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Transfield deal means 400 jobs

TRANSFIELD Services expects to hire 400 staff with telecommunications skills in Victoria after winning a $133 million two-year construction contract with NBN Co.

TRANSFIELD Services expects to hire 400 staff with telecommunications skills in Victoria after winning a $133 million two-year construction contract with NBN Co.

The contract is to install fibre-optic cables in Bacchus Marsh and South Morang, where work is scheduled to start in November, and to extend the Brunswick test site to the rest of the suburb.

A second contract worth $174 million was awarded to Syntheo, a Lend Lease and Service Stream joint venture, for three construction sites in Western Australia.

Both contracts could be extended for a further two years if the companies meet performance targets. The extensions would be worth an additional $262 million and $310 million respectively.

NBN Co has issued 11 contracts worth nearly $700 million over two years for construction in 16 regions, with possible extensions worth $1.3 billion in some regions.

No contracts have been issued yet for work in South Australia or the Northern Territory. In Tasmania, a construction contract was awarded to Conneq in April.

The head of construction for NBN Co, Dan Flemming, said the contracts covered 60 per cent of work to be done in the next two years.

"Ultimately, in some of the larger regions like northern NSW or country Victoria or Melbourne, we will have more than one contractor," he said. "As we progress through, we want to get a single contractor in every region."

Transfield was previously contracted by NBN Co to install cables in the New South Wales test site of Kiama and Minnamurra.

NBN Co said the terms of the agreements for Transfield and Syntheo were broadly consistent with those negotiated with Silcar and with the corporate plan.

Silcar, a joint venture between Thiess and Siemens, was granted a contract on June 1 for construction in NSW, parts of Queensland, and the ACT.

"Our aim is to provide value for money for the Australian taxpayer, which is why we have very carefully worked our way through this process with our construction partners," NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said yesterday.

A spokesman for Transfield said the company would employ 400 staff when the construction project was in full swing. This would include 150 subcontractors from Melbourne and Ballarat.


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