Lack of lo­cal fo­cus forces ten­der re­think

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The ten­der process for re­de­vel­op­ment of Roe­bourne’s Vic­to­ria Ho­tel has been scrapped be­cause of con­cerns about the lack of work done to en­gage Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple and com­pa­nies.

The $6 mil­lion project, man­aged by Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion, is set to trans­form the land­mark for­mer pub into a mixed-use space for re­tail, tourism, hos­pi­tal­ity and of­fices.

Re­gional Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan vis­ited the site in April and has since writ­ten to 10 com­pa­nies which had re­ceived a re­quest for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est to ten­der ad­vis­ing them the process had been can­celled.

Ms MacTier­nan said projects in re­gional WA should fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing lo­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“We have an op­por­tu­nity with Roy­al­ties for Re­gions projects in areas with high Abo­rig­i­nal pop­u­la­tions to cre­ate real and last­ing ben­e­fits for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

“Abo­rig­i­nal em­ploy­ment should be at the very heart of a project like this — we need to max­imise op­por­tu­ni­ties for train­ing for lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

“We’ll be work­ing with Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion on a model that will guar­an­tee jobs and train­ing for the lo­cal com­mu­nity. We also see this as an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide train­ing and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to in­mates from the lo­cal prison.”

The project is be­ing funded in equal parts by the State Govern­ment, Fed­eral Govern­ment and YAC. The State Govern­ment will work on an ar­range­ment with YAC to fo­cus on train­ing and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

The Vic was built in 1889 and closed in 2005 be­cause of an in­crease in al­co­hol-re­lated is­sues in Roe­bourne.

YAC pur­chased the her­itage build­ing in 2013.

There are no plans to sell al­co­hol at the re­de­vel­oped venue.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Vic Ho­tel will en­joy a $6m re­vamp.

A 1901 pho­to­graph of the roof­less Vic­to­ria Ho­tel with a Cos­sack tram in the fore­ground.

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