Australia’s Defence industry represents a key priority for the Australian Government as it’s been recognised as a significant economic contributor and has the potential to provide relatively high employment across each segment of the value chain. As such, the Australian Government has committed $270 billion in new and adjusted Defence capability by 2030 and renewed its focus on ensuring that the Australian industry can take advantage of the significant opportunities throughout the supply chain.
Considering the high level of activity happening across the Australian Defence sector currently, organisations like Duratec which support and service the industry, have become increasingly busy. First established in 2010, Duratec set out to provide whole-of-life engineering, construction and remediation services for key infrastructure however, as additional funding was invested into the Defence sector, it created a growing industry need for the construction remediation and design of Defence infrastructure. Consequently, Duratec formed a dedicated Defence division, which has rapidly become a national specialist contracting business.
During this time, Duratec has worked on a number of diverse and exciting projects which often have both a strong cultural and historical connection to Australia. This diversity in delivery ranges from, delivering maintenance upgrade works on the Victoria Barracks Melbourne to constructing an extension to the existing HMAS Stirling Armament Wharf and associated infrastructure.
To explore a little more about what’s involved in these projects and the significance they play in Australia’s overall Defence sector, we spoke to Duratec’s Defence Manager Tristan Rees:
Defence is one of the key industries Duratec provides services for, why does the industry have such a key significance in Australia?
Defence is one of the biggest federally funded sectors in Australia and the government has made a significant commitment into future funding, as Australia continues to strengthen and protect its strategic interests. Because the industry is so closely tied to the country's overall economy, sovereignty and self-reliance it is an important priority for the Australian Government.
What is unique about working on projects within the Defence space, compared to the other areas Duratec specialise in? (e.g. energy, marine, transport etc.)
Working in the Defence sector provides the opportunity to work on complex and challenging projects; we have a significant variety of works across Defence’s Airforce, Navy and Army assets. The beauty of working in this sector is that every project is different and presents its own unique challenges that you have to work through. Some might involve the restoration and maintenance of heritage-listed buildings, while others involve upgrading and refurbishing key infrastructure for institutions like the Royal Australian Navy. No matter the project, however, all play a significant role in maintaining the country’s overall prosperity.
Duratec is currently growing its operations and team within the Northern Territory, particularly within the Defence space. Why is the Northern Territory a great opportunity for Duratec?
Duratec has been located in the Northern Territory for over 6 years. The NT is of strategic significance to the Defence Force due to its proximity to neighbouring countries and trade routes, making it a frequent hub of activity. Consequently, being based in the Northern Territory allows Duratec to be close to where the action is, leveraging the Defence, Energy, Oil and Gas and Renewables markets in the region which in turn provides significant growth opportunities for Duratec.
The construction, upgrade and maintenance of Defence infrastructure can lend itself to technically challenging and sensitive projects. How does Duratec manage the delivery of these?
Duratec has a dedicated National Defence Division, which has systems in place tailored specifically to handle the complexities involved with Defence projects and the requirements specific to the Defence Industry (be that minimising the impact on the environment/community surrounding the project or the confidential nature of information involved with each project). These systems which have been carefully developed over time, allow new members to make an easier transition onto new projects and have helped to develop a national network that can support our project delivery teams.
The Defence industry has a lot of diverse stakeholders involved in each project; a significant stakeholder being the local community the project is operated in. Considering relationships are a driving force of Duratec, how do you navigate and balance the needs of these different stakeholders – and especially uphold the needs of the local community?
Because the Defence sector is a federally funded agency, it has federal targets for local industry engagement and community support. Duratec obviously takes these targets very seriously and we take great pride in ensuring our business processes support our nation's interests and the local communities that Duratec work in.
Another key goal for Duratec is being sustainable in its business activities. What do you think are the key sustainability challenges/issues facing the Defence industry currently and how does Duratec try to tackle these?
As a construction and remediation business, Duratec's key purpose is to extend the service life of Australia’s key infrastructure, often through refurbishing existing assets. In doing this, Duratec is helping to create sustainable infrastructure and help lower the industry’s carbon footprint. Duratec’s technical division is also at the forefront of durability and sustainable technologies in building materials and overall processes.
Moving forward, what are Duratec’s goals for the NT branch over the next year?
Duratec has been established in the NT for over 6 years and in this time has established itself as a leading local contractor in the market. Our projects are directly to the end-users as a head contractor. With the number of opportunities occurring across the NT at the moment, Duratec is focusing on continuing to grow and develop the NT team. Working from our NT base, is a great opportunity for skill exposure and development, as you’ll be exposed to all of the industry sectors we work with and be a part of the ongoing growth of the business.
One particular project Duratec are very excited about that will be based in the Northern Territory, is Defence’s RAAF Base Tindal Redevelopment. Duratec has received formal notice of award for a $110 million new Aviation Refuelling Facility construction sub-contract, which will be an integral part of the USFPI RAAF Base Tindal Airfield Works and Associated Infrastructure Project. This major project award along with the accumulation of minor contract awards has boosted the current Defence-focused order book to $230 million and the company’s total order book to $425 million and $1.8 billion in tangible opportunities. Site access documentation works have already commenced, and the project is due for completion in August 2024.
To learn more about this project and Duratec’s involvement you can click here
Alternately, you can view the full scope of projects Duratec have worked on here
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Alternately, to learn more about Duratec, their NT operations and the current positions they have available within their NT office you can contact our consultants Tim Chapman and Alex Christou.
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