• RAN’s Bungaree troupe of Indigenous dancers and Captain John Stavridis.
    RAN’s Bungaree troupe of Indigenous dancers and Captain John Stavridis. Defence

The Garden Island (Bayinguwa) project is a keystone in Defence’s support for the Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy, which aims to spur demand for Indigenous businesses and stimulate economic development.

The Department invested $452 million in engaging Indigenous businesses in the last financial year, a significant jump from the $108 million the year prior.

Much of this spend can be attributed to the Garden Island refurbishment works, run by managing contractor and Indigenous construction and project service provider PSGH.

The initial scope of the Garden Island project, identified in early 2014, involved an upgrade of the Cruiser Wharf to address the existing conditions as well as identifying structural and engineering services risks.

However, the initial scope would not meet the Navy’s long terms needs, and so the project was expanded to involve demolishing the existing Cruiser and Oil Wharfs, constructing a new single continuous wharf in their place on a new alignment, and extending the adjoining East Dock Wharf to meet the new realigned wharf.

PSGH managed the design with the resulting cost plan totalling $213 million before bringing on Lendlease into a joint venture called the Garden Island Bayinguwa Delivery Team (GIBDT).

To date, GIBDT has navigated a successful design phase, commenced the procurement process, turned the first sod on site, and run several cultural awareness workshops with Lendlease.

The two companies have committed to an Indigenous Engagement Plan that set a four per cent target for Indigenous employment and another four per cent target for Indigenous procurement.

“We’re delighted to be involved in this major project in support of Navy,” Troy Rugless, PSGH Managing Director, said. “Working with Defence has been critical in enabling PSGH to grow its business.

“The support provided by Lendlease has provided a huge opportunity to engage a number of other indigenous businesses.”

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