BHP Billiton has posted a record profit of $22.6 billion, almost twice last year’s result and the biggest profit ever recorded by an Australian company. 

The result was recorded on annual revenue of $72 billion, up 36% from the previous year, and a staggering 86 per cent profit increase.

The company’s biggest earner, iron ore posted its 11th consecutive production record with profits up 122% to $13 billion. Base metals were up 50% to $7 billion and profits from oil increased 40% to $6 billion.  Negative impacts on the bottom line were driven by increased costs in raw materials and labour and the impact of the Queensland floods.

The Federal Government has announced the formation of the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC), which will act as a standards setting body for the vocational education and training (VET) sector with an aim to improve quality and consistency of VET regulation throughout the country.

The Federal Government has refused to conduct an inquiry into the state of manufacturing in Australia, citing fears that a move to protect the industry would threaten Australia's reputation as an open market economy with little sovereign intervention.

Queensland's new Major Project Office (MPO) has been opened by the State Government in a move to streamline approval processes for developers of major projects.

John Holland has been awarded a marine subcontract worth in excess of $90 million which forms part of the works for GLNG’s proposed Curtis Island LNG facility.

Downer EDI Limited (Downer) has announced underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $292.2 million for the year ended 30 June 2011, 8.1% lower than the previous year. Underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) was 15.7% lower at $166.4 million. 

Building and engineering rates recorded a steady rise in the June quarter but results suggest a widening gap  between building and mining-related construction and engineering work throughout the country.

Downer EDI Limited has announced  that the 50:50 Downer Clough joint venture (DCJV) has been awarded an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contract by CSBP Limited for its Ammonium Nitrate/Nitric Acid Plant Number 3 (NAAN3).

The Federal Government has announced it will introduce a new advance facility into its Steel Transformation Plan (STP) in an attempt to counter the recent troubles in the steel production sector.

Western Australian-based engineering group, Monadelphous Group Limited has announced maintenance and construction contracts with a combined value of around $350 million. The contracts are with customers in the Queensland coal industry and the western Australian oil and gas and alumina industries.


The new work secured in Queensland comprises:

  • A three-year contract, valued at around $100 million, with BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) for dragline and shovel shutdown work across its Bowen Basin coal operations;
  • Two contracts, totalling approximately $100 million, for civil, structural, mechanical and electrical work to supply and install an overland conveyor and a drift conveyor as part of the extension project at the Rio Tinto Coal Australia-managed Kestrel Mine near emerald; and
  • Two contracts with BMA’s Project Delivery Group for ongoing construction work on various sites in the northern region of the Bowen Basin over two years.

New work in Western Australia includes:

  • A new contract with Woodside to provide mechanical commissioning support for its Pluto LNG Plant on the Burrup Peninsula. The contract is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012 and follows an initial major structural, mechanical and piping contract for the Pluto LNG Project which commenced in 2009 and is in the final stages of completion; and
  • A three-year contract to provide minor capital project services for BHP Billiton Worsely Alumina’s Refinery Project at Collie. The contract formally extends a continuous services relationship with Worsely Alumina which commenced in 2004.

Contract mining and construction company, Macmahon Limited, has won a two-year $110 million underground engineering construction contract at the CSA Mine in central western NSW for Cobar Management Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of AG Glencor International.


Under the contract, Macmahon will undertake design, fabrication, procurement, construction and management of the extension and upgrade of the CSA No 1 Shaft. Around 70 people will be employed on-site.


On completion, the new underground materials handling and shaft hoisting system will have a capacity of 1.6 million tonnes per annum from a depth of 1500 metres.

Construction firm Abigroup has secured a national Defence contract to retrofit RAAF airbases around Australia to accommodate the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

A report published by Telstra has shown that the shortage of skilled labour tops the concerns of small and medium businesses.

The 2011 Public Defence Capability Plan (the DCP) has been released, providing information for the defence industry on Defence’s planned capital equipment acquisitions.

Arrow Energy’s plan to construct a multi-billion dollar LNG plant on Curtis Island off Gladstone in Central Queensland has taken a major step forward with the awarding of the front-end engineering design (FEED) contract.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has identified engineering as one of the most urgently needed areas of skill required to meet the state's growth needs, and has called for increased Commonwealth assistance to support Australia's international education sector.

A West Australian ship builder, Austal, has been awarded the $350 million contract to construct and support the next generation of Customs and Border Protection patrol boats.

Infrastructure services company, UGL Ltd, has reported a strong result, with ten per cent growth in profit after tax to $158.5 million on operating revenues of $4,583.6 million. It is the  tenth consecutive year of profit growth for the company, although at the lower end of the company’s guidance projections.

Professor Maria Forsyth, Chair in Electromaterials and Corrosion Sciences at Deakin University and Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science has been awarded a 2011 Australian Laureate Fellowship.

Australia is leading a $16 million international research project into why and when buried water pipes burst.

ANU scientists have successfully bent light beams around an object on a two dimensional metal surface, opening the door to faster and cheaper computer chips working with light.

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