In October 2010, the South Australian Government announced plans to build new training centres in Iwantja (Indulkana) and Kaltjiti (Fregon). The centres were expected to be completed by June 2011.[i] This timeframe was not met.
In mid 2011, the Government announced that a new training centre would also be built in Kalka.[ii]
As of 10 January 2012, the Government expected construction of all three centres to be completed by September 2012.[iii]
The Paper Trail
New centres in Iwantja and Kaltjiti
On 27 October 2010, the then South Australian Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education (Hon Jack Snelling MP) informed State Parliament that:
- $1 million had been secured for the construction of two new training centres on the APY Lands, and
- these centres would be built in Iwantja and Kaltjiti.[iv]
On 3 November 2010, the Paper Tracker asked Minister Snelling for some detailed information on this development.[v]
In a reply dated 2 December 2010, the Minister advised the Paper Tracker that:
- funding to build both centres had been provided by the Federal Government through its Industry and Indigenous Skills Centre program,
- this program aims to “support local economic and social development” and increase “the capacity of Aboriginal communities to be sustainable and self-governing through skills identified by the community”,
- the Iwantja and Kaltjiti centres would be “purpose built to meet the needs” that the communities had identified,
- the estimated cost of building the centres was $449,000 (Iwantja) and $550,000 (Kaltjiti), and
- construction of both centres was expected to be completed by 30 June 2011.[vi]
The Minister noted that:
- the Iwantja centre would provide local Anangu with the opportunity to develop skills “in such areas as engineering, business, community services, aged care, youth work, [and] front line and small business management”, and
- the Kaltjiti centre would provide opportunities for skill development “in the areas of resources and infrastructure, metalliferous mining, conservation and management, aged care, youth work, [and] front line and small business management.”[vii]
Construction projects and Anangu employment
The Paper Tracker has previously reported on government efforts to train and employ Anangu in the construction and maintenance of community-based infrastructure. This has included highlighting a 2004 proposal by the State Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology – in partnership with two other agencies – to increase:
the capacity and capability of locally based Aboriginal organisations to deliver construction works and facility maintenance services within the APY Lands and associated region.[viii]
The Paper Tracker notes that this proposal – endorsed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s APY Lands Task Force in November 2004[ix] – was not limited to community housing but envisaged significant employment and training opportunities for Anangu in the construction of government facilities and staff housing.[x]
Given this and other previous undertakings, when the Paper Tracker asked Minister Snelling for some detailed information on the construction of the new training centres in Iwantja and Kaltjiti, we also asked him to indicate:
whether local Aboriginal people [would] be employed in the construction of these centres and, if so, in what capacity.[xi]
In his reply dated 3 December 2010, the Minister advised the Paper Tracker that:
- as neither training centres had been “put to tender yet … no final decision has been made [as to] whether or not the construction will incorporate local Aboriginal employment”, and
- “there is a target of incorporating 20% local Aboriginal employment” under the Council of Australian Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing but that “this is not a requirement under the agreement for the building of a training centre.”[xii]
On 7 July 2011, the South Australian Government announced that “just over $500,000” had been secured to build another skills training centre in Kalka.[xiii]
On 12 July 2011, the Paper Tracker asked the Government when it expected the Kalka centre to be completed. We also asked the Government:
- whether construction of the centres in Iwantja and Kaltjiti had been completed within the original timeframe of 30 June 2011 and, if not, for the revised timeframe; and
- if the construction of those centres had “incorporated local Aboriginal employment and, if so, the scope of this employment and the number of people employed.”[xiv]
On 19 July 2011, the Government advised the Paper Tracker that:
- it hoped all three training centres would be completed “by July 2012”,
- the original timeframe for completing the Iwantja and Kaltjiti centres had not been met “for a variety of reasons” including the need to provide Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara with additional documentation on “the sites and the plans”, and
- it expected to call for tenders from parties interested in securing the contract to build all three centres in September 2011.[xv]
In relation to Anangu employment, the Government wrote that it was certain Housing SA would:
be compliant with all Aboriginal employment policy requirements for the construction of these centres and recognise local skills to support the construction.[xvi]
Additional information (added 10 January 2012)
On 10 January 2012, the Government provided another update on the construction of the three training centres.
At that time, the Government noted that it expected:
- Housing SA to issue a call for tenders in “mid-late February” 2012, and
- handover of the completed centres “to occur in August/September 2012”.[xvii]
The Government also noted that it “would be in a better position to comment on the employment opportunities for Aboriginal people when the successful tenderer is known.”[xviii]
This article was last updated in January 2012. It has been archived and will no longer be updated. It will, however, remain accessible online as a source of background information for anyone wishing to undertake further research on this issue. Information included in the article was current at the time it was archived. Keep in mind, however, that Ministerial changes and names of departments, among other things, may have since changed.
[i] Snelling, J. 27 October 2010. “Indigenous Tourism Training”, Hansard, House of Assembly, Parliament of South Australia, p1728.
[ii] Snelling, J. 7 July 2011. “Industry and Indigenous Skills Program,” Hansard, House of Assembly, Parliament of South Australia, p4560-4561.
[iii] Wheatley, J (DFEEST). 10 January 2012, Email to J. Nicholls.
[iv] Snelling, J. 27 October 2010. “Indigenous Tourism Training”, Hansard, House of Assembly, Parliament of South Australia, p1728.
[v] McDonald, P. 3 November 2010. Letter to Hon. J Snelling MP.
[vi] Snelling, J. 2 December 2010. Letter to Rev P. McDonald.
[vii] Snelling, J. 2 December 2010. Letter to Rev P. McDonald.
[viii] Department of Administrative and Information Services et al. October 2004, “Enhancing Aboriginal Employment and Training on the APY Lands through Government Housing Construction and Maintenance Program,” p4.
[ix] Department of the Premier and Cabinet, December 2004, “APY Task Force Strategic Plan,” (Strategic Objective 4), p2.
[x] Department of Administrative and Information Services et al. October 2004, “Enhancing Aboriginal Employment and Training on the APY Lands through Government Housing Construction and Maintenance Program,” p2 & 6.
[xi] McDonald, P. 3 November 2010. Letter to Hon. J Snelling MP.
[xii] Snelling, J. 2 December 2010. Letter to Rev P. McDonald.
[xiii] Snelling, J. 7 July 2011, “Industry and Indigenous Skills Centre Program,” Hansard, House of Assembly, Parliament of South Australia, p4560-4561.
[xiv] Nicholls, J. 12 July 2011. Email to A. Sharkey (DFEEST).
[xv] Sharkey, A (DFEEST). 19 July 2011, Email to J. Nicholls.
[xvi] Sharkey, A (DFEEST). 19 July 2011, Email to J. Nicholls.
[xvii] Wheatley, J (DFEEST). 10 January 2012, Email to J. Nicholls.
[xviii] Wheatley, J (DFEEST). 10 January 2012, Email to J. Nicholls.