Aboriginal communities in New South Wales are being encouraged to participate in the Pacific Highway upgrade.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said an expo-style roadshow will visit the Ballina, Lismore, Casino, Maclean and Grafton communities in late November 2017 to encourage Aboriginal participation in the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina project.

‚ÄúMore than $4.4 million has been spent on Aboriginal employment to date, with around 140 Aboriginal people employed on the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade,‚ÄĚ the spokesperson said.

“This number is expected to significantly increase as work ramps up next year, with all main civil and bridge contracts now awarded on the project.

“The scale and scope of this $4.36 billion upgrade presents a great opportunity to upskill and boost employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses in regional NSW.

“A number of initiatives are in place to ensure the good work continues including implementing contracts with higher Aboriginal participation, direct engagement of Aboriginal companies and implementing regional roadshows such as this one.‚ÄĚ

The roadshow will stop in five towns across three days and give Aboriginal people and businesses the ability to speak directly with project staff, contractors, labour hire companies, training organisations and job agencies to discuss employment opportunities on the upgrade.

‚ÄúThe roadshow will help provide clear information on pathways to gain employment on the project, facilitate networking opportunities by linking locals to major employers and connect new or unskilled job seekers with training and education providers,‚ÄĚ the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said there are a wide variety of work opportunities for Aboriginal people including trade specific work, engineering, fencing, truck driving, labouring, machinery operation, traffic control, administration and community engagement.

Anybody interested in discussing opportunities available on the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is encouraged to attend one of the five information sessions.

Information sessions will be held on:

  • Monday 20 November 9am – 11am:¬†The Richmond Room, 5 Regatta Avenue, Ballina
  • Monday 20 November 2pm – 4pm:¬†The Function Room at Lismore City Hall, 1 Boundary Street, Lismore
  • Tuesday 21 November 12pm – 2pm:¬†Casino RSM, 162 Canterbury Street, Casino
  • Wednesday 22 November 9am – 11am:¬†Maclean Bowling Club, 1a McLachlan Street, Maclean
  • Wednesday 22 November 2pm – 4pm:¬†Clarence River Jockey Club, Powell Street Grafton
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