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Binjari Community Aboriginal Corporation works on renovating and expanding Ngukurr resident homes

Rhiannon Clarke -

The Binjari Community Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal Business Enterprise, is in the process of renovating and expanding five homes to cater to the requirements of the community.

This endeavour has had a significant impact on the lives of numerous locals, including Tommy Wurramara, a proud Ngukurr resident, and two families with specific accessibility needs who have recently relocated to their new residences.

Being a Ngukurr Traditional Owner and a devoted father to four boys, Mr Wurramara has been an employee of the Corporation (BCAC) for nine years.

"I grew up here in Ngukurr, then left to Binjari 20 years ago, and that's where I got this job. At first I wanted to be a chippie, but I'm glad I chose painting because I'm pretty good at it," he said.

Over the past four years, he has worked towards completing his apprenticeship and successfully obtained his qualifications as a painter and decorator in December 2023.

"I was doing my apprenticeship for four years, through COVID when classes were often cancelled, but I didn't give up and now I'm a qualified painter, I painted all these houses; the inside and the outside, and even the steel works," said Mr Wurramara

"I'm glad to see other local countrymen to get jobs so they can find their feet too. In every job we try and get a couple of locals to work on the houses, as we need proper jobs in communities."

This achievement has not only enhanced Mr Wurramara's professional growth but has also contributed to the overall progress of the community.

The Robertsons are the newest residents in Ngukurr, with specific accessibility requirements, along with their carer. They currently reside in a two-bedroom house.

Additionally, Mr Daniels, who suffers from Machado-Joseph Disease (MJDIII), receives consistent assistance from the MJD Foundation.

BCAC employs a workforce of 20 individuals, 15 of whom are Aboriginal Territorians. Furthermore, there are two local Aboriginal women working at the office. Such initiatives have a significant impact throughout the Territory, as evidenced by the $3.5 million contract awarded to various suppliers, service providers, and subcontractors.

Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said she is pleased to see it's also providing opportunities for Indigenous businesses

"Our partnership with the NT government is delivering better housing in remote communities and easing overcrowding," she said.

More than 35 suppliers from Darwin and Katherine, who offer various materials such as steel, concrete, paints, bricks, windows, doors, and even plants from the local Katherine shop, receive half of the funding.

The remaining half is divided among Meales, a service provider that delivers cranes, concrete pumps, and their operators, as well as 15 subcontractors from Darwin who handle plumbing and electrical works.

In addition to the costs incurred for transporting materials, there are also expenses for accommodating workers near the construction site. This provides business for demountable hire Darwin Transportables and creates full-time employment opportunities for a chef and cleaners for camp operations.

NT Minister for Remote Housing and Homelands Selena Uibo said these are key priorities of our Government

"Our Territory government is delivering work and improved housing for remote communities," she said.

"Our investment in homes goes straight into the hands of our hard working Territorians, across our cities, regional towns and remote communities.

"We are not only building homes in remote communities, but providing work, income and skills for Territorians, and Territory businesses by providing opportunities that help to build resilient communities."

The completion of a new 20 lot subdivision in Ngukurr has not transformed the housing and social landscape and also provided employment and training opportunities for Aboriginal Territorians. A1 Plant and Civil Pty Limited had six Aboriginal Territorians working on the subdivision, which eventually led to the construction of 12 new homes.

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