Birdon Pty Ltd has won a $4.68 million federal government contract to design and build four vessels to service Norfolk Island.
Minister for local government and territories Fiona Nash announced the contract along with a $16.4 million investment package for the island’s Cascade Pier.
Minister Nash said the vessels would make loading and unloading passengers and freight much easier and simpler.
“These vessels will improve safety while loading and unloading and mean Cascade Pier will be able to used in more difficult weather,” Minister Nash said.
“Birdon is one of Australia’s best ship builders and has built a wide range of vessels for different industries.”
Representatives from Birdon and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development were on Norfolk Island earlier this month. They consulted with members of Norfolk Island Regional Council’s Lighterage staff regarding the design of the vessels.
Birdon general manager Peter Besseling said the contract win was the result of a lot of hard work by the team at Birdon.
“The contract is for three passenger vessels and a cargo vessel with an option for a second (cargo vessel),” he said.
“The construction process will begin in January 2018 and continue through to the expected completion date of April 2019.
“It also continues the very strong link between Port Macquarie and Norfolk Island. This is a good outcome.”
Birdon has a strong background in the maritime construction industry. Its experience includes military and marine construction operating throughout Australia, the USA and Europe.