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Tasmanian-based company to manage new Macquarie Island research station build

Published: Friday, 6 July 2018

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THE HON JOSH FRYDENBERG MP
Minister for the Environment and Energy

MEDIA RELEASE

6 July 2018

TASMANIAN-BASED COMPANY TO MANAGE NEW MACQUARIE ISLAND RESEARCH STATION BUILD

A company, established in Ulverstone on Tasmania’s North West coast in 1994, has been appointed as the preferred tenderer for the construction of a new research station on Macquarie Island.

VEC Civil Engineering Pty Ltd, with its head office in Ulverstone, will be responsible for the design and construction of the new research station as part of the $50 million project which will provide procurement opportunities for local small and medium businesses.

“This is great news for Ulverstone, great news for Tasmania and great news for the Antarctic sector,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“It means not only more opportunities for local small and medium businesses, but also further cements Tasmania as the premier gateway to Antarctica.”

Following the completion of contract negotiations, VEC Civil Engineering will manage a team of sub-contractors to commence the design of the station including the renewal of the island field huts and the decommissioning of the current station buildings.

With the Macquarie Island research station celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and reaching the end of its life, the Coalition Government announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art research station in October 2016.

The new station, due for completion in 2022, will be capable of supporting priority science and ensuring a permanent year-round presence. It will be significantly more efficient than the existing station and designed to minimise operating and maintenance costs.

The Department began a two stage procurement process in November 2017, issuing an open approach to the market via AusTender. Short-listed companies were then invited to submit a Request for Tender (RFT) in March this year, with four tenders received.

VEC Civil Engineering Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Downer EDI that has more than 300 sites mainly across Australia but also overseas.

Macquarie Island research station, currently home to 14 expeditioners over winter increasing to up 40 in summer, is an important global monitoring location for scientific research including monitoring southern hemisphere weather and climate.

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