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Business Bulletin, 3 September 2021

By Leo D’Angelo Fisher

Top stories:

  • Perth companies win $52 million contract for wharf extension

  • $1.2 million boost to Australian defence exporters

  • ADF set for $158 million upgrade of engineering vehicles

Perth companies win $52 million contract for wharf extension

A joint venture between Perth-based engineering and construction companies Duratec and Ertech has been named head contractor for the $52 million extension and upgrade of the HMAS Stirling Oxley Wharf.

The construction works will support the mooring and berthing of the new Hunter Class Frigates, Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels and other Royal Australian Navy vessels.

Works at HMAS Stirling will include the design and construction of the 138-metre wharf extension and a 25-metre wide wharf deck supported by tubular steel piles.

The contract is a boon for local industry. Businesses located within 50km of HMAS Stirling are earmarked to win 93% of all sub-contract work.

The Duratec-Ertech joint venture has also set an Indigenous workforce target of at least 4% and an Indigenous-owned enterprise sub-contractor target of at least 4%.

Designs for the Oxley Wharf extension and upgrade will be finalised in early 2022, with on-site construction to start soon after. The project will support up to 75 construction jobs


$1.2 million boost to Australian defence exporters

Defence Global Competitiveness grants totalling more than $1.2 million have been awarded to six Australian businesses to boost their export capability.

ASX-listed Perth company Orbital Corporation received $195,624 to expand its production capability for propulsion systems and flight componentry for tactical unmanned aerial vehicles.

The company plans to have five different engine models in production by 2023.

Brisbane company GaardTech will use its grant of $166,000 to buy new equipment and increase its dedicated fabrication capabilities.

Gaardtech manufactures full-sized military vehicles – including tanks, armoured fighting vehicles and air defence vehicles – for live-fire training. Targets can be statically positioned or fitted with an internal robotic capability to simulate enemy advances and attacks.

Melbourne-based company Trakka Systems will use its $193,192 grant to acquire specialist equipment to perform in-house environmental stress screening and quality assurance for the components it manufactures.

Trakka designs and develops gyro-stabilised camera systems, high-intensity searchlights, command and control systems and moving maps for airborne, ground and maritime applications.

Adelaide-based manufacturer of gaskets and sealing materials JTM Gaskets (trading as Industrial Gaskets) received $211,260 to buy equipment that will enable it to produce a higher volume of products.

Another Adelaide business, electronics engineering company Electrocad Australia, will use its grant of $240,000 to install a dedicated clean room and to purchase equipment for the manufacture of complex defence components.

Sydney-based Repetition Engineering (trading as Challenge Engineering) will use its $240,000 grant to purchase specialist machinery for the manufacture of machined components.

Defence Global Competitiveness grants are administered by the Centre for Defence Industry Capability.


ADF set for $158 million upgrade of engineering vehicles

Infrastructure services company Ventia has been awarded a $158 million contract to upgrade the Australian Defence Force’s fleet of engineering vehicles, providing the ADF with a further 291 vehicles, including cranes, excavators, bulldozers, loaders, telehandlers, forklifts, graders and rollers.

The project will provide spin-off benefits for Australian businesses in the areas of project management, systems engineering, modification, technical documentation, logistics and training. Local networks and distributors will also be used for the supply of vehicles.

The contract will help to standardise, rationalise and modernise the ADF’s current Engineer Support Platforms fleet.

The vehicles will be used for projects such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. This includes construction, demolition, development of protective earthworks, route development and maintenance, airfield and port construction and repair, port operations and supply and distribution.

The contract is expected to create 23 new jobs and support the continuing employment of another 65 workers.


Leo D'Angelo Fisher is a regular columnist and Editor-at-Large at Australian Veteran News. Connect with him on Twitter: @DAngeloFisher.

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