The Western Australian Government has revealed new goals for increasing Aboriginal peoples’ involvement in the state’s major transport infrastructure program, with new business and employment targets.
Over the next five years, the State Government aims to award $700 million of contracts to Aboriginal businesses, as well as having 3.5 million work hours completed by Aboriginal workers.
A Meet the Buyer and Supplier Forum will be held 21 October, with up to 300 attendees expected to attend.
The forum aims to connect Aboriginal businesses with road and rail construction and maintenance contractors, and explore upcoming opportunities.
The new targets will apply from October 2021 until June 2026 to projects delivered by the Department of Transport, Main Roads and Public Transport Authority, including METRONET projects.
In the past financial year alone, more than $80 million worth of services were undertaken by Aboriginal businesses on Main Roads and METRONET infrastructure projects, including the interior fit-out of the METRONET Bellevue Railcar Facility.
These targets build on broader State Government updates to the Aboriginal Procurement Policy, which includes Aboriginal employment targets for the first time, and comes into effect from 1 January, 2022.
Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “With projects in Kununurra to the north and Esperance to the south, plus METRONET projects in all four corners of Perth, there’s no shortage of opportunities for Aboriginal businesses and people to get involved.
“We also have a strong focus on training programs, with trainees working on some key projects including the Broome Cape Leveque Road and Goldfields Highway.
“Over the next five years, we are aiming for $700 million of contracts to be awarded to Aboriginal businesses and 3.5 million work hours to be completed by Aboriginal workers, creating opportunities across our program of transport infrastructure.”