Contracts valued at over A$11 million for the construction and installation of a laboratory, storage and administrative facilities at Eliwana have been awarded to Mallard Deemey Pty Ltd, which is jointly owned and operated by Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) member Donna Meyer and Yamatji member Robby Mallard.
The contracts will see the creation of over 100 jobs, with a significant number of employees expected to come from the Pilbara and Carnarvon as well as Perth.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said, “Supporting and investing in sustainable Aboriginal businesses is at the heart of our approach to ensuring Aboriginal communities benefit from the growth and development of our business.
“Our Billion Opportunities Aboriginal procurement program has provided a platform to demonstrate the skills and capability of Aboriginal businesses and the chance for Aboriginal people to build a future for their communities through economic opportunity,” Ms Gaines said.
Mallard Deemey Director Donna Meyer said the contracts clearly showed the capability of Aboriginal businesses, challenging assumptions that they could only work on projects of this size as subcontractors and where time schedules were less stringent.
“These contracts are a demonstration of Mallard Deemey’s strong capabilities and will also enable us to commit to our continued training and employment of local Aboriginal people, positioning our business very well for the future,” Ms Meyer said.
With Fortescue’s support, Mallard Deemey was previously engaged as a subcontractor for the deconstruction of the Wheatstone camp in Onslow, ahead of its relocation to Eliwana. Over 40 per cent of the workforce who worked on the Onslow project were Aboriginal employees.
Since its inception in 2011, Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program has awarded contracts and sub-contracts worth over A$2.5 billion to over 120 Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners.