Closing the gap with North-South Corridor jobs

Media Release

PF002/2016

06 January 2016

Joint release with:

Stephen Mullighan

SA Minister for Transport and Infrastructure

Two Aboriginal companies have been awarded contracts for work on North-South Corridor projects providing job opportunities for dozens of Aboriginal employees.

Federal Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said Intract Australia—Indigenous contractors—had begun preliminary earth carting works on the $985 million dollar Northern Connector project.

“The Turnbull Government is pleased to be contributing $788 million towards this project which is one of the first to contract out work under the Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Five members of the 10-strong workforce employed by Intract Australia to complete this earth carting work are Aboriginal people.

“The works include delivering up to 1000 tonnes of fill and brine mud each day to fill in embankments across the salt pans up to four metres high before major construction starts in May.”

South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said about 30 Aboriginal workers were employed on another early works project as part of the $620 million Darlington Upgrade, towards which the Australian Government was contributing $496 million in funding.

“ART Services was awarded the traffic management contract for the early works at Marion and Sturt roads under the State Government's Aboriginal Business Procurement Policy,” he said.

“This policy streamlines the procurement process for Government agencies seeking to engage Aboriginal businesses, providing more opportunities to employ Aboriginal people.

“It's very pleasing to see the achievements we are making through this approach.”

Intract Australia General Manager John Briggs said the business aimed to help indigenous people develop life-long careers in the construction and building maintenance industries.

“We are focused on delivering stable, long-term employment to help close the gap for Aboriginal workers and projects such as the Northern Connector early works are a step towards this goal,” Mr Briggs said.

“Intract Australia proudly boasts a 100 percent Indigenous workforce with over 50 full-time positions from managers, supervisors, skilled trades, operators, labourers and administrators.”

ART Services Managing Director Allan Jones said the preliminary works project for the Darlington Upgrade had provided real opportunities for Aboriginal workers to gain long-term employment.

“ART is an Aboriginal-owned and managed national award-winning company, established to provide economic training for real employment opportunities for Aboriginal people,” he said.

“Already ART Services has employed 29 long-term unemployed Aboriginal traffic controllers as a result of the project and this experience on this project puts ART Services in a good position to win work on some of the bigger North-South Corridor projects to come.”

Mr Jones acknowledged the Darlington project team lead and praised its commitment towards supporting new South Australian Aboriginal business to participate in South Australia's economy.

Another joint Commonwealth-State project creating jobs for Aboriginal people is the $106 million upgrade of roads in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands.

Adelaide company Lucas TCS has been awarded the contract for pavement material works between Pukatja and Umuwa, with a minimum of 30 percent local workers to be employed under the six-month contract.

Lucas TCS is currently completing works on the road between Indulkana and the Stuart Highway with up to 45 percent of Aboriginal workers, in particular local Anangu.

Major works on the Northern Connector are due to start in May 2016 with the road scheduled to open in December 2019.

Major works on the Darlington Upgrade will begin soon, with the project due to be completed at the end of 2018.  

The Australian Government has committed $1.7 billion and the South Australian Government $769 million to deliver the Torrens to Torrens, Darlington and Northern Connector projects on the North South Road Corridor.

The Australian Government will contribute $85 million towards the five-year upgrade of the entire 210 kilometres APY Lands road network, with the remaining $21.25 million being provided by the South Australia Government.

More information on these projects can be found at www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au