• Innovative regional maintenance deal
    for Aboriginal business

    The Department of Finance has taken an innovative and progressive approach to its regional maintenance program for government buildings, reaching a ground-breaking arrangement with an Aboriginal business to deliver breakdown repair services to 12 remote communities.

    This is closely aligned to government’s commitment to increase opportunities for local suppliers, Aboriginal businesses and apprentices.

    From March 2017, Ngaanyatjarra Repairs and Maintenance is coordinating and delivering the Department’s breakdown maintenance service – broken windows, plumbing problems, graffiti repair and other low value, high volume unplanned work typically under $1500 – for the Ngaanyatjarra Lands region.

    The communities are in an area of some 500,000 sq km in the remote east of the state near the Northern Territory/South Australia border.

    The value of the work is estimated to be between $750,000 and $1,000,000, and is part of the low value maintenance framework under the regional service alliance, managed by the Department’s Building Management and Works’ regional programs.

    Requests for regional minor unplanned maintenance will be received by the Department's maintenance call centre in Manjimup as usual, and all work for these remote communities will then be directed to Ngaanyatjarra Repairs and Maintenance, a division of Ngaanyatjarra Services Aboriginal Corporation. This is part of the Ngaanyatjarra Council Group.

    This service was previously delivered by a range of suppliers and coordinated from the Department’s Kalgoorlie regional office. The office will continue to manage and support this service arrangement to ensure customer service, quality and value for money are maintained, and manage payment for works. The Kalgoorlie office will also continue to manage routine maintenance, simple works and regional capital works projects.

    The Department’s Kalgoorlie office identified the potential for alternative, cost effective ways to deliver this often very expensive service across the vast distances of the remote communities. The Department reached agreement to deliver this service with Ngaanyatjarra Repairs and Maintenance, an Aboriginal company which already delivers services for the Department as a contractor, and has shown good capability and cost efficiencies over time in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. The parent company is wholly Aboriginal owned and employs about 100 people, a mixture of Aboriginal and non-aboriginal employees.

    Equally important was the company’s commitment to a program of employing and developing the skills of Aboriginal employees -- including apprentices – in a range of trades to deliver maintenance services in the region.

    The Department’s Kalgoorlie office is looking at opportunities for other Aboriginal businesses in the region, and helping them understand the processes for qualifying for government work. In the future, the arrangement has the potential of expanding to include other services such as routine maintenance, simple works and capital works projects.

    >Ngaanyatjarra Lands landscape

    Ngaanyatjarra Shire is one of the most remote parts of Western Australia

    Published date: 11 May 2017