for approval and the issue of a Construction Certificate.

Community Title Subdivision – This type of development creates lots with Community Title. It involves the development of Common Property within the project. For example, private roads and recreational facilities such as a golf course may form part of the Estate, and these are used and maintained by all residents in the scheme.

Covenant – A covenant is an agreement between the vendor and the purchaser that the purchaser will not do certain things.

Conveyancing – This is the legal process of transferring title (ownership) to a purchaser.

Crown Land – This term means that a particular site has never been “alienated” or sold by the Government.

Development Application – Most improvements to land require the preparation and negotiation of a development application with the Consent Authority. That authority is usually the local Council.

Detail Survey – This term refers to a survey of the natural and man-made attributes of a site. It will include such things as contours, significant trees, adjoining houses, services and the road frontage.This plan is used by architects and planners to design further improvements, and will be required by Council to support any application for works.

Easement – An easement may advantage an owner by granting a right over another property (such as to drain along an easement). Conversely that owner may be burdened, by giving others the right to use an easement over their property. Easements can be created for many reasons, including drainage lines, access arrangements and services.

88B Instrument – This Instrument is a legal document that accompanies a survey plan showing an easement. It defines the rights of the owners of the properties burdened and benefited by such easements.

Geotechnical Advice – Geotechnical Engineers provide advice on a range of matters relating to the subdivision/development process. These can include reports on slope stability in steeper sites, road pavement thickness designs and lot classifications of the final product for building designs.

GPS – This term refers to the use of Global Positioning technology (satellites) to survey the coordinates of detail or survey marks.

Identification Survey – An Identification Survey makes sure that the purchaser is not inheriting problems which may make the property difficult to sell in the future. More importantly it ensures that the property that has been shown is the one being bought and will often reveal defects which may devalue the property or require expensive repairs.

Lot – This refers to a separately identifiable piece of land, part of a building or vacant space which is created when a subdivision plan is registered. A lot can be zoned as either residential or commercial.

Mean High Water Mark – Any land that abuts a body of water is known to have a Riparian Boundary. The land beneath most water bodies is usually owned by the Crown. In these cases, the average high water level is used as the common boundary, and is known as MHWM.

Minimum Floor Level – In low lying areas, many Councils require that a dwelling is constructed to a minimum floor level, to ensure that any potential floodwaters will not enter the house.

Monument – In Surveying, a monument is a physical feature that is shown on a plan of survey and assists in relocating a boundary.

Old System Title – When Australia was first settled by Europeans, the English Common Law concept of ownership was used. This system required that a line of ownership had to be established back to the original grant. This system was eventually replaced by an Australian innovation known as Torrens Title, which is far easier and safer to use.

Pegout Survey – This is a survey to locate the corners of a dwelling or other structure to be constructed. It may also refer to the marking of lot boundaries.

Plan of Subdivision – At the conclusion of a development, a plan of subdivision is prepared by the Surveyor and then certified by both Council and the State Government. That plan will show the boundary dimensions of all lots and any easements or restrictions. From that process, Certificates of Title are produced for each new lot.

Positive Covenant – A positive covenant is an agreement between the vendor and the purchaser that the purchaser will do certain things, such as maintaining an Asset Protection Zone to ensure that it meets performance standards.

Primary Application – A Primary Application is the process by which Old System Titled land is transferred into Torrens Title. It requires a thorough survey of the surrounds to ensure that all owners have the area of land guaranteed by title available to them.

Reference Mark – These are special marks placed near surveyed boundaries to assist in relocating lot corners.

Restriction on Use of Land – This is a specific form of easement that places some limitation on the use of a parcel by its owner. For example, a developer may wish to ensure that no houses are constructed on an estate below a certain size.

Site Contamination Report – These reports are usually prepared by a specialist consultant to determine whether a site may be affected by chemical contamination. The assessment relies on a site inspection, a review of the site’s history of use and testing of soils.

SSM/PM – State Survey Marks or Permanent Marks are marks placed to the specifications of Government to assist in redefining lot boundaries. They are generally a bronze circular marker placed in concrete kerbs, or a metal pin placed in a metal box for protection.

Strata Title Subdivision – This type of subdivision creates a title deed for part of a building, and may be a “box” of air space, such as a unit on the 3rd floor.

Subdivision – The process of transforming one parcel of land into two or more parcels, each with its own Certificate of Title.

Theodolite – An instrument used for measuring horizontal and vertical angles. Modern instruments also include the capacity to measure distances.

Torrens Title – This system of titling was created in South Australia, and is now used in many countries throughout the world. Essentially it establishes a guarantee to title of land, which is backed by the relevant State Government. No such guarantee applies to Old System title.

Urban Planning – In the context of this practice, urban planning involves the preparation of urban or industrial layouts for a proposed project. These layouts include roads, traffic flow, utilities, housing density, shopping centres and schools etc to support a development application.

Bannister & Hunter can prepare other supporting documentation such as a Statement of Environmental Effects. The whole package is then lodged with council for determination which will often involve lengthy negotiation between the interested parties.

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Subdivisions

Banister & Hunter has experience with rural, residential and commercial subdivisions. We can survey parcels of rural acreage for subdivision into smaller lots to be sold off or developed for other purposes such as residential developments or industrial areas. Each process can be cost effectively project managed to ensure a first class development that is completed on time and within budget. Each project will often have its own special environmental or geotechnical engineering challenges that must be overcome before land clearing and building can commence.

Bannister & Hunter can effectively undertake all aspects of subdivision development work: from the initial surveying of land, clearing land, through to laying bitumen roads, concrete kerb and guttering and landscaping.

Our engineers and planners can design a stunning new subdivision which is both ergonomically functional and aesthetically pleasing. Key factors that are designed into or around the subdivision include: cost, fire safety, drainage, stormwater, infrastructure, traffic flow and parking.

Contact Banister & Hunter today to discuss your subdivision plans with our experienced engineers and planners. Ask to see the pictures of one of our recently completed quality residential subdivisions in Warnervale.

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Medium Density Developments

Masons Parade, Gosford

Site works, services arrangements and subdivision into strata units were completed recently by Bannister & Hunter.
We have also enjoyed a long association with developers of retirement villages and medium density projects.


Aurrum, Erina

ARTISTS IMPRESSION BY THRUM ARCHITECTS


El Lago, The Entrance

Bannister & Hunter have been associated with this exciting and very significant project from the start. This site will provide several hundred units and significant community facilities. Our involvement includes development advice, project management of site preparation, surveying and negotiations with government authorities. This project will set a new standard for The Entrance.

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Major Projects

Warnervale Town Center

Bannister & Hunter have been involved with the planning and development of the Warnervale Town Centre for many years. Work on this major project is well underway. Construction of the main entry road is scheduled for completion in 2015.


BlueTongue Brewery at Warnervale

Bannister & Hunter has been involved with bulk earthworks sites such as the new Bluetongue Brewery site at Warnervale. We have a long history of involvement with various quarries and other bulk earthworks projects.

Our services on this major project also included the setting out of all buildings and structures.

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