Page 1

NEWS Engineers Australia Northern Division

February 2009

Survey House 14 Shepherd Street Darwin GPO Box 417 Darwin NT 0801 Telephone (08) 8981 4137 Fax (08) 8941 3449 Email Website:

In this issue ... • A message from the National • • • • • • • • • • • • •

President Who’s Who— Fellow, Mike Burgess President’s message CELM Breakfast Event Member information Rebuilding Afghanistan Launch of Heritage Brochure Training Civil Construction Designers Engineering Excellence Awards Entries now open Director’s Report Engineers without Borders 2009 Gala Dinner Poole’s Pondering’s Calendar of events

Natural Disasters - A message from the National President I have been increasingly horrified at the recent spate of natural disasters that have been impacting on the lives and livelihoods of people across the country. Stories arising from the severe flooding in our tropical north and of this event’s disruption to people’s lives and businesses, as well as the significant damage to vital infrastructure, have been distressing.

in particular, who have been involved in responding to these emergencies as well as to those members who will be involved in future recovery efforts. Our local government members will certainly have been involved in the emergencies and undoubtedly will be stretched over the coming months as they help rebuild their communities.

But adding to the bad news for Australia has been the horrific bushfires that have raged through south-eastern Australia. These fires in NSW and Victoria follow extreme hot weather conditions and are on top of years of drought.

As an interim action, we are remaining in contact with the appropriate government agencies so that we can be positioned to advise our members of the best ways, and when, in which our professional skills may be called upon to assist communities and individuals recover I keenly feel the shock of the death of the more from the disasters. than 200 fellow Victorians who have perished in these bushfires. The scale of this devastation On the broader stage, members of the engineerincludes the loss of over 700 homes, the oblit- ing team will play a vital role in the ensuing eration of whole townships, the destruction of weeks and months in helping to normalise and hundreds of thousand of hectares of bush and rebuild power, communications, water, transfarmland and the annihilation of thousands of port and other vital infrastructure that will help native animals and livestock. This has been an these flood and fire affected communities to unprecedented tragedy that has touched us all. recapture their lives. On behalf of all our members, my thoughts go out to those who have been personally affected by these floods or fires. I express my deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones or property.

In the immediate term though, our best efforts will be to support the official emergency relief funds that can deliver assistance.

I would also like to convey my grateful appreciation to those Engineers Australia members,

Peter Godfrey National President

Please do what you can.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Sponsorship opportunities are now available for Engineers Australia Northern Division. You may wish to sponsor the Engineering Excellence Awards, Youth Programs or other opportunities which are contained in the prospectus For a copy of the sponsorship prospectus, please contact Karen or Tara on 8981 4137 or email Karen at


Engineering Team

President’s Message Northern Division Welcomes its newest Fellow, Mike Burgess FIEAust

Mike graduated from the University of Queensland in 1978 and secured his first professional appointment as a civil engineer with the NT Government in January 1979 working on the water and sewerage headworks planning for the new satellite town of Palmerston. His early career included design and construction supervision of main water reservoirs, waste stabilisation ponds and trunk water and sewerage mains across the territory. This included a two year stint in Katherine which involved design and installation of some of the first community solar powered water supplies in the NT. During the 80’s and 90’s mike became increasingly involved in power supply issues and became responsible for all operations and planning of utilities infrastructure for the then Power and Water Authority. In the 90’s he changed career direction and worked in a succession of roles in Natural Resource and National Parks management. In 2004 Mike became the Chief Executive of the Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development an has subsequently led a number of agencies responsible for economic and regional development, local government, housing, sport and is now the CE of the Department of the Chief Minister. He currently chairs the Government’s Major Projects Group and is a member of a number of Boards involved in developing the Territory’s economic and social base. Mike and his wife Poh Sim still live in the home they bought in the 90’s that survived cyclone tracey and their children Natasha and Tim attend high school in Darwin.

Charles Darwin University welcomes new Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover is the new Vice-Chancellor for Charles Darwin University and will take up his position in late February 2009. Professor Glover was welcomed to the Northern Territory at a function held on 27 February at Charles Darwin University.


Page 2

2008 closed with concern about the state of the global economy and it’s impact on Australia. Already there have been retrenchments in the engineering ranks. I was recently in the UK where there seems to be much more gloom and doom, Singapore on the other hand had cranes galore and seemingly all working. For the moment our attention has turned from the economy to the national disasters affecting our country. Fires in the south and floods in the middle and the north. The extent of loss of life has shocked us all. The tragedy of the bush fires has been further brought home to us on a very personal level. Owen and Helen Peake, survivors of cyclone Tracy and now survivors of the bush fires left Darwin to settle in country Victoria late last year only to have their house and all their possessions destroyed in the fires. Our thoughts are with them. Owen I know will want to rebuild his heritage data and the Division will be looking to help. This year sees the celebration of 90 years since the establishment of the Institution. A cause for recognition and celebration. Also Engineers Australia will be developing the next 5 years of it’s corporate plan and it is up to us to influence the direction that that takes. Raise any ideas or concerns with any of the Management Committee members. Peter Hagan President Northern Division

!!OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE!! Office space has become available for rent within Engineers Australia Northern Division. If you are looking for office space within the heart of Darwin City please give Karen a call on 8981 4137 or email her at Short or long term lease can be negotiated

Breakfast with Grant Brehendorff at EastWest, Pandanas Mantra, Darwin

EAQ - Webcast Portal Take a look at the Engineers Australia Queensland Webcast Portal - visit This webcast allows you to view seminars which have been conducted

New brochures and online CPD now available

Grant won Northern Division Technologist of the Year in 2007 and went on to win the National title at the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards . Grant will be in Darwin attending a regional forum on Electrical Engineering in the Top End. Engineers Australia Northern Division has taken this opportunity for Grant to join members for breakfast to speak about his career and the 'Bushlight Indigenous' renewable energy project. Grant began his career as an electrician and worked his way through a range of positions to become the business development manager with Ergon Energy. Grant moved to the Northern Territory to manage the Bush Light Indigenous renewable energy project at the Centre for Appropriate Technology in Alice Springs, using a community engagement model which has been acknowledged as world’s best practice. The project won both the Northern Division and won an award at the Australian Engineering Excellence Award.

For further information please contact Karen Relph on 8981 4137 or via email on Date: 11 March 2009 Time: 7.30am Venue: EastWest, Mantra Pandanas Hotel, Knuckey Street, Darwin Cost: $25.00 Members $30.00 Non-Members


Page 3

My Organisation “My Organisation” is the newest marketing brochure from Engineers Australia. Designed in response to Engineers Australia’s Strategic Marketing Review to provide information to those who are looking to join Engineers Australia, as well as current members, on what is available as a member and where to look for it.

It includes sections on Member Benefits, Grades, Professional Recognition, Volunteering, Technical Societies and Learned Groups as well as a host of other information. If you would like a copy of the brochure they are available from the Division office, Survey House, 14 Shepherd Street, Darwin Or by contacting Tara Keogh, or phone 08 8981 4137

Rebuilding Afghanistan - A report by Captain Michael Thompson. Senior Project Engineer MRTF1 Captain Michael Thompson, Senior Project Engineer MRTF1 has provided Northern Division with an update on current Works Section of managed reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. I am sure all will agree that our women and men are doing a fantastic job - we are very proud of them all. Bronwyn Russell, Director, Northern Division Captain Thompson commands the Works Section responsible for the design and construction management of all Australian reconstruction within Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan. The Works Section, a team of seven military engineers (including two Civil Engineers, three construction supervisors (plumbing, plant and building), a draftsman and surveyor) is responsible for conducting the design, management and contracting to local Afghan contractors for all of the reconstruction projects. We also have two highly skilled quad-lingual interpreters working with us who have spent between 6 – 20 months in Afghanistan interpreting for the Works Section. They now have significant skills in construction and ably assist in the construction management of reconstruction projects. Works Section manages about 25 projects at a time with a reconstruction budget of about US$11.5 million each financial year and is the only technical reconstruction component of the Dutch and Australian forces deployed to Afghanistan. With over 35 major projects completed in Uruzgan in the two and a half years since the 1st Reconstruction Taskforce (RTF 1) started, the Works Sections have delivered effects out of all proportion to the seven man size, which I am very proud of. This is my first deployment and in my opinion the best deployment for an Army technical Civil Engineer. There is a large degree of responsibility and autonomy as well as a significant number of projects to design and manage for such junior engineers (only four years out of university). Best engineering experience the Army can offer for technical Civil Engineers. All of these projects were designed and managed by (Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force) MRTF 1 Works Section and previous (Reconstruction Task Force) RTF Works Sections. Local National contractors from the Tarin Kowt/ Uruzgan area are contracted to construct all of these projects. 100% of unskilled labour is from the area of the project and approximately 50% of skilled labour is from Tarin Kowt or Kandahar.

TK Hospital Mortuary New 2008

TK Hospital Mortuary Old TK Hospital Children’s Playground 2009

Sponsor Page 4

TK Boy's Primary School Construction commenced May 08 Construction complete Nov 09 Total cost US $2,129,085.00 1200 children capacity Scope of work: 35 classroom main school building, ablutions, water and power supply, admin building, store room, guard house, playground equipment TK Boy's High School Construction commenced Aug 08 Construction complete Jul 09 Total cost US $1,117,275.00 1200 children capacity Scope of work: 21 classroom main school building, ablutions, water and power supply, guard house, library

Afghan health development services HQ (AHDS HQ) Construction commenced Mar 08 Construction complete Jan 09 Total cost US $1,450,571.00 Training for all health professionals for TK and Uruzgan Scope of work: classroom building, HQ building, ablutions, water and power supply, kitchen, dining room, family room, refurbishment of existing building, TK Hospital Phase 1 Construction commenced Sep 06 Construction complete Oct 07 Total cost US $670,556.00 400 men per day seen at the hospital, outpatients care, vaccinations, treatment of cholera, new kitchen, refurbishment of existing hospital building Scope of work: outpatients centre, vaccination centre, cholera ward, kitchen, refurbishment of existing hospital building, water and power supply, ablutions TK Hospital Phase 2 Construction commenced Feb 08 Construction complete Jan 09 Total cost US $575,079.00 200 women per day seen at the hospital, mortuary and blood storage capacity Scope of work: women's hospital, playground equipment, mor-

Rebuilding Afghanisatan cont‌.. tuary, blood bank, hospital landscaping, water and power supply, ablutions

Eastern Causeway Construction commenced: Jan 07 Construction completed: Sep 07 Total cost US $795,352.00 Access to the north across the Tiri Rud.

Kowtwal Crossing Construction commenced Sep 08 Construction complete May 09 Total cost US $2,551,815.00 All weather crossing over Dorafshan Rud Scope of work: 150 m concrete causeway 2.9 m above the river bed.

Ministry of Rural Reconstruction and Development refurbishment Construction commenced Jul 08 Construction complete Oct 08 Total cost US $113,226.00 Development of local capacity of ministry and increase in engineering testing capacity Scope of work: Refurbishment of existing building, electrical upgrade, water supply, provision of laptops, internet connection, development of soils testing laboratory on Camp Holland

Sorgh Morghab Basic Health Centre, Bazaar and School compound wall Construction commenced Aug 08 Construction complete Mar 09 Total cost US $1,298,434.00 Basic health centre for all of Dorofshan area, 16 shop bazaar and compound wall for Afghan NGO to move in and construct a primary school Scope of work: 2 x 8 room health centre (1 for men, 1 for women), ablutions, water and power supply, guard houses, accommodation for health workers, 16 shops for 16 tribes in Sorgh Morghab decided by Shura, primary school compound wall

Ministry of Energy and Water refurbishment Construction planned to commence Apr 09 Construction complete Dec 09 Total cost US $1,600,000.00 Development of local capacity of ministry Scope of work: New HQ building, guard houses, water and power supply, windmill power, ablutions, reclamation of land, provision of laptops

TK Waste Management Facility Construction planned to commence Apr 09 Construction complete Dec 09 Total cost US $1,400,000.00 Improvement of TK sanitation providing an area to treat sewerage Scope of work: Sewerage treatment facility

Chutu Mabey and Johnson bridge (130 m long, 3 span equipment bridge across the Helmand River, supervised by myself and a building supervisor. A local national contractor and Americans conducted the build. It is now the largest equipment bridge in Afghanistan, 70 tonne capacity, took about 12 days to build)

Zabul Mabey and Johnson bridge (2 bridges built by the MRTF 1 Engineer Squadron, supervised by the other works section Civil Engineer, Jimmy Scott, a 27 m overbridge and a 36 m single span bridge on the road from Kandhar to Kabul. Each bridge was done in about two - three days)

Supporter Page 5

2009 Excellence Awards Launch

Launch of Heritage Brochure

Guests enjoyed the ambience of the Darwin Waterfront at the The Hon. Kon Vatskalis, Minister for Racing, Gaming and LiExhibition Concourse of Darwin Convention Centre to officially cencing provided a lunch time event for Engineers Australia launch the 2009 Awards. Northern Division at Parliament House, to officially launch the new Driving Tour brochure. Peter Poole, representing the HeriThe Deputy Chief Minister, Hon. Delia Lawrie officially signed a tage Committee of the Northern Division officially launched the Professional Development Program for the Department of Infra- new drive brochure and thanked the Minister for the contribustructure and Planning with Engineers Australia, Northern Divi- tion from the community benefit fund to assist with the printing sion at the official launch of the 2009 Engineering Excellence of the new brochure and also to produce additional copies of the Awards which was held at the Darwin Convention Centre on Darwin City Walk/Drive tour brochure. Friday, 27 February 2009. Peter acknowledged the work involved by Owen Peake and also The Launch was held on the premises of last year’s overall win- advised those attending of Owen’s plight during the recent bushner “The Darwin Convention Centre”. Sitzler Laing O’Rourke fires in Victoria - and that Owen would need assistance in reJoint Venture and Nilsen Electrics received the accolade of over- building his heritage portfolio. all joint winner in 2008. Minister Vatskalis advised that he had visted every heritage site The launch provided an opportunity for those considering enter- bar one and intended to visit this very soon. He acknowledged ing the Awards to mingle with previous Award winners and had the work of the Heritage committee and the amount of work that the chance to hear Richard Hart from Marrara Christian College, went into completing the brochures. (winner of Small Business Projects and Ventures 2008) and Kevan Blake, (winner of Professional Engineer of the Year 2008) The brochures have been distributed to the NT Library, The Muto speak about what it meant to them and their organisations in seum, Fannie Bay Gaol, Top End tourism and various other outwinning an Engineering Excellence Award. lets. It is intended to further expand the distribution of the brochures in the near future. Minister Lawrie emphasised the importance of continuing to work with Engineers Australia and also highlighted the necessity With magnificent views from the balcony of Parliament House to train future Engineers for the many new infrastructure pro- (and some cooling rain), the lunch was enjoyed by those who jects which are anticipated in the Territory. attended.

Bronwyn Russell and Deputy Chief Minister, Hon.Delia Lawrie signing PDP Agreement

2008 Engineer of the Year Kevan Blake 2008 Small Business Projects - Winner

Youth Partner

Page 6

Training Civil Construction Designers

2009 Engineering Excellence Awards

Filling the Gap Training civil construction designers

Entries are now open for the 2009 Engineering Excellence Awards

Have you had difficulty filling design and drafting positions in your organisation? You’re not alone. An almost universal shortage of trained civil construction designers has made it difficult to find quality staff in this area in recent years. Combine this with reduced numbers of graduates in the area, and it seemed this problem would not go away. The NT Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s Construction Division has been working with Engineers Australia, CCFNT, and Charles Darwin University to attract students to these essential areas. A call for Expressions of Interest for designers and drafters for Construction Division was advertised twice in Northern Territory News in December 2008, attracting high quality responses from 16 individuals. The Division has selected five of these people to train, and enrolled them in the new Certificate IV Civil Construction Design being offered by Charles Darwin University this year. The talent is out there. This is the time for organisations to train their own civil construction designers, as the Certificate IV in Civil Construction Design is currently only scheduled to run in 2009. The first units will be delivered from 2 March 2009, and as the course is recognised as an apprenticeship, it will attract funding support. The training will be delivered in blocks so trainees can remain focused without interruption from the work environment. Training in blocks will also reduce the travel cost to trainees who have to travel from remote areas. The whole course will be delivered this year, and trainees from other organisations are welcome to participate in AutoCAD, Microstation or other training that Construction Division offers its own trainees. There is still time to enrol your designers in the Certificate IV Civil Construction Design. Contact Arthur Busato at Construction Division on 8999 4499 or email for more information.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Sponsorship opportunities are now available for Engineers Australia Northern Division. You may wish to sponsor the Engineering Excellence Awards, Youth Programs or other opportunities which are contained in the prospectus For a copy of the sponsorship prospectus, please contact Karen or Tara on 8981 4137 or email Karen at

Photography kindly provided by Northern Territory Library from the Percy Brown collection 2009 is the 90th Birthday of Engineers Australia and we will be celebrating this milestone in style with the theme “Looking Forward—Looking Back”. Entries are now open for the 2009 Engineering Excellence Awards. This is and opportunity to showcase your company’s achievements to the community. The Awards will once again be at the Darwin Convention Centre. Entries are open in the following categories:

• • •

Engineering Excellence Awards Reports procedures and systems Small Business ventures and projects

In addition to these Awards, and at the Judges’ discretion, the following Awards may also be presented.

• • • •

Sustainability Award Innovation Award Community Engagement Award President’s Award

Official Award Guidelines and Entry Form is available on the Engineers Australia website visit If you have any queries, please contact Karen on 8981 4137 or email

Friends of the Excellence Awards Page 7

Director’s Report As we look forward to 2009, our congratulations go to members of the Engineering Team who showed the rest of Australia how well everyone worked together in Northern Division during 2008. We were strongly represented in the final report.

interest with a number of projects registering their intention to enter. They will be held on 18 September.

This year has started the way I expect it to continue, with many projects already under way. We look forward to seeing you at many of the events we are offering. We will continue to send weekly emails with the latest information about activities so that you can keep up to date and register your interest.

It was a shock to us all to discover that Owen Peake lost his new home in the Callignee bushfires but we are very thankful that he and Helen were not home at the time. Owen has been an amazing gatherer of information particularly with regard to the history of the Northern Territory but also many other engineering heritage feats around Australia and the World. The fires have consumed a great deal of his information so, as you go about your daily activities, please consider whether any of the information you are working with would be of interest to Owen. Any copies you make we will be pleased to collect and send to Owen when he is back with a computer. We have many photos, of course, from his two years as President of Northern Division so we will include these. It is ironic that they escaped potentially losing their home in another cyclone only to lose everything in a fire. Our thoughts are with them both.

The Engineering Excellence Awards are already gaining

Bronwyn Russell Director

2009 is the 90th birthday for Engineers Australia. Northern Division is not quite that old but many engineering feats certainly go back that far. The theme for the year is Looking Forward; Looking Back and we will have many opportunities to do this at events during the year. All of our activities will reflect the theme.


Page 8

Engineers Without Borders

2009 Gala Dinner

National Conference Report

The 2009 Gala Dinner promises to be an event not to be missed!

In November 2008 EWB held its 3rd National Conference at Melbourne University. The conference brought together a group of engaged, passionate individuals, creating a network of people working towards one goal in many ways. It’s guaranteed that the EWB Conference will succeed with the dynamic mix of students, professionals, returned volunteers, chapter members, speakers and designers all focusing on sharing experiences, learning and re-creating our world to be a better place.

Our guest speaker for the event will be legendary cricketer DOUG (Dougie) WALTERS. Doug’s popularity as one of Australia’s cricketing legends has continued long after his retirement from first-class cricket.

EWB was started on the hope to build more than a volunteer sending organisation. It wanted it to be a learning organisation that inspired people to take action both within the organisation and beyond. At this years conference EWB challenged delegates to follow the 4C’s steps to development; Conscious – Concern – Comprehend – Challenge; to be open to learning new things, to listen with empathy to people’s stories, engage intelligently with the complexities of the issues raised and then consider how they could respond and in what ways they can “take the challenge”.

Today Doug is still very much involved in cricket – commenting on Test Matches for Channel 9, participating in most of the Tooheys Country Cup Matches in the country and conducting coashing clinics for youngsters. Testimonials include “Excellent. “Very humourous and well received by those in attendance” Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals “Fantastic, Doug’s stories proved a hit with the crowd, with many questions being asked” Sporting Spectrum

In light of 2008, in planning for the 2009 Conference, the team began by reflecting on the things that made the EWB Conferences special and how to build on these. The first thing that they came up with was the incredible potential that the delegates possess. So it is up to YOU to be part of the 2009 Conference to create those same connections that make the conference and the opportunities it generates after the conference because EWB Conference is an impetus for future action.

Where: Skycity Ballroom, Skycity When: Thursday, 19 March 2009 Tickets: $55.00 per person (includes 3 course dinner)

Check out there website at or contact Rana Everett on 0416 320 498 for information on the Darwin Chapter. Rana Everett

Young Engineers Report We have an exciting year planned for Young Engineers. A couple of upcoming events include the Meet & Greet on the 13th of March – flyer will be out soon, The Generational Exchange Trivia Night in May and the famous YEA Golf Day later in the year. As well as these events there are a number of community events we support such as the CSIRO Science Fair. Our monthly meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month at Lizards Bar, 5:30pm. All Young Engineers are welcome to come along and get involved.


Page 9

Visit the website divisions.northern division/northern division activities Engineers Australia via fax on 8941 3449 or email on by the 16th March 10 percent discount for tables of 10 booked before 6th March

If you would like to sponsor a student(s) to this event please contact Karen direct

Poole’s Ponderings - Darwin’s World War Two Water Supply 1930’s, put pressure on the Commonwealth Government to construct a reticulated water supply for Darwin. Vesty’s had constructed a meat works in 1916 at Bullocky Point, north of Darwin. The works included a 4,500,000-gallon ground level concrete tank supplied by pipeline from a well in the Botanic Gardens and rainwater catchments; a boiler and condenser unit also was installed to distil seawater.

The elevated water tank that graced the apron at Darwin RAAF Base for the past forty years has been relocated to the Aviation Heritage Museum Precinct. It is good to see our engineering history being valued at greater than scrap metal value and money being spent to preserve it. The RAAF Base was developed commencing in the mid 1930’s as part of the Australian governments response to the declining international situation. Major infrastructure works for the Air Force, Navy and Army were being undertaken in the north commencing in the 1920’s with the Naval Oil Storage tanks and steam powered pump house. (Refer Engineers Australia Engineering Heritage brochure) The increase in the military garrison numbers and construction work force further aggravated and highlighted Darwins water supply short comings. The water supply infrastructure at the RAAF Base was constructed at the same time as major works were being carried out to supply water to Darwin. The elevated tank served as water storage with lower levels enclosed to enable RAAF operations personnel a view of the airfield. The airport beacon was located on its roof. The relocated tank stand has been reduced in height to comply with runway clearance / approach paths. The tank however has been painted and the fittings and fixtures including the beacon light reinstated to provide a great link and reminder of our engineering past. Darwin had historically relied on wells, springs, bores and rainwater tanks for its water supply; its location on a peninsula limited the volume of ground water available and if excessive amounts were with drawn resulted in increasing salinity of the water. The development of a reliable water supply for Darwin had been a matter of concern for Darwin residents for many years, they had on an ongoing basis, through the 1920’s and

The military authorities anticipating that a major conflict would develop had commenced investigations into the logistical requirements of a defence presence in Darwin; the lack of a reliable water supply was identified as a major draw back. The Minister for Defence in a memo to the Minister for the Interior stressed the urgency of the provision of an adequate water supply, as in its absence, it was considered that all efforts for the defence of Darwin would fail. There were several springs and streams south of Darwin that had been identified as potential supply sources over the period that the Commonwealth had been responsible for the Northern Territory however no attempt had been made to obtain continuous and systematic gauging of their flows. The Minister approved commencement of investigation of Darwin Town Water Supply in February 1936; The Department of Defence were concerned at the slow progress and suggested that, as water would be coming from south of Darwin for all proposed schemes, tenders for the construction of elevated tanks, reticulation in Darwin and pipes for the rising mains be advertised immediately. Eight potential sources of supply were investigated in June and July 1936 by A C Fleetwood, Engineer Water Supply & Sewerage Department of the Interior and Dr Woolnough, Commonwealth Geological Advisor. Two schemes were identified on the Manton River with the Upper Manton River scheme having the second lowest construction cost of £226,250; Berry Springs being cheapest at £182,800. Howard Springs was deemed to be unsuitable due to the flow being inadequate, the site being unsuitable geologically and the springs being “condemned by the Chief Medical Officer on medical grounds”. The scheme on the Darwin River was the most expensive at £307,300 as it included £62,000 to relocate the North Australian Railway. Comprehensive recordings of rainfall, river gauging and estimates of flows were prepared over two wet seasons for the Manton Gap site. The pipeline, tanks and reticulation were designed in 1937. Contracts were awarded for supply of pipeline materials, pumps and construction of the dam, pipeline, elevated tanks and reticulation mains in 1938.


Page 10

Poole’s Ponderings - Darwin’s World War Two Water Supply A Perth based company; Manton Constructions Limited was awarded the contract for the construction of the dam. The tendered amount of ₤26,666 was substantially less than those received from other tenderers Manton Constructions experienced financial and labour problems soon after mobilising to site. The performance of the contractor continued to decline resulting in the Commonwealth initially taking over management and finally in 1940 terminating the contract for construction of the dam. The Commonwealth completed construction of the dam wall in 1941 utilising the resources of Manton Constructions and its own Day Labour organisation. The pipeline from the dam to Darwin evolved over several designs Defence initially directed that ten inch tar and hessian covered pipes be installed; they later directed that steel welded pipes should be utilised and that twelve inch pipes were advisable subject to the condition that the time for installation was not increased

that an additional main be installed from Manton Gap to Darwin to enable increased water to be delivered. It was not until July 1944 that the military requested major improvements and upgrades to the delivery capacity from Manton Dam to Darwin be carried out. The works included construction of a duplicate rising main of 15-inch diameter, electric pumps at Manton Dam, upgrading of the existing power supply to Noonamah and extension of the electrical reticulation from Noonamah to Manton Dam. The estimated costs were £306,700. The works were completed in May 1946. The construction of infrastructure for Darwins water supply commenced as a project under the control of civilian authorities, after the bombing of Darwin the military took over the administration of the works,(with the same engineers actually carrying out the work). The administration of the water supply was returned to civilian control on 1 July 1945.

12” MSCL pipes were ordered from Mapham Fergusson of Melbourne; delivery was by cargo ship to Darwin. The pipeline was constructed by D Hunt Two diesel driven multi stage centrifugal pumps were supplied and installed at the dam site by William Adams. (One of these engines minus its pump, is still in place and has been run as part of Engineering Week celebrations. This engine and pump supplied water to Darwin after cyclone Tracy rendered Darwin River Dams electric pumps inoperable) When it became obvious that completion of construction of the dam was going to be delayed alternate sources of supply adjacent to the rising main were identified. The Army suggested Howard Springs as an interim supply. A pump was installed with a 6” diameter 4-mile long fibrolite rising main connecting to the 12” main this provided an interim supply of 100,000 gallons per day. Johns and Waygood a company who had a long-term presence in mechanical construction in Australia carried out the construction of the four elevated tanks in Darwin; construction was completed by March 1940. The installation of reticulation mains in Darwin was carried out by C P Bradhurst of Ascot Queensland; Australian Iron and Steel supplied the pipe and fittings. The works were a long drawn out effort with the works being carried out over four financial years at a cost of ₤40,638.9.6. Once Manton Dam had been completed and pumping to Darwin commenced, it became obvious that the system could not supply enough water to meet Darwin’s demand It was recommended


Page 11

Peter Poole Heritage Committee

Calender of Events 2009 Date



20 March

Lodge official Entry Form for Engineering Excellence Awards and pay the entry fee


8th May

Lodge submissions for Engineering Excellence Awards


11th March 7.30am 11th March 4.30pm to 6.30pm 16th-20th March

(CELM) Breakfast with Grant - Grant Behrendorff will speak about his career and Indigenous projects Charles Darwin University Industry Engagement Group Meeting Accreditation of Charles Darwin University National Assessor’s Visit - Ewan Hazeldine

EastWest, Mantra Pandanas Hotel Engineers Australia

19th March 6.30pm 23rd March 6:00pm to 8:00pm 16th April

Gala Dinner to celebrate Engineers Australia’s 90th Birthday Featuring Legendary Cricketer Doug Walters Charles Darwin University Industry Engagement Group Meeting with Engineers Australia Accreditation Panel Keith Crews, Eminent Speaker, Structural College Speaker

Ballroom SKYCITY Darwin

24th April to 1st May

National President’s Visit Events during this week to be advised

Peter Godfrey

27 April

Dinner - National President - Gove

Gove Golf Club

29th April

Sponsors Cocktail Function in conjunction with National President Visit


6th May

Science and Engineering Challenge

Alice Springs

8th May

Engineering Excellence Awards Submissions due


14th & 15th May

Science and Engineering Challenge

Charles Darwin University

21st May

David Skellon, NITCA College Eminent Speaker

Engineers Australia

1st June

Lodge submissions for People in Engineering Award entries


23rd July

Young Engineers Golf Day

Palmerston Golf Club

4th - 7th August

Engineering Week


18th September

Engineering Excellence Awards 2009

Darwin Convention Centre



Alice Springs and Darwin

3rd December

Annual General Meeting

14 Shepherd Street, Darwin


Darwin Sailing Club Engineers Australia

Young Engineers Northern Division monthly meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month at Lizards Bar, 5:30pm. All Young Engineers are welcome to come along and get involved.


Page 12

Feb 2009 Newsletter  

• President’s message • CELM Breakfast Event • Member information • Rebuilding Afghanistan • Launch of Heritage Brochure • Training Civil Co...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you