Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia Pty Ltd

Investment Decision May 2018. Construction work on the upgrade to the Connellan Airport was completed in December 2019.

Project overview

Voyages Indigenous Tourism manages the Ayers Rock Resort which is located 10 minutes from the Connellan Airport, the gateway to the World Heritage Listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the Central Australian outback. NAIF supported Voyages by providing finance for a number of improvements at the Connellan Airport including airport runway, taxiway and apron upgrade, runway lighting and provision of contractor accommodation. The upgrades enable the continued provision of emergency services and flights for remote communities in the region.

Construction work on the upgrade to the Connellan Airport was completed in December 2019. Work undertaken involved the upgrade and resurfacing of the 2,600m airport runway, taxiway and apron and the installation of new runway lighting. The upgrade maintains the safety of the runway and the new lighting will support future night flights.

The construction work was led by the Principal Contractor Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd. The runway lighting completed by a specialist aircraft lighting contractor, Airside Technical.  Voyages also has in place an Australian Industry Participation (AIP) Plan as required under the Government’s AIP policy.

Permanent accommodation has been constructed as part of the project. This provides an accommodation base not only for those working on the runway upgrade but also accommodation to meet the needs of future refurbishment projects.

During the major construction period between February and March 2019, the Principal Contractor was able to achieve greater than 10 percent average for Indigenous employment for this part of the project, with the total Indigenous employment for the total project being 8.9 percent. This equated to five Indigenous FTEs in February 2019 and 12 Indigenous FTEs in March 2019. Indigenous employment figures for the contractor’s village accommodation project element ranged from 16 percent in September 2018 up to 35 percent in December 2019, averaging 16.8 percent across the construction period with Indigenous personnel on site ranging from electricians, carpenters and trade assistants.

Challenges were encountered in ensuring 3-5 percent of goods and materials were sourced from companies that are 50 percent or more Indigenous owned. Voyages undertook a review of its procurement processes to ensure that opportunities for engaging regional suppliers, businesses and enterprises are maximised through improvements to its regional engagement model.

Australian Industry Participation

Australian Industry Participation (AIP) requirements ensure full, fair and reasonable opportunity for Australian industry to compete for work. This includes work in major public and private projects in Australia, and procurements or projects receiving Australian Government funding of $20 million or more.

NAIF projects much comply with the Commonwealth’s AIP policy.

The AIP Plan developed by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is available here.

IES reporting

Proponents are required to regularly report on IES performance to NAIF – typically every six months during the construction phase and annually in the operational phase, for the length of their loan.

IES public summaries

Communications on IES outcomes are available here:

Indigenous Engagement Strategy public summaries provide a short version of the IES and are available here:

 

Economic Impact and Public Benefit

  • A key economic enabler for the Yulara region, particularly tourism to the world heritage Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park
  • Indigenous training opportunities
  • Continued availability of emergency services and flights for remote communities in the region

 

A Case Study factsheet on Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia can be viewed here.