The Mount Bundey Training Area is a large Defence training area located approximately 120km east-southeast of Darwin spread over 117,300ha. The property is used by Defence for a variety of military training activities including mounted and dismounted live fire manoeuvre of force elements up to Unit sized as a single entity or up to combat team size within a BG environment, as well as limited offensive fire support training. Prior to the property being acquired by the Commonwealth of Australia in 1988, it was used for commercial grazing.
As accordance with the Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy, Intract were invited to tender for and were ultimately award the project to undertaken road repair and upgrade works across the Mount Bundey Training Area.
Scope of Work
The scope of works required the delivery of 27km of road construction comprising of 145,000m³ of detailed earthworks over a large geographic area. Several project teams were mobilised at various sites to deliver the works on multiple fronts.
Road repair works across all locations followed a consistent in methodology that included light reformation grading and stabilising, ripping and reformation up to 150mm deep, medium reformation, grading and stabilising, ripping and reformation up to 300mm deep, heavy reforming, grading and stabilising, and ripping and reformation up to 500mm deep.
Rock drop dams were placed along drainage lines to dissipate runoff water, reduce flow velocities and capture sediment and nutrients that would otherwise be lost from the site. Rock used was of a nominal 300mm diameter.
Several concrete floodways were constructed at various intervals to prevent erosion of the roadway during weather event. Construction included all associated ground preparation, formwork, concrete construction totalling 120m³, curing and the installation of road signage.
Other works included the installation of road furniture and signage.
Workforce peaked at 12 with 25% of all employees on site being female. Plant and equipment included three graders, three rollers, one wheel loader, two water trucks and two semi tippers. Project was completed with nil safety or environmental incidents. All construction water and fill materials were sourced on site.
The major safety risk on the project was the geographically disperse and remote nature of the works. Controls in place to ensure worker safety included constant two-way radio contact, no workers on their own with a minimum of two personnel at any work site at any time, workers travelled to and from site together to ensure all personnel were accounted for, and all personnel were required to sign in every morning and out every afternoon at the Range Control.
An additional risk was that the works were conducted on a live firing range. The project team liaised with the Range Control officers on a daily basis to ensure there were no firing activities in the area of works for that day. All works were on roadways which meant the risk of encountering unexploded ordinance (UXO) was low. Any UXO encountered was immediately reported to the Range Control and works in the affected area were temporarily halted until the UXO could be safely removed.
Indigenous participation for the project was 30% with three full time Indigenous personnel on the Intract delivery team. Indigenous personnel were skilled operators so no training was required as they were applying their skills.
An Indigenous Junior Project Manager supported the Project Manager through the delivery of the works. She was provided with upskilling and on the job training and was responsible for subcontractor engagement, progress claims, client deliverables, scheduling, inspection and test plan development, and Hand Over Take Over (HOTO) documentation. The Assistant Project Manager concurrently undertook tertiary study in project management during the works.