The Gunner Government’s early 2019 pledge to “fast track” five construction projects valued at $126 million to create jobs and boost the economy has seen the majority of projects delayed, the NT Independent can reveal.
The government announced Thursday that construction works are progressing on upgrades to Litchfield National Park, but an NT Independent analysis of the five projects the government listed as being “fast tracked” in February 2019 found that three have been delayed despite the government insisting they were on the “fast track”.
Those three projects are the Palmerston Fire Station, the Mandorrah Jetty and the Kilgariff Stage Two land development project. Litchfield and Zuccoli are the two projects that have had some movement.
While announcing the government’s commitment to getting the projects moving to “support the Territory’s construction industry and create local jobs”, Chief Minister Michael Gunner said 500 jobs would be created.
“Creating local jobs is the number one priority of this Government,” he said in February 2019.
“This is what industry has been asking for to create certainty for their construction workforces, and enable businesses to plan ahead – and we are delivering on that. Our economy is driven by local business, and we will do everything we can to continue investing in jobs for Territorians.”
Palmerston Fire Station
Construction of the $25 million Palmerston Fire Station was expected to deliver 180 “direct and indirect” jobs during construction and was scheduled to begin in 2019, with completion expected by June 2021.
Government records show the project is still in the planning phase. The tender to design, document and construct the new fire station closed on October 23, 2019 and has yet to be awarded.
According to documents on one of the proposed tenderers website, the project was been reduced in scope with the tender updated with a new target award date of June 17.
The $50 million Mandorrah Jetty project that would see a new structure built and 80 jobs provided in the process has also been delayed. While the tender to design the new marine facilities was awarded in June 2019, the project has now been removed from the Gunner Government’s future tenders list and placed back in “projects in preparation” stage.
Kilgariff Stage Two
In February 2019, the Gunner Government stated the Kilgariff Stage Two development would be fast tracked to “ensure a continuous supply of affordable land in the Alice Springs market, Stage Two of the Kilgariff housing development will be brought forward, with funding of $4.1 million for an additional 30 lots, expected to be ready for auction by end 2020”.
But the project is currently still in the planning phase, records show.
A tender for survey services and another for architect consultancy was awarded in April, however another tender for real estate services closed on July 1 and is yet to be awarded.
The $17.5 million Litchfield campground upgrades announced today and the $29 million Zuccoli Primary School are the two projects of the five “fast tracked” that are currently moving ahead.