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National statistics have indicated that regional and remote centres, particularly remote Indigenous communities, struggle to economically maximise the useful life of their housing and infrastructure assets. This is caused by the high cost of importing labour and materials to maintain those assets. Examples identified of the cost of simple maintenance tasks are difficult to comprehend unless you experience the issues on an ongoing basis.

Most regional and remote communities have residents with the basic skills set to provide ongoing maintenance, however there remains a general lack of experience, confidence and organisational capacity to effectively provide the required services.

eNPC recognises that a professional and locally owned enterprise can provide the necessary structure and confidence to aspiring Indigenous youth to successfully enter the workforce in the building industry. There is no doubt that local employment will reduce the significant cost burdens on communities and governments to maintain their housing and infrastructure stock as well as provide more economical outcomes for new construction projects.

In order to improve the cost effectiveness of housing and opportunities for Indigenous employment, eNPC look to establish partnerships with Indigenous communities and Corporate Australia that:

  • Develop a pool of Indigenous local subcontractors that can undertake maintenance works in their own communities, thereby providing economic benefit to those subcontractors and also reduce the significant cost burden on those communities and Government;
  • Utilise an ongoing preventative maintenance program as the platform for developing Indigenous apprentices, project and business managers;
  • Provide consistent work opportunities for Indigenous subcontractors and encourage them to develop their own business networks;
  • Facilitate access to training and mentoring programs that will develop Indigenous sub-contractors as successful businesses in their own right;
  • Utilise the experience of Corporate Australia to tender and win a much larger proportion of contracts that have historically been awarded to contractors from outside the regions.

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