Aboriginal Businesses connect to Avon River Bridge project

Local Aboriginal businesses and community members recently had the chance to find out how they can get involved with the Avon River Bridge project at a workshop with shortlisted project suppliers held at Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation in Sale. 

Forty five people from local Aboriginal businesses, as well as state and federal  government, heard how the GROW program is helping connect local businesses with opportunities on major projects, including the $530 million Gippsland Line Upgrade being managed by Rail Projects Victoria (RPV). Following this, they were able to network, collaborate and discuss the skills and experience they can offer to support the Avon River Bridge upgrade.

The new bridge will improve reliability on the Bairnsdale line, with trains able to travel at up to 90 km/h, a significant improvement on the current 10 km/h speed limit. 

Construction is due to commence in mid-2019, with RPV committed to maximising the social benefits achieved through the delivery of this project. 

As the project is implemented, there is a requirement for 2.5% of labour hours to be completed by Aboriginal people, a minimum 90% local content on goods and services, and 10% of the projects of work to be completed by apprentices, cadets or trainees. These requirements align with the GROW Gippsland program objectives, creating job opportunities for these target groups.

There was a clear buzz around the room as connections were made at an individual, business and industry level. Participants left with a greater appreciation of the diversity and capabilities of local Aboriginal businesses and a desire to continue to work together to maximise opportunities through the delivery of the Gippsland Line Upgrade.  

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