Aboriginal jobs targets for Western Sydney Airport project welcomed

9 March 2018 

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council has welcomed a Federal Government commitment to set Aboriginal employment targets for the Western Sydney Airport project. 

NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See said Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher had confirmed that Indigenous workers would comprise 2.4 percent of the workforce during construction of the airport.

As well, 3 percent of all contracts during construction of the airport would be with Indigenous firms.

Cr Ah-See said the Federal Government was making a serious commitment to closing the gap by freeing up opportunities for Aboriginal-controlled economic development.

"The NSW Aboriginal Land Council is excited to play a part in the expanding Aboriginal economy in Western Sydney and throughout the State."

Last month, the Prime Minister used his Closing the Gap statement to the Australian Parliament to announce a partnership between NSWALC and the Federal Government to deliver the first Indigenous Business and Employment Hub in Western Sydney.

The Indigenous Business and Employment Hub is a major plank of the Federal Government's Western Sydney City Deal which will build on record infrastructure in the region, including the new airport.

"Economic independence is the key to closing the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council is fully committed to generating jobs and economic development opportunities for Aboriginal people. 

"Having a secure and stable job is the best way Aboriginal people can fully participate in Australia's largest economy and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council thanks the Turnbull Government for the vote of confidence in our ability to deliver for Aboriginal people." 

"The NSW Aboriginal Land Council also thanks Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion for his ongoing support for the Land Rights network's participation in the economy."

Cr Ah-See said the Federal Government's commitments to procurement would also pay long-term dividends for Aboriginal people. 

"Recent data has shown that the Federal Government's Indigenous Procurement Policy can contribute to the growth of businesses and the value of contracts being awarded to Indigenous businesses. We want to fully realise this potential in Western Sydney."

Cr Ah-See also acknowledged that the Federal Government would report annually on its targets from 2021 and make them public.

"For too long, Aboriginal people have been left disappointed by promises and commitments not being met. This level of transparency and accountability from the Federal Government is welcome."