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Builder appointed for Geraldton Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation

Giovanni Torre -

The Western Australian government has awarded the $23.4 contract to build the Geraldton Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation to Mid West-Gascoyne builder GBSC Yurra Pty Ltd.

Site works for what will be WA's fourth Aboriginal Short Stay are set to commence from 31 January.

On Wednesday the state government said the facility has been designed to meet the needs of Aboriginal visitors from remote communities across the Mid West-Gascoyne region and beyond, who are travelling to Geraldton to access a range of services or for cultural reasons.

The Geraldton Short Stay will provide a total of 44 units comprising 16 single/couple, 14 family and 14 universally accessible rooms that will be able to accommodate up to 100 guests.

Other features of the design by Geraldton-based Eastman Poletti Sherwood Architects include communal cooking, dining and laundry areas, solar photovoltaics (PVs), a children's nature play and a half basketball court.

In making the announcement, the WA government said GBSC Yurra Pty Ltd has demonstrated experience and an excellent track record in Aboriginal employment; and has committed to engaging 10 Indigenous employees.

The government also noted that existing Short-Stay facilities have been operating successfully for some years in Kalgoorlie, Derby and Broome.

Premier Roger Cook said the government is committed to establishing new Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation services, to ensure Aboriginal visitors have a safe space to stay when travelling.

"This latest project will be able to house up to 100 guests in accommodation that is culturally considered and comfortable, with a great range of amenities on site," he said.

"When complete, the Geraldton Aboriginal Short Stay will build on the success of existing services across the State."

Housing Minister John Carey said the establishment of the Geraldton Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation services will ensure safe, culturally-considered, short-term accommodation is available to support Aboriginal visitors from regional, remote and metropolitan areas.

"Short Stays play an important role in providing accommodation for Aboriginal people traveling

to regional towns or centres and supporting people experiencing homelessness," he said.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti said GBSC Yurra is a local company with demonstrated experience and "commitment to achieving, and exceeding, Aboriginal employment targets during the construction of the Short Stay".

Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton acknowledged the local Aboriginal community, especially the Midwest Aboriginal Organisation Alliance, who she noted "have been advocating for this project for more than a decade".

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