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Manufacturing set to boost Indigenous employment opportunities ahead of the 2032 Olympics

Joseph Guenzler -

Beenleigh Steel Fabrications has secured a $40 million contract to supply 2400 tonnes of structural steel for Maryborough's Queensland Train Manufacturing Program (QTMP) facility in Torbanlea.

The contract, awarded after a competitive tender process, emphasizes the company's proven capability and capacity.

QTMP, led by Downer and subcontracted to John Holland, aims to manufacture 65 new six-car passenger trains at the Torbanlea facility, with an additional rail facility planned for construction in Ormeau, Gold Coast.

Colin Matthews, John Holland Qld General Manager, highlighted the project's commitment to promoting local and Indigenous employment, aligning with broader initiatives in South East Queensland.

"At John Holland, we're always looking for opportunities to improve benefits to the community and leave a positive legacy," he said.

"This is another great example of building Queensland local jobs, capability and Indigenous employment – while delivering great project outcomes."

The initiative aligns with other major projects like Cross River Rail and the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, contributing to population and economic growth.

The first QTMP train is projected for manufacturing and testing by late 2026, with the entire fleet scheduled for service by 2032.

This modern train fleet aims to enhance passenger travel across South East Queensland, focusing on increased efficiency, reliability, and accessibility.

Further, John Holland's commitment to Indigenous employment is evident in its achievements, surpassing the Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC) target by 310 per cent on projects like the Rozelle Interchange.

With over $440 million invested in Indigenous businesses nationwide since 2020, John Holland has demonstrated a solid commitment to social value generation and community engagement.

These initiatives align with John Holland's "broader commitment to transforming lives", with a particular emphasis on Indigenous Business Procurement and Employment.

John Holland CEO Joe Barr. (Image: Mentor List)

CEO Joe Barr said the company takes their "commitment to transform lives seriously by consistently meeting and exceeding targets for Indigenous Business Procurement and Indigenous Employment".

"Since 2020 we've continued to build our investment with over $440 million going towards Indigenous Businesses around the country," he said.

"We've also achieved solid Indigenous employment result of 2 per cent of total employees nationally - by partnering with local employment and training providers and engaging with project teams on the ground to maximise the social value generated back into communities in and around where we operate."

The company's efforts have resulted in an Indigenous employment rate of two per cent of total employees nationally, achieved through partnerships with local employment and training providers and active engagement with project teams to maximize social value within communities.

The toll-free Sydney Gateway road project, valued at $1.7 billion, is a complex construction effort connecting the WestConnex St Peters Interchange to Sydney Airport.

Executed by John Holland and Seymour Whyte in a joint venture for Transport for NSW from 2021 to 2024, the initiative includes 19 new bridges.

With a "one team - one plan" approach, the project has excelled in social value outcomes, surpassing the NSW Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC) target.

Notably, $23 million has been spent on 32 First Nations businesses, providing various services, and the project has engaged Walkabout Barber, a First Nations mobile barber service offering well-being and mental health support to on-site workers.

The QTMP in Maryborough signifies a major step forward in South East Queensland's transport, highlighting a commitment to local employment and Indigenous engagement.

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