Minister for Housing and Public Works
The Honourable Bruce Flegg

Indigenous jobs vital for reconciliation

Fifty-three Indigenous Queenslanders have earned training and employment opportunities thanks to the Cyclone Shelter program in the State’s north.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Dr Bruce Flegg said it’s important to remember during National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June), that job creation is a vital part of the process.

“The Department of Housing and Public Works is working hard to achieve reconciliation 52 weeks a year by increasing Indigenous employment through our construction projects,” Dr Flegg said.

Dr Flegg said the department has been working with contractors in eight of the 10 cyclone shelter projects to maximise Indigenous employment outcomes for the local community.

“Rather than government telling the industry what to do, I am extremely pleased to say the contractors themselves are coming up with new and innovative ways to maximise local Indigenous employment,” he said.

“There’s a great example in Townsville and Ingham where the building contractor Baulderstone Pty Ltd has provided work experience for 14 Indigenous students. It’s part of their Certificate II course in basic construction skills through the Futures Program run by TAFE.”

Other cyclone shelter contractors in Weipa, Bowen, Proserpine, Port Douglas, Tully and Yeppoon are providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with employment opportunities in their region.

These Cyclone Shelter projects are part of the Department of Education, Training and Employment’s Indigenous Procurement Pilot to strengthen and maximise Indigenous employment.

Dr Flegg said the Department of Housing and Public Works is also providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with employment through the Indigenous Housing Program.

“A total of 35 Indigenous trainees are employed at Woorabinda, Aurukun, Laura, and the Northern Peninsula Area (Umagico),” Dr Flegg said.

Two Indigenous apprentices and more than 25 local workers are employed in construction.

The Department of Housing and Public Works’ new Fast Track initiative will also provide Palm Island apprentices with ongoing mentoring and support to successfully complete their apprenticeships.

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