The Liberal-National Government’s $220million 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 19km of irrigation channel, a 13km road extension and irrigation control structures.
“The joint venture has significant experience in managing construction projects of this scale,” Mr 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,” he said.
“On completion, the project would increase the Ord irrigation area to 22,000ha, with the first release of the new agricultural blocks, following environmental approvals, expected by the end of this year.”
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 19km of irrigation channel, a 13km 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 was named as the reserve proponent.
For more information visit http://www.royaltiesforregions.wa.gov.au/ord
Office of the Premier - 9222 9475
Office of the Minister for Regional Development and Lands - 9213 7000