Business bulletin: 21 March 2019

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Concept image of Darwin luxury hotel at the Waterfront

The Darwin Westin Hotel has reached another major milestone with roadworks kicking-off this week.

The $200 million private sector investment will boost the economy, creating more than 500 jobs during construction and around 150 ongoing jobs. The project will also provide a significant boost to the tourism industry and help attract high-end investors wanting to do business in the Territory.

Darwin-based contractor McMahon Services Australia is delivering the first stage of construction which will employ a workforce of about 35 people. McMahon will work in conjunction with its sister company Intract, an Aboriginal-owned civil construction company that boasts a 92% Aboriginal employment rate.

Landbridge Group Project Director, Andy Payne said this is a significant milestone in the development.

“We are very pleased to have awarded the stage one works to a locally based business and we maintain our commitment to ensure maximum opportunities for qualified local contractors and suppliers.

As part of the first stage, Anchorage Court will be widened to ensure the cruise ship terminal continues to operate safely throughout the construction period. Other elements include a sea wall and foreshore access footpath, diversions and relocation of services, a new headwall and associated drainage.

The Northern Territory Government has also committed $17 million towards public infrastructure including a sky walk to link the Waterfront to the Central Business District.

Expressions of interest will be called later this year for the construction of the hotel.

“An industry briefing on the hotel construction contract will be held following the call for expressions of interest to provide more information to all interested contractors about the capability requirements,” Mr Payne added.

The hotel is expected to open in 2022.

Map of Darwin rural area showing proposed location of the seniors lifestyle accommodation in relation to other landmarks

The project to attract private sector investment into seniors’ lifestyle accommodation for the Darwin rural area is moving to the next phase.

In September last year, the Northern Territory Government sought expressions of interest (EOI) to develop a seniors’ lifestyle purpose-built accommodation village in the Darwin rural area.

Four EOIs were received from both local and national proponents, the next stage of development is the request for detailed proposal phase.

The Northern Territory Government put forward a Crown land site option as part of the EOI process and this is the only site option being considered as part of the request for detailed proposals phase.

Department of Trade, Business and Innovation CEO Shaun Drabsch said “By supporting private sector development of residential seniors’ accommodation, government is allowing market forces to determine the most appropriate model for the accommodation.”

“The next stage of the competitive process will provide more detail about the proposals. This will put the government in a better position to assess the project’s risks, opportunities and the potential outcomes for Territorians. “

The potential site includes proximity to services and transport in Coolalinga, approximately 29kms south east of the Darwin Central Business District and 10kms south east of Palmerston.

The area is part of a growing commercial precinct with major national retailers and speciality shops; and seven recreation nature reserves each offering its own range of activities.

A range of options for how the site could be configured and utilised as part of its development was put forward in the EOI and these will be further assessed and refined through the request for detailed proposals phase.

This next phase is expected to be completed before the end of this calendar year.

It is anticipated that once the developer is selected more detail will be available for the public about types of accommodation, costs, and the timeline for development.

Further work is being undertaken on potential development of seniors’ accommodation for the Alice Springs and Darwin urban areas.

Road works on the Keep River Road upgrade

A tender to upgrade the Keep River Road is expected to support more than 80 jobs for Territorians and increase the economic development of the area through year round access.

The upgrade of up to 28kms of road will deliver improved flood immunity, freight capacity and productivity to a number of northern Australia’s cattle producers.”

These works will also support the $1.45 billion prawn aquaculture project, Project Sea Dragon (PSD). At full-scale PSD has the potential to create around 1,500 jobs in northern Australia, including 700 jobs for local people on the ground at Legune Station, 300 jobs at a Darwin-based hatchery and breeding facilities and 500 jobs in Kununurra.

Stage one works include delivering the initial 13kms from the Western Australia border to a two-lane standard toward Legune Station, and a bridge over the Keep River.

In March last year, the Northern Territory Government awarded a contract to local business Allcast Pty Ltd to manufacture special bridge girders for the Keep River Bridge, with the moulds made here in Darwin.

The Keep River Road project is part of the Northern Australia Roads Program and is a partnership between the Australian and Northern Territory governments. The Australian Government has approved $39.9 million for the first stage of the project, with the Northern Territory Government contributing $17.5 million in total for both stages of the project.

The tender to upgrade Keep River Road is anticipated to be awarded in May 2019, with works expected to commence in July 2019. Completion of the first stage of this project is anticipated in September 2020.

Portrait shots of four NT Young Achievers Awards finalists

Four of the Territory’s brightest young entrepreneurs are in the running for the top Small Business of the Year Award at this year’s Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards.

Small businesses are the heart of the Territory, making a vitally important social and economic contribution.

This year’s finalists for the Small Business Achievement Award are within the tourism and hospitality industries. Two finalists are from Katherine - Annabel McLarty who co-owns the award winning Katherine Outback Experience, and Brogan Hanrahan who is the brains behind the popular Black Russian Caravan Bar.

Just 320kms north in Darwin are the two other finalists. Nathan Cooper the proud leader of the team behind Penguin Ice Company, and Eliza McCelland who turned her two passions into something truly memorable and opened catering company Pony & Sid.

“The young achievers award nomination gives small businesses an opportunity to feel appreciated through the community’s support and also gives recognition for all their hard work.” Says Pony & Sid Owner, Eliza McCelland.

The award celebrates young Territorians who are ‘giving it a go’ through determination, innovation, hard work and self-motivation.

The Small Business Achievement Award is the only business award out of the 12 categories, making it one of the most prestigious awards of the night. The winner will be announced at NT Young Achiever Award Gala Presentation Dinner on Friday 5 April 2019 at SKYCITY.

Find out more about all of the finalists go to the Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards website.

Front view of the Visitor Information Centre in Darwin

Are you looking to take your tourism business to the next level?

The team at Tourism Top End, in partnership with Tourism NT and the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation has developed a new program that will help enhance and grow your business in the areas that matter most to you.

The Tourism Enhancement Program is made up of a series of small group workshops and events that focus on a range of areas including business sustainability, digital marketing, social media, general distribution, industry connectivity, online reputation management, business excellence, international market-ready and China-ready.

Throughout the program you will have access to industry experts, business and marketing specialists and a digital coach to identify the areas of opportunity for your business.

The program kicks off in Darwin this week, with the first three events covering growing your business with online bookings, marketing and Facebook advertising.

Over the coming months more workshops will be added.

For more information or to stay up-to-date with new events go to the Tourism Top End website or phone 08 8980 6000.

NT Training Awards 2019, nominate now, training awards.nt.gov.au

Last updated: 18 June 2019

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