The health centres upgrade project was a large scale upgrade of the electrical installations in 23 remote health centres across the Top End of the Territory. Some of the locations of the health centres were Bathurst Island, Melville Island, Katherine East and West Districts, Mataranka, Bulman, Roper District, Kalkaringi, Timber Creek, Daly River and Pepperminati, Palumpa and Woodykupildya.
The contract scope was to improve and upgrade cabling, fire detection systems, and exit and emergency lighting. As well as provide lightning surge protection of switchboards and general repairs including works on generator changeover switches.
Pivotal Building Services and Combined Electrical (CE) partnered in the tender process with Pivotal having responsibility for carpentry and minor building works. The main scope of works was the electrical component undertaken by Combined Electrical. Attention to detail in the tendering process contributed to Pivotal and CE being awarded the contract. The challenges of working in remote locations were addressed and it was essential to highlight the potential synergies with freight, transport and accommodation requirements.
The upgrade was important to bring the remote health centres cabling up to current Australian Standard 3003. Due to the risk of cardiac arrest to patients with a lower threshold it is a requirement in medical environments that electrical cabling installations in patient areas of medical centres are wired to meet safe practice code. The wiring upgrade reconfigured the cabling with the installation of appropriate power points and a lower earth leakage protection of 10 milliamps.
The health centres were in full operation during the upgrades. A success of the project was
working effectively with clinic staff and patients. The Combined Electrical team demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity which is essential when working in an environment where medical issues are being addressed. The flexible approach of the Combined Electrical team meant that there were times when they worked out of hours to accommodate the requirements of the health centre staff.
The five month project was carried out in the dry season which required effective planning such as logistics for purchasing and transporting materials as well as planning air and road travel for workers. In the case of the works undertaken on the islands, barge transport was required to transport materials.
Major coordination across multiple remote sites highlights the diversity and exemplary planning of Combined Electrical.