While December usually sees a mad rush of tender releases, January is generally the slower end of the scale. As we edge towards the end of the month, the tender release tempo is starting to pick up and the greatest activity is within Defence Estate opportunities. For those construction /building companies looking to expand into government opportunities, Defence Estate has a significant offering spanning across every state, presenting a wide range of projects of varying size, complexity and specialisation. The Estate Works Program (EWP) provides facilities maintenance projects aimed at restoring or sustaining Defence establishments and addressing safety and compliance requirements of facilities and infrastructure. The program is funded to around $17 billion over the next 4 years.
As noted, the opportunities are varied and this week sees Requests for Tender (RFTs) issued for Victoria, WA, SA, Queensland, ACT, NSW for projects that range from small refurbishments to larger requirements for a Managing Contractor. While Defence Estate represents a significant pool of government construction work, there are a number of aspects a tenderer needs to be aware of to improve their chances of success in a highly competitive market.
– Site/industry brief: While the pandemic has affected access to sites, almost every Defence Estate RFT will have an associated site or industry briefing, even if it is conducted remotely. For a construction related tender, these briefings can be very important to gaining a better understanding of the intricacies with a specific site that will allow you to tailor your response and demonstrate your expertise.
– Security: Have you considered the required security clearances for staff and are you aware of the impact of base access requirements?
– Heritage: Many defence sites have heritage protections that need to be considered.
– Operational Impact: Are you aware of the Defence operational requirements of the base and the impact this may have on your schedule? This needs to be factored in any risk mitigation plans.
– Contracts and legislative requirements. Have you reviewed the Defence tailored contracting template and are you willing to comply? Defence contracts also require compliance with a number of WHS and building regulations that may require certification prior to tendering.
Defence have been proactive in informing the market on larger opportunities ahead of time with pre RFT release notices, and have also offered a number of online training sessions and industry briefings on the program, so its worth keeping an eye out for these.