Albury First Nations community discovers Inland Rail opportunities

First Nations community members from the Albury region have met Inland Rail officials to learn about potential opportunities on the Albury to Illabo (A2I) section of the Brisbane-to-Melbourne freight rail project at a very successful information session held in Albury on 1 December.

Attendees at the Albury to Illabo information session

Attendees at the information session were excited to learn about the opportunities available with the A2I Inland Rail project – particularly the training opportunities for First Nations people from the Inland Rail Skills Academy (IRSA) that has so far delivered training to around 2,000 people on the alignment.

Inland Rail Skills Academy officials gave First Nations attendees an overview of the IRSA Foundations Course, delivered in partnership with TAFE NSW, that delivers construction skills training, with students of the course already graduating and gaining employment in the rail industry.

ARTC Inland Rail will shortly be launching a range of training and employment opportunities associated with the A2I project as part of its commitment to create meaningful opportunities that deliver lasting benefits for all Australians.

Inland Rail has already spent some $14 million with businesses owned by First Nations people across the project.

On the completed Parkes to Narromine section the project employed more than 300 Indigenous workers with a similar number employed on the ongoing Narrabri to North Star section of the project.

The delivery of the A2I project is in its infancy with early works on the section beginning this month with specialist contractors relocating and installing new water, gas, and telecommunication utilities in the vicinity of Pearson Street, Wagga Wagga and Urana Street, Turvey Park.

An ARTC Inland Rail spokesperson said:

“We are delighted with the huge success of our engagement Session in Albury, which gave us a chance to highlight the opportunities available for First Nations communities on the project.

“Our Indigenous Participation Plan outlines ARTC’s goals for Indigenous participation and how we work with Indigenous communities to share in the benefits that Inland Rail will bring to Australia.

“Many Indigenous communities along the Inland Rail alignment have a long and proud association with Australia’s railways. We want to create new opportunities that will support the next generation of Indigenous Australians in the rail industry.

“As part of that commitment Inland Rail ensures Indigenous participation in all tender assessments and contracts include Indigenous participation targets, and we work with contractors to achieve agreed outcomes.”