Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan)  — I rise to speak of another benefit my community is experiencing from the truly groundbreaking West Gate tunnel project. Last week 10 successful graduates celebrated the completion of the Aboriginal pre-employment program, a program which involves the completion of a certificate II in construction that gives Indigenous trainees the opportunity to get a head start in the industry. Through the preapprenticeship program, the trainees will be placed across various roles in the West Gate tunnel project’s five worksites in Melbourne’s west. Whilst working on the project, trainees will also complete a certificate III in civil construction. This is a great program for Indigenous trainees in my electorate of Western Metropolitan Region as they get hands-on experience in a variety of fields while also securing vital qualifications. This will set them up for a great career in the construction industry and empower them to secure long-lasting, full-time employment.

This government takes supporting our Indigenous community seriously. Whether it be through commencing a formal treaty process, respecting Aboriginal cultural diversity or fostering economic opportunities, this government will always work hard for our nation’s first peoples. I commend the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, on the great work he has done providing vital upgrades to the roads in the west and utilising these projects to support Indigenous apprentices and trainees in gaining practical training and experience in the construction industry.


7 August 2018