Reconciliation - more than a word for NSW Government

31 May 2021

This year’s National Reconciliation Week is being celebrated by highlighting a number of major regional infrastructure projects where Aboriginal participation has played an important role.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said many of the transport routes used today, follow the traditional Songlines, trade routes and ceremonial paths in Country that our nation’s First Peoples followed for tens of thousands of years.

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting Indigenous Australians through our transport and infrastructure investment, both by creating employment and investment opportunities on our major and minor projects, and through various engagement, outreach and community building initiatives that run every year,” Mr Toole said. 

“A major focus is implementing the NSW Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP) which requires infrastructure contracts of more than $7.5 million to award at least three per cent of Goods and Services contracts to Aboriginal businesses.

“We are using this procurement power to create opportunities for Aboriginal businesses and Aboriginal people through the infrastructure we create as well as the goods and services we buy.

“In total, more than $79 million was invested in creating jobs, increasing skills and supporting Aboriginal businesses across NSW in 2019/2020.”

Summary

  • In the past year, Aboriginal participation targets were met or exceeded on a number of major regional infrastructure projects, unlocking regional job opportunities in construction and building transferable skills.
  • Between the Hunter and Far North Coast, 12 Welcome to Country signs are showcasing and promoting the deep connection First Peoples have with Country and helping develop understanding in the broader community.
  • As of March 2021, the Batemans Bay Bridge replacement project has invested $3.63 million in Aboriginal businesses and employment in the region, equating to around 22 jobs at peak construction, for Aboriginal people.
  • The Mungle Back Creek to Boggabilla Newell Highway project has invested more than $3 million in Aboriginal businesses and employment in the region, providing jobs to 51 Aboriginal people.
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