Stakeholder management key to Karratha City Centre project

August 2017

DM Civil’s service for land development projects is all encompassing, from remediation, earthworks and infrastructure installation to roadworks and landscaping. Stakeholder management is a critical component for the successful delivery of the project. For us, stakeholders include any client, consultant, local authority or service provider, businesses or the general public, who may potentially be impacted or disrupted by the works.  

Our stakeholder management is tailored and regularly reviewed for each project to ensure successful outcomes for all involved.  DM Civil recently completed a project in the City of Karratha, which demonstrates the importance of building strong relationships with stakeholders, honest and timely communication, and delivering a professional service to everyone affected during construction.

Key stakeholders for this project included LandCorp, Water Corporation, City of Karratha, the Ibis Styles Karratha Hotel, St Paul’s Primary School and many small businesses within the vicinity.

DM Civil completed the contract works for LandCorp on Karratha Terrace East and the Searipple Road Roundabout. This contract commenced in April 2016 and was under continuous construction until the end of July 2017. As shown in the photo below the project has a large footprint with over 10,000 square metres of new road constructed. The construction activities ranged from demolition, clearing, building, roadworks, walls, stormwater drainage, sewers, water reticulation, power, communications and landscaping. 

The additional and most demanding and time-consuming task on the project was stakeholder management. Our key stakeholder for the initial contract was the Ibis Hotel-Motel. Ibis Styles operates a hotel, accommodation, function centre and a sub-leased TAB agency for which access had to remain continuous. Exclusion zones, which included continuous access to all areas, were difficult to design and maintain with four separable portions. Unmapped services was a high risk item throughout with power and fire control water lines previously constructed in an ad hoc manner being discovered weekly. A new experience for DMC was the relocation of a gas bullet, which brought with it, a raft of safety compliance issues. The Ibis management and staff proved to be one of the most accommodating organisations we have ever dealt with and we are in their debt for their understanding of our tasks which sometimes led to unavoidable shutdowns which they were forced to work around and reschedule events.  

The project management and construction efficiencies offered by DM Civil resulted in the underrun of the project budget and allowed our client, LandCorp, to offer an extension to the contract by constructing a new roundabout.

The roundabout provided the last measure of traffic planning for the precinct to be implemented. This additional works package introduced another group of stakeholders. The most sensitive of these was St Pauls Primary School on the South-East corner of the roundabout. With the roundabout construction being split into two phases, traffic control was the key issue. To this end, DMC, LandCorp, Wood & Grieve Engineers and City of Karratha provided designs and funding to the school to arrange temporary bus pickup’s, new links between carparks, additional parking, signage, traffic control personnel and various amenity improvements over a 16 week period. Once again, our key stakeholder proved to be very understanding of the difficulties and appreciative of our efforts to accommodate the activities and timetable of the school.

The business houses along adjoining Hedland Place, in particular North West Realty, were also affected by our works in terms of customer traffic access, noise, vibration and service disruptions. A good rapport was established by the construction group prior to works commencing and this proved to be invaluable to our scheduling of activities. This group of businesses had previously experienced difficulties with the city centre upgrade and were understandably apprehensive about another activity commencing on their doorsteps.

One of the key achievements of the project and construction team for Karratha Terrace East was the timely completion of the works despite the pressure to also complete 3 other fast-track short term projects in Karratha and Port Hedland. These projects presented as opportunities to help existing clients and to secure new clients and activities. The pressure to perform was taken up by the group and helped along by reinforcements from the trenchless and transport divisions of DMC. We commenced and completed the Styles Road Valve Replacement in Port Hedland for Water Corporation. This was an essential service for the town and presented the full spectrum of difficulties possible for remote projects including design changes, unexpected finds and lack of shutdown support due to faulty existing assets. We also commenced and completed a site remediation project through GHD Pty Ltd for Department of Lands in Wedgefield, Port Hedland. This was another fast track project which was only made possible by the diligence of the Hedland contingent and the experience of the same, gained through our current demolition contract at Port Hedland Hospital. The third and final project which tested the resource of the Karratha Terrace East work, was an earthworks contract for a future mercury processing plant in Gap Ridge, Karratha. A seemingly simple task was made difficult due to the hardness of the existing fill material. This which is a conglomerate of pindan soils mixed with gravel to form a substance with a hardness of rock and reliant on a very narrow optimum moisture content variation to achieve the specified compaction.

As with all projects that are successfully delivered, there is a team behind that success. The production crew has worked tirelessly to reach milestones which many times seemed unachievable, but for the long shifts worked at the expense of family time. We were also very fortunate to have the support of our long-time client LandCorp. The LandCorp project managers showed a good deal of understanding of our tasks and we trust that their decision to engage DMC in a sensitive project has been vindicated. Equally, the Superintendent and Superintendent’s Representative from Wood & Grieve Engineers showed trust in our decisions, often taken without consultation due to urgency of action, but in the interests of the project. Our time in Karratha was also made easy by the local suppliers and contractors, in particular, Karratha Earthmoving. They supplied our roadmaking materials and were at our disposal to provide machinery and services at a moment’s notice, an essential advantage on remote projects. Lastly, our key stakeholders have been very supportive and compliant to our requests and this was a direct result of early, clear communication by our Construction Manager and Project Engineer.

Land development is a core capability for DM Civil.  Please feel free to contact us to ensure you’re dealing with an experienced civil contractor in WA, motivated to deliver successful project outcomes and effective stakeholder management.

Highlight photo: Searipple Road Roundabout and Karratha Terrace East