Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls
Preferred Proponent Chosen For First Phase Of Ord Expansion
Victor P Taffa
The Liberal-National Government’s $220 Million Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project today reached its biggest milestone with the awarding of the first major construction contract.
Premier Colin Barnett announced the successful proponent would be a joint venture between Leighton / Indigenous Business Australia (IBA).
The proponent would build the 19 km of irrigation channel, a 13 km road extension and irrigation control structures.
“The joint venture has significant experience in managing construction projects of this scale.” Premier Barnett said.
“They also have an established track record in delivering indigenous employment and business outcomes.”
The Premier said the four shortlisted proponents were assessed on a number of evaluation criteria, including their proposed indigenous and community development programs. The contract process and evaluation was managed by LandCorp.
“Expanding the Ord River into a world-class agricultural precinct was a key election promise in 2008.” Premier Barnett said.
“On completion, the project would ultimately double the Ord irrigation area to 28,000 ha, with the first release of the new agricultural blocks, following environmental approvals, expected by 2011-12.”
Regional Development and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls, said the criteria demonstrated the Liberal-National Government’s commitment to improving the social and financial well-being of local indigenous people as a result of the project.
“The project is funded by the Liberal-National Government’s Royalties for Regions program and will deliver significant outcomes for the traditional owners in the region, the Miriuwung Gajerrong people, including extensive training, employment and business opportunities.” Mr. Grylls said
Phase One of the project includes construction of 19 km of irrigation channel, a 13 km road extension and irrigation control structures, as well as the implementation of indigenous and local employment; and business programs.
The State Government would now enter into commercial negotiations with Leighton / Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) Joint Venture, with a contract expected to be finalised in the next month.
The Transfield Services / Ertech Joint Venture were named as the reserve proponent.
This announcement by Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls vindicates the strong stand that he took during the 2008 State election campaign and completely validates his position into signing a Coalition agreement with Premier Colin Barnett.