Monday, November 26, 2012

Love leads to Mission Australia Katherine

Michelle Kudell took a chance on love and is now the new Regional Services Manager for Mission Australia in Katherine.

The former Manager for Indigenous Health at Darling Downs and South West Queensland Medicare Local reconnected with her high school sweetheart, whom she’s known for 28 years, and followed her heart north.

As fate would have it, Mission Australia was looking for someone with her experience, passion and enthusiasm to lead their Katherine team and manage delivery of its regional programs.

Ms Kudell has more than 10 years in the health welfare and education industry and a strong interest in Indigenous health. 

At GP Connections in Toowoomba she headed up the development of the Be Proud card, which helps aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people access mainstream health services, and was instrumental in organising an Indigenous Health Committee for the Darling Downs region.

“I love to work creatively and hope I can inspire my team to achieve new and great things in their field,” Ms Kudell said.

“I aim to continue to build our current programs and look for ways to make them sustainable and relevant to the community.”

Mission Australia run a variety of programs in Katherine and surrounding remote communities including money management, housing support, early intervention programs for youth homelessness and dedicated case management.

“I’d also like to be proactive in helping the homeless and be part of community task forces that achieve real results,” Ms Kudell said.

When not at work, you’re likely to see the visual artist (and her sweetheart) trying to land a barra or exploring the natural wonders in the region.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

AACo appoints project management and construction companies for Meat Processing Facility

Australian Agricultural Company Limited (AACo) today announced it had appointed the Project Manager and Managing Contractor for the construction of the meat processing facility at Livingstone Valley, 50km south of Darwin.

Locally based Project Management specialists Thinc and construction company Sunbuild have been contracted to manage the building of the facility.

AACo General Manager, Mr Stewart Cruden said that the expertise both companies will bring to the project was of the highest standard.

Thinc has extensive experience in major property and capital works projects while Sunbuild has established an excellent reputation in the Territory with award winning projects such as Evolution, the Darwin Rail Terminal and Darwin Airport Resort.
“AACo welcomes both companies on board, their appointment is a significant milestone and with earth works already underway, we can now start to see how the facility will actually take shape,” he said.

“After months of careful planning it’s all systems go.”
Construction of the meat processing facility will create around 230 jobs. It is expected much of the workforce will be accessed from local contractors, with some specialist skills sought from outside of the Northern Territory as required.

The Processing Facility will be developed at a capital cost of around $85 million.
Tender documents will also be released for drainage, concrete, steelwork, insulated panel and specialised equipment.

Facility construction and equipment installation is expected to be complete in the third quarter of next year, with commissioning beginning immediately.

Once operational, the facility will create 260 direct and a further 530 indirect jobs, including substantial new opportunities for indigenous and female workers in the region. It will inject $126 million a year into the local economy, will be efficient from a carbon emissions standpoint, and improve animal welfare outcomes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

No need for court for construction complaints

A leading Northern Territory lawyer says builders no longer need to feel powerless against developers when construction disputes arise.

Alistair Wyvill SC of William Forster Chambers said builders often feel they have to discount their invoices to get paid, even when they believe there’s no foundation to the developer’s complaint.

The Darwin barrister said subcontractors and suppliers also take this approach when owed money by contractors. They feel that their only other option is an expensive and drawn out court case.

Mr Wyvill says that builders and subcontractors do have a viable alternative to costly court proceedings by using adjudications under the Construction Contract (Security of Payments) Act.

“Adjudication is a fast and cost effective way of forcing payment under construction contracts. It normally takes about four weeks and if successful results in a judgment enforceable by the courts,” Mr Wyvill said

“There is no limit to the amount which can be awarded. It is the big stick that every builder or supplier should know about.”

The Security of Payments legislation is in place to promote the use of good payment practices and to help resolve building contract disputes without drawn out and costly court cases.

Under the process an independent and qualified professional reviews each party’s case  and determines the competing claims on a strict timetable.

Determinations cannot be appealed and if not complied with can result in companies being subject to a substantial court judgment and even winding-up proceedings.

“It is highly likely that the Northern Territory will see an increase in construction industry contract payment disputes in the expected building and mining boom,” Mr Wyvill said.

“It is vital for members of the construction industry to understand this legislation, be aware of the opportunities it creates and but also to understand its pitfalls.”

William Forster Chambers will be conducting a seminar on Security of Payments Adjudication directed to builders and developers on Tuesday 27 November 2012 between 4.30pm and 6.00pm at William Forster Chambers, 26 Harry Chan Avenue, Darwin.

For further information go to  or call Megan White on 89824700.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sherwin Iron and NLC reach historic agreement for mine

Sherwin Iron Limited and the Northern Land Council have reached an agreement on the terms under which Sherwin may mine the Roper River Iron Ore Project.
The agreement, ratified at a full council meeting of the NLC today, is a critical milestone in securing the future of the mine as well as providing substantial benefits to the traditional owners and native title holders of the mine.

The Roper River Iron Ore Project, which is 500km south east of Darwin, has a current resource of 488 million tonnes. The project includes several major deposits including Hodgson Downs, Mount Fisher, Sherwin Creek, Mount Scott and Yumanji.

The NLC agreement is subject to Ministerial approval.

The agreement covers mining and exploration over all Sherwin tenements and includes royalty payments and Indigenous employment targets.

Sherwin Iron Executive Chairman Barry Coulter paid tribute to the NLC and traditional owners for their commitment to the project.

“There has been a real spirit of openness and trust throughout the negotiations,” Mr Coulter said.

“We are all committed to achieving an outcome that brings benefits to the traditional owners, local people and the broader Territory community.”

Up to 200 people will be employed during construction of the mine, with 400 jobs created once fully operational. At least 200 million tonnes of ore will be produced over the mine life, including initial 40 million tonnes of high value Direct Shipping Ore.

Direct investment in the mine is estimated to be $800 million over the life of the project, which includes mine infrastructure, beneficiation facilities, camp, transport infrastructure and environmental control processes.

In broader Territory terms, assessment by Perth-based Prime Research estimates a boost of between $2,500 million and $2,900 million to the economy over the next eight years.

Sherwin Iron is currently moving through environmental assessment and community consultation ahead of lodging a Notice of Intent with the Northern Territory Government later this month.
The project was granted Major Project Status by the Northern Territory Government earlier this year. Work is continuing on completing an Environmental Impact Statement and working towards receiving regulatory approval.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Creative Territory shortlisted for international social media award

Creative Territory has been shortlisted for an international award for social media.

The Darwin-based company has been named as one of three shortlisted entries in the Public Affairs Asia Gold Standard Awards, which recognise excellence in public affairs throughout the Asia Pacific region.

The company is up against campaigns by global companies Adidas and IBM in the Social Media Communications category, the winner of which will be announced in Hong Kong on December 6.

Creative Territory has been recognised for its use of social media during Cyclone Carlos in February 2011, including the provision of information through Facebook and Twitter during the storm and its research into community information sources afterwards.

Managing director and social media commentator Tracy Jones said her company’s work has led to a greater understanding of how people in the Top End access information during emergencies in the social media age.
“Our research has shown that Territorians are increasingly switching to their smartphones and computers in an emergency,” Tracy said.

“When Cyclone Carlos hit Darwin, Territorians were looking to Facebook and Twitter to find out what was going on but few local organisations were there with them.

“We’ve seen an amazing turnaround since then, with authorities and the media now providing a complete social media service that not only provides information but engages Territorians in the recovery process.

“The use of Facebook and Twitter during Cyclone Carlos was 22 per cent. Just 10 months later during Cyclone Grant that had jumped to 38 per cent. More importantly, Territorians feel much better informed about what is going on as the use of social media grows.”

Creative Territory has shared its research with the local community, media and government as well as interstate and international colleagues. This work has contributed to creating a better understanding about how people access and use information during emergencies and recovery.

For more information about the awards: