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The Magazine Precinct – Goat Island

Client: Department of Environment and Climate Change

Project: Repair and Maintenance of The Magazine Precinct – Goat Island

Murphy’s was engaged by the Department of Environment and Climate Change to repair and maintain buildings within The Magazine Precinct on Goat Island.

Our team undertook the protection of building heritage features, roofing, roof plumbing, maintenance and other miscellaneous heritage restoration works.

The $150,000 project included works to four of the precinct’s buildings:

  • The Colonial Magazine
  • Scow Shed
  • Winch House, and
  • Queen’s Magazine Addition.

Due to the high risks associated with the project, including working at heights and working in a harbour side environment, Murphy’s assigned a highly trained and experienced team to the works.

Murphy’s project team worked together to successfully deliver this heritage restoration project, both on and off site.

Scope of work  

The scope of work on the Colonial Magazine included to:

  • remove gutters and rusted downpipes
  • secure existing roof sheets
  • treat rust patches
  • clear out box gutters
  • install new guttering and new downpipes, and
  • new rainwater head and new sumps.

The scope of work on the Scow Shed included to:

  • remove all gutters, downpipes and above ground stormwater pipes
  • remove brick piers for stormwater pipes
  • remove selected roof sheeting along south wall
  • secure existing roof sheeting
  • replace roof sheets
  • clean and service roof lights
  • install new copper gutters, downpipes and stormwater pipe, and
  • refix fascia in-situ.

The scope of work on the Queen’s Magazine included to:

  • remove all gutters and rainwater pipes
  • install new guttering
  • replace fascias
  • install downpipes, and
  • clean out existing drainage system.

The scope of work on the Winch House included:

  • secure existing metal roof sheeting
  • apply external membrane patches and install barge rolls
  • painting the roof.
  • Sentry Wall: timber frame protection of opening
  • Quarry Face: protect around new roof and guttering works

Challenges and methods

Goat Island sits in the middle of Sydney Harbour. This meant it presented a challenging work environment.

All staff, materials and equipment were ferried by water taxi to the island at the start and end of the shifts.

This meant thorough planning and ordering of materials and equipment was essential. Program budget and timing constraints also meant boat trips to and from the island had to be kept to a minimum.

In addition, the Goat Island facility had to remain operational for the length of the project to ensure as much access, and as little disruption, as possible for staff and members of the public visiting the Island.

The heights involved in roof work make it inherently high risk. Murphy’s controlled the risks by using a scissor lift and installing temporary height safety systems with static lines and anchor points on the roofs.

Workers using height safety systems and working in safety harnesses were trained by a registered training organisation (RTO) in Working Safely at Heights at AQF level 2.

Scissor lift operators also had formal training through a one day course with an RTO.

The location of the buildings meant we weren’t able to use a crane. Because of this, we used the scissor lift to raise and lower materials to and from the roof.

Quality Management

Murphy’s management developed Inspection Test Plans (ITP’s) for all works on the project.

These procedural documents were issued to, and implemented by, our site manager to ensure all works were in accordance with the project specification and relevant Australian Standards.

Project Control Group meetings were held throughout the project to keep open communication between the client and Murphy’s, and the construction program was updated progressively.

Safety Management

All staff undertook Murphy’s Site Specific Induction. The site was inspected and audited regularly to make sure the on-site safety systems were effective.

All staff were trained in work activities through SWMS for all tasks, and through specific safety training where required – such as Working Safely at Heights.

Murphy’s Site Manager was the trained first aid officer.

A Project Specific Management Plan was created and used to guide works for the project.

Risk assessments were conducted before and during the project, and used to formulate the Safe Work Method Statements which covered all high-risk work on site.

Environmental Management

Murphy’s ensured no pollution or waste materials from the works entered Sydney Harbour.

The team minimised the waste produced on site and disposed of any materials using a licensed environmental waste handler where appropriate.

Murphy’s Site Specific Induction included training all staff were trained in the environmental aspects of the work.

Heritage features of the buildings were protected including by constructing a temporary wooden frame to protect the masonry work of the sentry gate.

Benefits offered to client during project works

  • Regular progress reports and effective communication from Murphy’s both on and off-site.
  • Normal operations were able to continue on Goat Island, including various visitors to the Island.
  • Protection of the environment, including Sydney Harbour and heritage aspects of the magazine buildings such as the Sentry Gate.
  • No WHS and/or environmental issues due to effective development and implementation of controls as outlined in the Project Safety Management Plan (PSMP).
  • Project delivered on budget and on time.
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Murphys Group Services

Head Office
60 Cope Street
Redfern NSW 2016

Postal Address
PO Box 3136
Redfern NSW 2016

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