In­dige­nous win on bus deal

North West Telegraph - - News - Jenne Bram­mer

An in­dige­nous fam­ily busi­ness in the Pil­bara has won a con­tract to sup­ply bus ser­vices to Pil­bara Min­er­als as the miner ramps up its Pil­gan­goora lithium mine site near Port Hed­land.

Bithari, run by Doris Ea­ton, son Troy Ea­ton and his wife Denise Smith, has se­cured the $250,000 con­tract to trans­port work­ers be­tween Port Hed­land Air­port, the work­ers’ vil­lage, off­site ac­com­mo­da­tion and the mine site dur­ing the project’s con­struc­tion phase.

Bithari will em­ploy up to 12 in­dige­nous peo­ple.

The busi­ness came to fruition as part of NPJV, which is an un­in­cor­po­rated joint ven­ture be­tween Nja­mal Ser­vices, run by the Nja­mal tra­di­tional landown­ers, and Pil­bara Re­source Group.

NPJV man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Scott Dry­land said NPJV broke up the large min­ing and main­te­nance con­tracts into small bite-size pieces, then helped Nja­mal fam­i­lies set up busi­nesses to ser­vice these con­tracts that might oth­er­wise go to multi­na­tional com­pa­nies.

Mr Dry­land said NPJV worked with the Bithari busi­ness lead­ers to as­sem­ble the ten­der pro­posal, and also en­sured Bithari and di­rec­tors were com­pli­ant with all li­cences and reg­u­la­tions by pro­vid­ing gen­eral busi­ness ad­vice and sup­port, re­cruit­ment as­sis­tance and main­te­nance. Mr Dry­land has taken on the role as gen­eral man­ager of Bithari and, with NPJV, will over­see the Bithari busi­ness and pro­vide sup­port to en­sure pro­fes­sional high stan­dards.

He said the trans­port con­tract would run un­til June for the con­struc­tion phase but Bithari had an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand into per­ma­nent per­son­nel trans­fer for Pil­bara Min­er­als’ mine op­er­a­tions, pro­vid­ing fur­ther longterm em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for Nja­mal peo­ple.

NPJV has been awarded other min­ing con­tracts, cre­at­ing jobs for more than 60 peo­ple.

Pic­ture: Tony McDonough

Troy Ea­ton and Denise Smith are part of the Bithari fam­ily com­pany which has won a con­tract to sup­ply bus trans­port ser­vices for Pil­bara Min­er­als as­part of the NPJV ini­tia­tive.

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