Freight Rail, Inland Rail, NSW, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Victoria

Building First Nations businesses with Inland Rail

First Nations businesses and community members have learned how to get involved in future opportunities with Inland Rail at a ‘Gather and Grow’ networking event held in Wagga Wagga.

Hosted by Regional NSW and NSW Treasury, Gather and Grow sessions bring together NSW Government buyers, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses, support services and job seekers to support growth of the First Nations business sector.

Joel Johnston, Inland Rail Social Performance Principal spoke about the networking event.

“Inland Rail projects spanning from Albury to Parkes present real opportunities for local and First Nations businesses to get involved. Local content at all levels is key to the program’s success,” he said.

“These events are a fantastic way for us to connect to First Nations businesses and community members, and to share information about the benefits Inland Rail is bringing to regional communities.

“We’re seeking lasting connections with local workers and suppliers which allow for future procurement, employment opportunities, and business exposure.”

About 80 people attended the event, which proved a great opportunity for Inland Rail staff to provide a program update, and share information on business development, employment, and skills and training opportunities that the critical infrastructure project is bringing to the region.

To date, more than 120 local residents have worked on the Albury to Illabo and Stockinbingal to Parkes enhancement project, 22 of whom are local First Nations people. 67 local businesses have supplied to the project, with $4.2 million spent with local businesses.