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BHP Billiton and Ngarda Civil and Mining congratulated for joint initiative to run Yarri mine: will assist indigenous employment

Posted by gasweek on 12 October, 2007

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on 5 September 2007, Western Australia Premier Alan Carpenter said he was pleased to be witness to the announcement of a landmark contract, announced in Parliament in the Aboriginal People’s Room.

Largest contract ever awarded to indigenous company: Carpenter said the contract, between BHP Billiton Iron Ore and Ngarda Civil and Mining Pty Ltd, was the largest contract ever to be awarded to an indigenous company in Australia – a $300 million, five-year contract. The contract had been signed by Ngarda for work to be undertaken on behalf of BHP Billiton in running the Yarri mine, 200 kilometres east of Port Hedland, and also as a training opportunity for indigenous employees.

Congratulations extended to initiators: Carpenter congratulated Ian Ashby from BHP Billiton and Barry Taylor of Ngarda Civil and Mining. He said Taylor was an outstanding Western Australian. He had already demonstrated that across a range of areas. The story of the development of his company was a great story. He had started out in 2001 with half a dozen lawnmowers and whipper snippers, doing minor contracts for mining companies around Port Hedland and had built that into a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, as could be seen from the agreement with BHP. Carpenter said for BHP Billiton, the biggest mining company in the world, to take up the challenge was a great thing for Western Australia and something that BHP Billiton should be commended for. It would provide great education and training opportunities and long-term employment opportunities for indigenous Western Australia.

Challenge to other companies: Carpenter said: “The challenge is now there for other companies to step forward and do similar things. It complements the Western Australian government’s efforts to increase employment opportunities for indigenous Western Australians. I look forward to more initiatives of this kind being outlined and presented at the major forum to tackle indigenous employment in Western Australia that I announced last week. Ngarda Civil and Mining aims to achieve an increasing indigenous employment at Yarri mine each year, with 70 per cent at the end of the five-year contract. It will bring in people to work on a functional mine that produces profits for BHP Billiton. It will then allow those people who have been skilled up in that operation to move into other areas, at every level of expertise and employment that mining operations allow. BHP Billiton already has more than 600 indigenous employees in its workforce; it has a target of 12 to 14 per cent of its workforce. Again, I wholeheartedly congratulate BHP Billiton and Ngarda Civil and Mining for this initiative.”

Reference: Alan John Carpenter, Member for Willagee, Premier, Australan Labor Party, Legislative Assembly, Western Australia, 5 September 2007: Indigenous Unemployment

Erisk Net, 5/9/2007

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