Basic steps like coordinating logistics and supply of materials present sometimes monumental challenges that are not faced by most councils delivering the same type of projects in built-up areas. Coordinating supply to have materials, plant and personnel on-site, on time, before works starts presents itself as a strategic delivery challenge.
Every small detail needs careful consideration to avoid delays. For example, if a small and seemingly insignificant item worth only a few hundred dollars is overlooked, it could delay a $500k project for a week to 10 days waiting for the next freight delivery.
And it is not always the cost of the item, itself, but of transport that presents financial challenges. It can cost up to 70 percent more to deliver a project in a community such as Doomadgee than in the big smoke. Then take one step further to the community of Mornington Island, which has similar supply chain challenges with the added degree of difficulty multiplier of crossing the waters of the Gulf.
These communities are also susceptible to weather, sometimes providing only a small window of opportunity to get works done during the dry season. Throw in shortages of accommodation and access to specialist trades, which can be at a premium as workers don’t necessarily want to leave coastal areas, and your logistics list is getting longer – but not insurmountable.
Having worked as a project manager on Mornington Island, Peak Services Project Manager Lana Maki is all too familiar with the project delivery challenges our remote Indigenous councils face.
Lana lived and worked on the island for the better part of 2019 and during this time gained valuable insights into the cultural issues, community concerns and island specific risks. During this time, she had to develop expertise in logistics and supply chain to find the most cost effective and efficient means of accessing materials and equipment for the island.
“The solutions, whilst not always ground-breaking, have to be highly responsive, fit-for-purpose, and mindful of a community and council that is highly challenged by disadvantage, extreme remoteness and excessive costs to deliver infrastructure and services,” Lana said.
The last link of the Savannah Way – for Doomadgee Shire, at least – is much more than a road. It’s a success story, and you’ll hopefully get to see it (and see why) for yourself.
If you would like to know more about this project management, contact Paul Renals on 0409 355 170 or via email email@example.com.