Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today said that local councils would benefit after 29 local government employees of Indigenous councils successfully earned qualifications in water industry operations.

Mr Pitt was representing the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Desley Boyle MP at the ceremony and said the graduates, representing 12 Indigenous councils, were now qualified to operate and maintain council-owned water and sewerage infrastructure.

“The Queensland Government is committed to helping improve infrastructure and essential service delivery in our Indigenous councils,” Mr Pitt said.

Vincent Schrieber and Jim Turnour MP“This is an excellent result with real outcomes – providing employment and training as well as helping councils become more self-sufficient.

“The Bligh Government partnered with the Commonwealth Government in 2007 to provide $773,000 to contribute to a sustainability project aimed at training Indigenous council staff in Certificate II and Certificate III in Water Industry Operations.

“Courses conducted in Weipa and Wujal Wujal over the past two years have involved trainers providing coaching and mentoring support as well as individual assessments of participants in their respective communities.

“I congratulate the 29 graduates. I am sure their new skills will help their careers and the quality of life in the communities in which they are employed.”

Mr Pitt said the initiative was another example of the Queensland Government’s commitment to building strong and sustainable Indigenous communities.

“The Bligh Government is a strong supporter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Queenslanders and we will continue to work closely with Indigenous councils to boost the capacity and skills of their workforce,” he said.

“It is pleasing to be able to help deliver training initiatives providing tangible outcomes and benefits for our Indigenous communities.”