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News

The north-west minerals province is about to start firing on Northern Territory gas with the completion of the ‘missing link’.

Commercial operations are expected to start in late December or early January, with some gas already contracted for Incitec Pivot’s Gibson Island plant in Brisbane.

 This meant access to energy and feedstock to fuel jobs and business opportunities in the north west, Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said.

 Dr Lynham has been in the region to mark the completion of the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline from Tennant Creek in the Territory to Mount Isa.

The 622-kilometre pipeline includes 141kms in Queensland between the Isa and the border. 

The pipeline has the capacity to bring up to an additional 90 terajoules per day into the east coast gas network.

Phosphate Hill, Mount Isa Mines and Cannington were some of Queensland’s largest gas consumers and also some of the region’s biggest employers, said Acting State Development Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe.

“This is a big win for the North West, bringing a ready supply of energy and feedstock for local employers and the community,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.

“Access to a reliable supply of affordably priced gas is critical to the ongoing viability of our manufacturing industries.”

The long-term benefits will be the training Jemena has provided, which has created a legacy of more skilled people who are now better equipped to work on more regional projects, he said.

“The pipeline milestone follows a number of Queensland Government initiatives to boost domestic gas supply.

“We are making available nearly 25,000 square kilometres for gas exploration, with around a third of it exclusively for domestic users, including a parcel exclusively for manufacturing.

“But this investment is only part of the solution for the east coast gas supply and I’m calling again on southern states to join this partnership.NT gas ignites Queensland business
The State Government has approved a business case for the $127 million Cairns Shipping Development Project.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the upgrade to the Port of Cairns would open major economic opportunities across the region.

“This project passed one of the most rigorous environmental reviews in Australia, and now we have looked at the numbers and they also stack up,” Mr Healy said.

“By increasing the size and number of cruise ships and other vessels able to berth in Cairns, the project will provide an estimated $850 million boost for Far North Queensland.

“Passenger spending on shore, port charges and associated supplies and servicing activity will all generate opportunities for the regional economy.”

The project will allow for more than 100 extra cruise ships through the Port of Cairns annually by 2031.

Based on the numbers in the business case, the project could support up to 800 new jobs during construction and up to 2700 direct and indirect jobs by 2031, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said the upgraded channel would also enable future expansion of the HMAS Cairns Navy base, improve access and efficiency for bulk cargo and larger visiting Navy vessels and provide increased resilience for the Port against extreme weather events.

The Cairns Shipping Development Project involves dredging up to one million cubic metres of sediment from the port’s existing navigation channel and placing the material on two land sites, as well as upgrades to the main wharves to continue servicing the larger cruise ships.

Ports North’s Project Team is working through the detailed planning, design and downstream approvals phase as well as securing specialist consultants and contractors to deliver the works.

Tenders for the contract to dredge material for the Cairns Shipping Development Project are expected to close on December 19.

Ports North plans to undertake dredging and wharf upgrade works in 2019 with a final project completion in 2020.

For more information on the project, visit www.portsnorth.com.au Cairns channel upgrade stacks up
The proponents of the new Ironbark No.1 coal mine have entered into a partnership with SES Labour Solutions for  training, development and recruitment.

The State Government last month approved the mining lease for Fitzroy Australia Resources’ Ironbark No. 1 underground longwall development, 35km north-east of Moranbah.

The project is expected to create more than 350 ongoing jobs for the region – 50 per cent of which have been earmarked for workers who are new to the mining industry.

It will to produce up to 6 million tonnes per annum run of mine coal, mostly hard coking coal, with first production expected from the first quarter of 2020.

SES Labour Solutions will deliver the cultural assessment, training requirements and recruitment activities needed for the development.

Fitzroy chief executive officer Grant Polwarth described the SES Labour Solutions partnership as important in de-risking the development of Ironbark No.1.

“Employing some 350 new Fitzroy personnel is very exciting for our business and the region and it comes with both great opportunity and challenge,” he said.

“Partnering with SES Labour Solutions to not only help recruit and train our new workforce, but further enhance our culture and vision of being a people business that mines coal is another way of challenging industry norms.”

Fitzroy acquired the neighbouring Carborough Downs mine and Broadlea project from Brazilian mining giant Vale in November 2016, along with a portfolio of development and exploration projects including Ironbark.

Recruitment partnership announced for Ironbark No.1
The State Government has announced it will fast-track funding for the $225 million Haughton pipeline to ensure long-term water security for Townsville.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer, Jackie Trad, said funding of $160 million, up from $15 million, will now be provided in 2018-19, with a further $55 million to be provided in 2019-20.

“Fast-tracking this funding is the right thing to do for the people of Townsville,” Ms Trad said. 

“We can only do this because our plan to responsibly manage the economy to deliver jobs, critical infrastructure and growth across Queensland is paying off.”

The Townsville City Council has set a December 2019 completion date for the project.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s original commitment of $225 million was to be provided over four years,’’ Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart, said.

“Full funding will now be delivered a year earlier and this means less administration and more money out the door sooner.’’ 

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill thanked the Government for bringing forward funding for the project, which was the council’s number one infrastructure priority. 

“Securing this funding will save ratepayers and allows the council to better plan for upcoming infrastructure projects,” Cr Hill said.

“The council is totally committed to delivering the pipeline by December next year, to provide our community with water security.”

Water pipeline funding brought forward  
The Palaszczuk Government has brought forward $100 million in Works for Queensland funding.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad announced the early release as part of the Queensland Government’s Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review.

“The State Budget allocated $200 million to a third round of Works for Queensland in 2019-21 but we see the time is right to bring forward $100 million to keep councils building and to keep growing jobs,”Ms Trad said.

Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe said the program was very popular with local councils.

“I am delighted we are able to announce the first-half funding allocations for 65 regional councils, setting their communities up with an early Christmas present,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

The types of community projects range from roadworks to town beautification, tourism projects, parks and playground upgrades as well as renewable energy initiatives.

Allocations are based on location, population and unemployment rates.

Councils are to submit their list of projects by March/April 2019 with the infrastructure to be completed by June 2021.

For more information visit: www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/works-for-queensland

Works for Queensland funds fast-tracked
The Federal Government has committed $280 million to help deliver the Bruce Highway – Mackay Ring Road Stage 2 project.

Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said this work would extend the Mackay Ring Road – Stage 1 project by connecting the Bruce Highway at Glenella, north-west of Mackay, heading east to Harbour Rd.

This would assist in reducing heavy vehicle traffic through Mackay, increasing safety for local road users, and providing an improved link from the south to the northern suburbs.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said he was pleased to be part of this major investment in the region’s road network.

“This is the next vital stage of the Mackay Ring Road, as Stage 2 puts the loop, or ring, on the road and provides a connection to the Mackay Port,” Mr Christensen said.

“The project will also support hundreds of local jobs in the process.

“Mackay Ring Road Stage 2 will provide a strategic connection between the port and the Bowen Basin and Galilee Basin mining regions, as well as prime agricultural regions, to the west.

“It also removes all signalised intersections between the Mackay Port and the Peak Downs Highway.”

The $497.3 million Mackay Ring Road Stage 1 project is expected to be completed mid 2020.

It recently reached a milestone, with the placement of the first concrete girder on the new Pioneer River Bridge.

In total, 150 girders will be constructed, transported and placed. Each girder is 35m long, weighs up to 82 tonnes and measures more than 1.8m in height.

Stage 2 would cost $350 million in total, with the Queensland Government expected to cover 20 per cent of the cost.

Federal funds for Mackay Ring Road Stage 2