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Regional projects, regional jobs

Horizon Power’s Stimulus Program, Renew the Regions, recently commissioned an independent review into whether it was meeting its commitments to deliver work opportunities and promote business confidence in the company’s regional service area, and the findings look promising.

When the utility first announced its now $75 million portfolio of projects as a part of the state government’s WA Recovery Plan, it committed to creating immediate and longer-term jobs in the regions, while also creating opportunities for regional suppliers and contractors.

The Renew the Regions independent review took a close look at how many jobs the program had created since its commencement in August 2020.

According to its findings, more than 170 jobs had already been involved in the Renew the Regions projects up to the end of March 2021. Of these, 76 were regionally based, 21 had been filled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates, and 16 had been awarded as traineeships or apprenticeships.

While some of the program’s projects are still in the planning and design stage, those that are finished or nearing completion have tracked well.

One of the program’s flagship projects, the Broome Customer Experience Centre, has moved the utility’s customer contact centre back to WA from Melbourne, and is expected to bring up to 10 local jobs with it.

Mark Kiernander, project manager for the relocation of the contact centre, said the project had also heavily invested in Kimberley contractors to complete both large and small-scale scopes of work, including local architects NBC Aboriginal Corporation, construction and fit-out specialists H&M Tracey, and electrical services provider Arc Electrical & Power.

“We have been consistently impressed by the high quality of work our local contractors have delivered on the Broome Customer Experience Centre project,” Mr Kiernander said.

“The businesses have been responsive, competitive and reliable, and working with them has delivered tangible benefits to both the local community and Horizon Power.”

The review projected that the program would see more than 350 jobs associated with its projects across the life of the program, with more than 223 of these being based in the regions.

Creating these employment and development opportunities is key to the successful delivery of the Renew the Regions program, and Horizon Power will continue to preference local contractors, goods and services wherever it can.

Find out more about Renew the Regions and how you can become a Horizon Power regional supplier.