Barpa Pty Ltd, an Australian Indigenous construction company, has been awarded contracts to upgrade Puckapunyal and HMAS Waterhen.
“Puckapunyal Military Area in Victoria is the Australian Army’s centre for combined arms doctrinal development and training, supporting a large number of defence personnel, family members, and foreign visitors,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said.
“The project will improve critical base infrastructure that supports the operation and sustainment of the Puckapunyal Military Area in support of Army capability.
“As part of the Puckapunyal Mid-Term Refresh Project, Barpa will remediate and upgrade the current water, stormwater and sewerage systems throughout the Base.”
The HMAS Waterhen project will improve critical base infrastructure.
“HMAS Waterhen is the Royal Australian Navy’s lead establishment for mine warfare and supports a large workforce of Defence personnel,” Minister Price said.
“Barpa will remediate and upgrade the engineering services and working accommodation at HMAS Waterhen.”
Barpa was procured under the Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) to support development of Indigenous businesses, skills and workforce.
Defence says it continues to exceed Australian Government targets under the Indigenous Procurement Policy and has awarded more $2 billion in contract value to Indigenous-owned businesses.
In 2020-21, Defence exceeded its number target (676 contracts) by awarding over 3426 contracts to Indigenous businesses at a value of $497 million (against a value target of $110 million).
In May, Hayden Surrao of Indigenous and veteran-owned consultancy JLB-Yaran told ADM that the IPP was 'fantastic' but that government and private industry needed to move beyond the letter of the IPP.
"The IPP is a great thing. It's been fantastic for creating opportunities for Indigenous people. But what we'd like to see is companies saying, 'we want to have an Indigenous director in the next 10-15 years', and growing that internally," Surrao said.