Opportunities from here to the fence post

The Nyiyaparli people of Western Australia’s east Pilbara have acquired security fence company FenceWright in a move set to more than double its annual commercial turnover.

The acquisition for an undisclosed sum was made through Karlka Developments Pty Ltd, the commercial arm of the Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation.

Karlka Developments chairwoman Natalie Parker said the acquisition was a move towards economic self-determination.

The acquisition is expected to more than double Karlka’s turnover from $15 million to over $35 million.

FenceWright is a security fencing contractor supplying and installing commercial and industrial security fencing and gates.

It has headquarters in WA and Queensland and an annual turnover of more than $20 million.

Karlka Developments chief executive officer John Valuri said Karlka purchased FenceWright because it provided many benefits for the Nyiyaparli community, especially in employment.

“We want our entire community to take advantage of the opportunities FenceWright will deliver to the Nyiyaparli people,” he said.

“These acquisitions allow our community to gain on-the-job experience in a range of skilled and unskilled roles.

“This is about actively creating the future we want – to be independent and creating our own employment opportunities.”

The acquisition is the first in a planned agenda targeting the civil construction, retail and related sectors.

Mr Valuri said his corporation wanted to buy businesses that tied in with its vision.

“We are looking for businesses that help us focus on self-determination through training, employment, and capacity building,” he said. “Not only for our people, but for the Indigenous business sector more broadly.”

FenceWright managing director Matthew Sivewright said Karlka Developments would provide additional capital and support as the contractor continued to expand nationally.

He said FenceWright had successfully completed a large range of security fencing projects on mine sites, power stations, roadside fencing and in prisons.

It was in the final stages of completing a perimeter fence at the new billion dollar Perth Stadium.

“We are excited by the opportunities this provides our team in now being a 100 percent  Aboriginal owned business,” Mr Sivewright said. “Our employees, management, suppliers and subcontractors remain the same, but the new opportunities now available to us are certainly exciting.

“It will only enhance our business.”

The Nyiyaparli people are traditional owners of about 36,684 square kilometres of land and waters in the east Pilbara, including the township of Newman. They have Native Title land use agreements with a number of mining companies.

Karlka Developments was set up in 2012 to generate economic and social outcomes for the Nyiyaparli people. It is said to have an annual turnover of about $15 million.

Wendy Caccetta

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