NOVEMBER 27, 2015
CENTRAL Australia is on the cusp of a development boom offering enormous potential for local business to grow and create new employment.
That’s the view of newly appointed Industry Capability Network (ICN) regional manager Jay Walker.
ICN is a national organisation which links developers with service providers and suppliers.
Based in the Central Australian Development Office, Mr Walker is building a database of businesses interested in opportunities with the gas pipeline and other major projects.
“We’re looking for people who are roaring and ready to go, who have the staff and the capacity,” he said.
“There are lots of opportunities for everybody.
“The ripple effect from this project will be enormous.”
Mr Walker said Alice Springs was well positioned to benefit from providing accommodation and supplies for the pipeline.
“Supplies could be anything from steel to tyres and equipment for hire,” he said.
“Accommodation will ne needed for people who may fly in, from Queensland for example, and then take the milk run flight to Tennant Creek.
“Another big thing is indigenous employment opportunities for training organisations and businesses to skill up the Aboriginal workforce.”
Mr Walker said the role of ICN was to assess the capability of interested businesses and give feedback to the proponent.
In addition to the pipeline, other major works on the horizon in Central Australia include the Melanka development, Chandler salt mine and Mount Peake TNG project.
“If we want the region to prosper we need to be prepared or we will miss the boat,” he said.
Mr Walker is a former banker who grew up on a Top End cattle station.
He has lived in Alice Springs for the past year.
Business operators interested in registering with ICN should visit gateway.icn.org.au online.
Meanwhile, the successful bidder for the North East Gas Interconnector, Jemena, has chosen McConnell Dowell to build the 623km pipeline.
McConnell Dowell worked with Jemena through the competitive tender process.
The contract will include the high-pressure gas pipeline, two compressor stations and gas treatment facilities. The value of this construction work is expected to exceed $300 million.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
NT News .com.au