More than 35 Aboriginal leaders, industry and local government representatives met in Kalgoorlie last week, March 9, following the establishment of the Aboriginal Economic Development Taskforce.
The meeting, a collaboration between the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission, discussed ways to improve Aboriginal economic participation in the Goldfields region.
The Taskforce was established in a bid to drive job opportunities for Aboriginal people in the Goldfields region, charged with contracting outcomes on the $8 million Kalgoorlie city centre project.
Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission chief executive officer Arron Minchin said the Taskforce aimed to identify what action could be taken to help Aboriginal people and businesses engage effectively with the Goldfields economy.
“I’m happy to say that Aboriginal Economic Development is a focus for the Commission for the whole region,” he said.
“The Taskforce is focused specifically on the Goldfields, however the learnings from this task will be used to support Aboriginal economic development throughout the whole region including Esperance.
“The Taskforce is a specific response to what is happening in the Goldfields but we always do Aboriginal economic development throughout the whole region and it’s a focus for the commission everyday.”
Regional Development minister Alannah MacTiernan said the most effective way to combat social issues in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region was through opportunities for employment and on-the-job training.
“This taskforce will give effect to our Government’s focus on local procurement and Aboriginal engagement in the Goldfields, ensuring that Aboriginal employment is at the heart of every step of the city centre project,” she said.
“It is in the interest of everyone in the Goldfields to provide the Aboriginal community, the opportunity to be woven into the region’s economic life.”
The taskforce will hold their first meeting this week, March 12.