Lack of local focus forces tender rethink
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.
The Vic Hotel will enjoy a $6m revamp.
A 1901 photograph of the roofless Victoria Hotel with a Cossack tram in the foreground.