SMEC has operated in Australia since 1949, although not in its current form. The first project in which SMEC was involved was the landmark Snowy Mountains Scheme. The scheme brought together over 100,000 workers from 30 countries who constructed 16 major dams, seven power stations, one pumping station, 145 km of tunnels, 80 km of aqueducts and 2,000 km of roads.
As the Snowy Mountains Scheme neared completion, the Australian Government passed an Act of Parliament which recognised SMEC as an agency of the Commonwealth Government. SMEC was established on 24 June 1970. SMEC’s first permanent office in Australia was opened in Cooma in 1970. Today, SMEC operates permanent offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Cooma, Geelong, Gold Coast, Grafton, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Townsville, Traralgon, Western Sydney and Wollongong. SMEC also opened an office in Auckland, New Zealand in 2011.
Throughout Australia, SMEC delivers a wide range of services across diverse disciplines including the Transport, Water, Hydropower and Energy, Environment, Geotechnics and Tunnels, Urban Development and Government and Advisory Services sectors. SMEC’s projects in Australia have included the Sydney Desalination Plant, the Adelaide Desalination Plant, Eastlink Tollway in Victoria, the Tugun Bypass in Queensland, the Northern Expressway in South Australia, Tallowa Dam Fishlift in New South Wales, Cardinia Urban Growth Area Planning in Victoria and the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade in Queensland.
SMEC's New Zealand office is undertaking a variety of international projects in the Hydropower and Energy sector including: the Nam Ngum 3 Hydroelectric Project and 500kV Nabong to Udon Thani Power Transmission Project in Lao PDR; the Don Sahong Hydropower Project in Lao PDR; and the Java-Bali 500kV Transmission Line Project in Indonesia.