Study into safe driving, mechanical training wins Newcrest support

NEWCREST is supporting an independent study to identify communities’ interest in programs to improve driving safety, and also to enhance employment opportunities for community members. Cartec Training Solutions principals Maarten Hardy and Lyle Barrett initially approached Telfer’s Community Relations Superintendent Ben Bryant for logistical support for them in visiting Indigenous communities to conduct their two-part study. One purpose of the trip was to identify the level of support within the communities for driving safety and mechanical training that may lead to future employment with Newcrest. A second reason for the trip was to determine what facilities were available in the communities to support short-course mechanical training programs, and to identify individuals with the necessary skills that may make it possible for them to secure employment with Newcrest in the future.
The proposed short-course would run for two days, covering very basic vehicle maintenance that would help participants better prepare their vehicles for trips and reduce the chance of breakdowns. Candidates identified during the course would be invited to attend a third day that would involve training in minor mechanical repairs, all under direct supervision by qualified trainers. At the conclusion of training a report would be prepared for Newcrest that may assist in the selection of future employees for Telfer. Telfer’s Community Relations Superintendent Ben Bryant agreed to support Maarten and Lyle’s proposal and they subsequently set off on a 5-day journey that saw them visit Kunawarritji, Punmu, Nullagine, Marble Bar and Warralong. Discussions took place directly with community members and various department officers, including the Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation in Nullagine, Marble Bar, and South Hedland.

Maarten and Lyle assessed each site for suitable undercover facilities, availability of vehicle components, community interest, and tools and equipment.

“We received very strong support for the project from each community, with a number of additional suggestions that are now under consideration,” said Maarten.

Lyle added: “The facilities we saw varied, but are considered suitable, and there is a very good supply of components and vehicles. However, hand tools are in short supply at all locations. Cartec Training Solutions will now prepare a detailed report, which will include a number of recommendations that it hopes will see the program introduced.