WHITEHAVEN Coal has taken another step to becoming closer with the region’s indigenous community by launching its second reconciliation action plan (RAP) on Friday.
Along with children and staff from Narrabri’s Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, company CEO Paul Flynn, Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine and Aboriginal Affairs NSW director of regional co-ordination Steven Gal launched the plan which will see the company work closer with the local indigenous community.
The second installment of the action plan will see Whitehaven Coal continue to push to achieve the best outcomes for the community as a whole.
“Our new RAP builds on the solid progress and publicly formalises our commitment to working with the local community and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people,” Mr Flynn said.
“Through close collaboration with Reconciliation Australia and the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, we have identified a number of projects and partnerships that will deliver opportunities over and above what we have already accomplished.”
Mr Flynn said the plan would go further than just employment of indigenous men and women.
“These opportunities go beyond direct employment,” he said.
“We’re seeking out opportunities in health, education and training, to cultural awareness and understanding, economic development and potential partnerships.
“We now employ more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at our Maules Creek mine while 11 per cent of our entire workforce is indigenous, reflecting the local population as a whole.
“These jobs have contributed $12 million in annual salaries to our Indigenous workforce, which are flowing back into local households, families and businesses.
“We take great pride in our long-standing links with the local community, but we know it is critically important that we continue to work hard to keep and grow that respect.”
Whitehaven Coal will continue it’s reconciliation week celebrations with the unveiling of acknowledgement of country plaques at its offices in Gunnedah, Newcastle and Sydney.