GROWTH TIME: The future is looking bright for the Capricorn Coast economy thanks to various new projects getting under way this year.
GROWTH TIME: The future is looking bright for the Capricorn Coast economy thanks to various new projects getting under way this year. Rowan Bestmann Imagery

Projects pave way for future

IT IS with a high degree of anticipation that my earlier predictions for a positive period ahead for our region (2018-22) will result in employment growth, local industry participation, plus economic stability and growth for the region.

While I acknowledge that many of the foreshadowed projects will be keenly contested by companies outside of our region, the new direction of our state and national governments will ultimately result in greater opportunity and participation by regionally based contractors due to the new emphasis on local participation and content.

Local contractors and businesses that will be bidding for these opportunities, however, need to be well aware of the likely competition they will attract, plus demonstrate a capability, competitiveness and pre-qualification to be successful.

Capricorn Enterprise continues to support local business with advanced notice on regional projects and is working closely with a number of project proponents to ensure local industry participation.

Instances of this include:

  • The Australian Defence Force Shoalwater Bay MTA Projects. We expect an announcement in relation to the successful tenderer for Shoalwater Bay Remediation Project (valued at more than $135 million) will be made in the coming weeks. While understanding that all tenderers for this contract are from outside the region, we are working closely with tenderers to ensure that all associated work packages are designed to result in local participation.
  • The second and largest contract to emerge in the coming months for Shoalwater Bay is the ADF/SAF MTI Project, reported to be valued in excess of $1 billion. While this project remains in the development phase, a number of recognised defence primes have been enlisting our support on issues such as industry and business introductions, understanding local capability, industry training and development, familiarisations and the like.
  • Upcoming information sessions and forums aligned to defence projects are scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 - an industry update and forum - plus March 14 will be the Centre for Defence Industry Capability Industry Forum.
  • In Capricornia there is the Correctional Centre Expansion Project. CPB has been appointed by the State Government to manage this $200 million project and works are scheduled to commence soon. Work packages and project registrations are via the ICN Gateway Portal. This is a great opportunity for local businesses to be involved.
  • Highway projects will commence in 2018. Two important road infrastructure projects are to start this year - both are on our doorstep and I expect high interest from local contractors and suppliers.
  • The Bruce Highway Northern Access Upgrade is a $121 million project to duplicate approximately 4.9km of the highway between Rockhampton-Yeppoon road intersection and Terranova Dr, north of Rockhampton. The project is due to commence in the second half of 2018 and be completed late 2019.
  • Capricorn Highway - Rockhampton to Gracemere Duplication is another project due for commencement this year. The duplication of the highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere is a highly anticipated project for not only the residents of Gracemere but the Central Queensland region. On our latest information, this $75 million project will be a design and construct contract and is due to commence late 2018. I expect both of the above projects will attract high interest from a broad selection of our civil contractors and suppliers.
  • Other projects include the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project (construction of Rookwood Weir and associated infrastructure), with an announcement by the State Government expected in the coming weeks for the project to commence. Rookwood Weir has been one of our priority initiatives for a number of years and it is very rewarding to see our state and national governments agree on funding arrangements for the project to progress, its overall benefits to be experienced in the years to come.
  • Another development to emerge in recent times is the wind and solar project planned for the Clarke Creek region (within Livingstone and Isaac councils). Reported to be valued in excess of $800 million, we are liaising with the project proponents in anticipation of a 2018 start and local business/industry participation.

If you wish to know more about how to get involved, contact our regional economic development manager Neil Lethlean on 49272055.

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