Central Desert Regional Council is well on track to finish refurbishments of all 43 Nyirripi community houses by the end of June, with 27 fully finished and 4 more at 80% completion. Council continues to meet its contractual targets each month, including 30% of total hours completed by Indigenous workers, as required by the NT Department of Housing Stronger Futures NT program.
“This is a great example of local people, supported by Council, participating in the construction industry, growing their skills, certificates and job experience” said Council CEO Cathryn Hutton. “Seventy percent of the Council’s 300 employees are local Indigenous people who hold down real jobs, and we are committed to optimizing work opportunities for local workers”.
Council is also committed to working closely with local businesses and suppliers. Roustabout Construction is Council’s main subcontractor on the project. Ian Hackett, owner of Roustabout and a builder in Alice Springs for 25 years, said “The relationship with Council and local participants has been very positive, with works being delivered efficiently and on time”. Virtually all materials have been sourced from local Alice Springs suppliers.
In an exciting turn, local Nyirripi women have expressed interest in creating a women’s training team, to match an already established men’s training team. The men’s team obtained formal Certificates in Civil Construction in 2015 through the Centre for Appropriate Technology, arranged by Ngurratjuta Aboriginal Corporation’s CDP program. From that training, two local men are now employed as labourers by Roustabout Construction. They are learning various aspects of the construction trade under the supervision of qualified local trades people.
For the women’s team, the community asked that it be led by a woman, so, for cultural reasons, Council and Roustabout Construction advertised for an experienced female tradesperson. There were no local applicants for the position, however, Roustabout was fortunate to employ a skilled painter from interstate. She is now organizing the all-women team to do painting and clean up work in houses.
PHOTO:Nyirripi resident and Roustabout Construction employee Andrew Parker, building cupboards for a house
Further Information please contact Glenn Marshall, Director Works and Infrastructure on 0423 643 675.