A world-first mobile health van that will help in the early detection of mine dust lung diseases has rolled off the production line of a Moreton Bay engineering and manufacturing business.
The Varley Group, based in Narangba, built the $4 million facility for the Heart of Australia which contained state-of-the-art equipment to detect diseases such as black lung and silicosis.
The van was unveiled at a gala event at the RNA Showgrounds on February 11 before it left to travel to remote regions across the state.
About Varley Group:
The Varley Group is one of Australia’s oldest engineering and manufacturing companies.
The company was founded in 1886 by George H Varley and began as a small plumbing and boiler making business servicing the industrial maintenance and ship repair markets of the Hunter Valley.
In its 135-year history, Varley has developed and evolved to a multi-national engineering company that services multiple sectors, including defence, marine services, specialised vehicles, rail services, power services, electric vehicles, fire and rescue, as well as fleet services.
In addition, Varley also operates in the United States with offices in Washington, Lexington Park and San Diego.
Varley USA, which was founded in 2014, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Varley Group that specialises in aerospace and defence programs, and was founded to leverage the technology, innovation, responsiveness and legacy of its Australian business to the American market.
Varley has been operating in Queensland since 1999 when a 5,000sqm site at Virginia opened to facilitate specialised vehicle manufacture.
Then in 2015, the company moved into a much larger facility at Narangba in the Moreton Bay Region, which is 16,000sqm.
Over the course of 2021/2022, workers from the Narangba site helped build a world-first mobile health unit to help with the early detection of mine dust lung disease.
The HEART 5 Mobile Health Unit took 18 months to build and was commissioned by Heart of Australia, which designed the van so that it could travel to remote areas across the state.
The $4 million van has its own X-ray machine and a world-first battery powered high-resolution computerised tomography (CT) scanner that will test for black lung and silicosis.
It means that workers in those rural communities can access these specialised services, ensuring earlier detection and intervention, without the need to travel to the larger cities.
The van was unveiled at the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane on February 11, which was attended by hundreds of people.
The delivery of HEART 5 was part of the Queensland Government’s response to the recommendations made by the Black Lung, White Lies report.
Varley has been working with the Heart of Australia for more than a decade.
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