darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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October 26, 2011

A $185 million upgrade at the East Sale RAAF Base is being designed to make sure small to medium businesses from across Gippsland have opportunities to work on the project.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester received a briefing from the Department of Defence earlier today, where he was assured that creating opportunities for local tradespeople was a priority.

“This project still has to be approved by Parliament’s Public Works Committee and I would encourage local businesses and lobby groups to make submissions supporting this investment in the East Sale RAAF Base,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s important that the community’s support for this expansion is registered and noted by those who will make the final decisions.”

Mr Chester said Theiss Australia had been appointed as the managing contractor for the proposed upgrade.

Theiss was also managing contractor of the recent RAAF College project at the East Sale Base, which utilised local businesses for around 60 per cent of the work.

Mr Chester said the $185 million project was three times the size of the RAAF College construction project and the building phase would continue for almost three years.

Mr Chester said local businesses should make sure they are registered to work on government projects so that they can tender when the opportunities arise.

“The project is being tailored so that small and medium-sized companies will have an opportunity to work on this expansion, but those companies will need to be registered under the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry, which is a requirement to work on any Federal Government project,” Mr Chester said.

“I encourage local businesses to take the first step and get registered so that when tendering opportunities arise, our local tradespeople are ready and able to make the most of this opportunity.”

Details of the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry are available at: www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelations/Policies/BuildingandConstruction/Pages/NationalCodeandGuidelines.aspx

Details about how to make a submission to the Public Works Committee are available online at www.aph.gov.au/pwc or by contacting the Committee Secretariat on (02) 6277 4636.

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