September 2021 newsletter

  • Despite the continuing impact of COVID-19 across the nation, the Northern Territory is all systems go with more local businesses being awarded works packages as part of the RAAF Base Tindal Redevelopment, USFPI Training Areas and Ranges project, and the Larrakeyah Defence Precinct Redevelopment. Nationwide, local industry participation in defence infrastructure projects is sitting at 75%. In the Territory, we are proud to say we are achieving 82% participation.

    A 2,200 strong United States Marine Corps contingent has been training with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), most recently through Exercise Koolendong 2021 – a high-end, live-fire warfighting exercise at the vast and remote Bradshaw Field Training Area. We look forward to welcoming 450 Singapore Air Force Fighter Detachment personnel to participate in training activities across the Territory in the coming months.

    The DefenceNT industry engagement team continues to have a presence in the regions, visiting businesses in Alice Springs and Katherine on a regular basis. The Ventia Sub-Contractor Forums this month were well received by industry in Katherine and Darwin, and provided greater insight into the 12-month pipeline of works as part of the Defence Bases Services program.

    The Lendlease “Try A Trade Day” held at RAAF Base Tindal this month, has given local high school students the opportunity to explore trades in the construction sector. Local contractors gave the tools to students to teach basic skills in building, concreting, plumbing and electrical work.

    The DefenceNT Veterans Engagement team recently attended the opening of the RSL Alice Springs sub-branch Military Museum which is located within the National Transport Hall of Fame. The Museum features memorabilia and artefacts from military conflicts collected over almost six decades and a tribute to Aboriginal soldiers who have fought for Australia.

    Veterans Health Week (VHW) will be held nationally between Saturday 16 and Sunday 24 October 2021. The theme is ‘Get Moving’ - physical activity. Community organisations with established links to the veteran community are eligible to apply for VHW funding or to register an event on the VHW website, hosted by the Australian Government’s Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For more information visit

    USMC RQ21 Drone

  • The announcement on 15 September 2021 with the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) represents a generational shift in Australia’s defence and national security posture. This is not to be understated and we have not seen something on this scale since the end of World War II.

    Australia, the UK and the US have agreed to the creation of an enhanced trilateral security partnership – AUKUS. This is in response to the rapidly changing security environment in the Indo-Pacific region. As the joint leaders’ statement noted, “military modernisation is occurring at an unprecedented rate and capabilities are rapidly advancing and their reach expanding. The technological edge enjoyed by Australia and our partners is narrowing”.

    As details of the various elements are worked through over the next 12-18 months, it is a safe assumption that northern Australia, and in particular the Northern Territory, will feature prominently to support and enable new initiatives and capabilities. This further strengthens the Territory’s role as not only as a Forward Operating Base for the Australian Defence Force, our allies and partners, but also as a logistics, sustainment, maintenance, supply, training and exercising ‘Alliance Hub’ in the Indo-Pacific.

    As the Northern Territory Defence and National Security Advocate, Dr Alan Dupont AO, noted, “with the renewed national focus on defending Australia from threats to the stability of our Indo-Pacific neighbourhood the Territory is set to become the key northern hub for defence of the continent and the forward projection of military power in a way that has not been contemplated for nearly eighty years”.

    Navy ship docked at wharf.

  • Members of the ADF and Defence Prime Contractors are now invited to nominate a Territory business for the Minister’s Award for Excellence in the Defence Industry. This Award recognises the outstanding contribution a local businesses is making to support Defence, including Australian Army, Navy, Air Force and Border Force.

    An increasing number of local businesses have been working on Defence projects since 2016 when the ADF began a 20-year, $20 billion infrastructure investment in the Territory.

    There are a number of major projects that the NT is involved in to support Defence in the region, including upgrading the Larrakeyah Defence Precinct, being the home port for Offshore Patrol Vessels, and upgrading and expanding facilities at Defence training areas across the NT, including at the Tindal RAAF base.

    For more information on the Award and how to nominate a business, visit

    People receiving an award

  • In Partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), the Northern Territory Government has launched the Northern Territory Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund (AMEF), valued at $7.5 million.

    The AMEF will accelerate the creation of advanced manufacturing businesses and increase competitiveness and grow capabilities, expanding industries and creating more jobs for Territorians.

    Eligible industries include:

    • food and agriculture
    • critical minerals
    • defence and security
    • medical and pharmaceutical
    • space
    • material recovery/recycling
    • energy, resources and technology
    • petrochemicals
    • construction
    • fabrication
    • digital
    • maritime, and
    • carbon reduction.

    Every project funded from the AMEF requires at least 1 local collaborator, being a local business, manufacturer or supplier, in addition to a research institution.

    For more information or to apply for the AMEF, visit

    Wilkinson employees

  • Since 2015, Master Builders NT (MBNT) and Defence have worked in partnership around the $8bn Defence Infrastructure Program in the Top End.

    Aimed at upgrading existing base facilities and delivering new capabilities across the Top End, it is one of the most significant infrastructure programs in the country.

    In a unique partnership, the 2 organisations have worked to understand local industry capacity and capability - a crucial issue if strategic projects are to be delivered on time.

    “Capacity to Spare” studies developed in 2015 and 2016 removed uncertainty on capacity and capability of NT industry and helped to set the scene for the major procurement policy adjustments announced in 2018.  Adjustments designed around local project delivery using local supply chains.

    This month that relationship shifted to another gear, with the first Construction Industry Roundtable co-chaired by the Australian Government’s Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon. Melissa Price MP, and the Northern Territory Minister for Defence Industries, the Hon. Nicole Manison MLA.

    Along with MBNT, DefenceNT, the Chamber of Commerce NT and the Industry Capability Network NT joined with Defence to have a detailed discussion on the Infrastructure Program in 2021 and beyond. This ongoing dialogue will ensure the opportunities presented by the unprecedented Defence investment in the Territory will be maximised.

    Building site

  • The Northern Territory is rapidly growing as a centre for marine services and supply. It supports the operations of the ADF and allied forces, Australian Border Force, the offshore oil and gas industry, commercial fishing industry, tourism industry and the general maritime industry.

    The Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission has identified the need for a clear strategy to support the holistic growth of the Territory’s maritime industry.

    Business and industry are now invited to provide feedback on the recently released Maritime Industry Development Plan Discussion Paper. This discussion paper has been prepared to provide context and guide feedback from stakeholders, which will then be incorporated into the development of the Maritime Industry Development Plan (the Plan).

    The Plan will provide a whole-of-government and industry framework for the development of the maritime sector and will include the development of the Marine Industry Park, the Darwin Ship Lift, berths for superyachts, a holistic approach to ports throughout the Territory, and a comprehensive workforce strategy.

    For more information and to provide feedback on the Plan visit

    Container shipping docked

  • ICN Gateway is an essential tool for businesses interested in participating in defence projects in the NT and nationally. Current opportunities in the NT include:

    J0109 Larrakeyah Defence Precinct Redevelopment Program

    EST00346 Tindal  Redevelopment / EST00347 KC-30A Facilities

    USFPI Northern Territory Training Areas & Ranges Project

    Delamere Air Weapons Range Works Project

    AMENTUM Projects

    Other Opportunities

    National Supply Chain EOI for Deployable Infrastructure

    SAAB Australia Pty Ltd has recently released a national EOI for deployable infrastructure.

    The ADF and other government agencies use deployable infrastructure for a range of operations, from conflict to peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

    For more information on this opportunity visit the ICN Gateway project page.

    Request for Tender: DHA-PROC-57192 Appointment of contractors to the residential maintenance services panel (Darwin)

    Defence Housing (DHA) is seeking tenders from suitably qualified contractors to join the Residential Maintenance Services Panel for various maintenance jobs including cleaning and ground maintenance in Darwin.

    Copies of RFT:

    Closing date: 3pm Monday 18 October 2021

    Enquiries: DHA Procurement

    LSD/RFT/17695/1: Defence Equipment Hire Program

    The Department of Defence is seeking tenders from suitably qualified contractors to establish one or more standing offers for the hire of a range of plant and miscellaneous equipment known as the Defence Equipment Hire Program (DEHP) to supplement the ADF’s current in-service equipment. This includes earth moving equipment (C Vehicles); Material handling equipment (D vehicles) and miscellaneous equipment such as generators, electrical distribution systems, refrigeration, lighting and construction equipment.

    Copies of RFT:

    Closing date: 12pm Thursday 21 October 2021

    Enquiries: Project Manager,

    Welder in action

  • Last year the Australian Army announced a $1.24 million investment to pilot SPEE3D technology with the WarpSPEE3D Tactical printer to test the feasibility of deploying metal 3D printing capability.

    This year SPEE3D has been working closely with Army to train the first military Additive Manufacturing Cell (AMC) technicians who specialise in the production of 3D metal printed parts, from design to printing, machining, heat treatment and certification.

    Over the 3-week trial, the AMC technicians produced metal parts for the M113 armoured personnel carrier - a vehicle that has been used by the Australian Army for over 40 years. The aim of this year’s trial was to prove metal 3D printing can produce high-quality, military grade parts that can be validated and certified for use in the field. The success of this trial will demonstrate that additive manufacturing plays an important part in the future of Defence readiness.

    Check out this video of SPEE3D technology being used during Exercise Koolendong 2021.

    If you have a good news story you would like to share, please get in touch or 8999 5108

    Speed award

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