Sizzling projects despite construction challenges

With some sizeable construction projects awarded in the Northern Territory, the government has partnered with Master Builders to bring hundreds of skilled workers from overseas in the coming months.

Around 600 workers are expected to arrive in the territory to support MBA’s Born to Build program whose aim is to increase NT construction sector by 5000 workers. To attract the first cohort, a $200,000 grant has been allocated on a 25:75 co-contribution basis to MBA and a consortium of construction companies to lead three expos in Philippines and India from next week. Grants of up to $200,000 form part of the NT Government’s $12.million workforce boost package.

Evidence of the worker shortage may have contributed to the need for a second design and construct tender recently released for the Mandorah marine facilities. The previous tender, which closed in mid-2022, had not resulted in the successful selection of a contractor which the NT Government attributed to “cost challenges as a result of uncertain market conditions”.  It anticipates the timing of the new tender will see the project remain on track to be operational by the end of 2024.

Meanwhile, local construction company, Sitzler is sizzling in the northern heat, having scored two major projects in recent weeks, the $88 million Darwin Civic and State Square precinct, and stage two of the Tiger Brennan Drive Overpass (pictured) at $127.8 million.

The design and construct overpass project will be delivered over the next two years and support 150 jobs at its peak while the revitalisation of Darwin’s precinct will see Sitzler plan and design the Northern Territory Art Gallery and surrounding public spaces. Works on the precinct, such as construction of the underground car park, demolition of the Chan Building, and landscaping of the former 90-bay carpark, have already been completed.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.