QR National joins push to boost Indigenous employment
The nation’s largest rail freight company, QR National today joined the national push to boost sustainable employment for Indigenous Australians.
In Brisbane today, QR National signed up to the Australian Employment Covenant (AEC), to provide ongoing sustainable job opportunities for Indigenous Australians. The AEC and sister organisation GenerationOne – are both not-for-profit organisations aiming to bring all Australians together to end the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
QR National Managing Director and CEO Lance Hockridge was joined at the signing today by CEO of Fortescue Metals Group and Founder of AEC Andrew Forrest.
Mr Hockridge said QR National was operating right across the country and well placed to join the initiative.
“We want Indigenous people to be part of QR National’s growth story going forward,” he said.
“Our company is poised for expansion, especially in the regional parts of Australia such as Queensland and Western Australia where the resources sector is booming.
“QR National is committed to supporting indigenous employment in the communities in which we operate and as part of the AEC initiative we are aiming to grow our number of indigenous employees by at least four hundred.
“We will work closely with indigenous communities to attract and retain indigenous employees and provide the support mechanisms to ensure they can develop long-term careers with us.
“We are proud to take a place alongside the many employers across Australia who have signed the covenant, making a tangible difference in breaking the unemployment cycle for Indigenous Australians.”
QR National has also engaged Australian rugby league legend Steve Renouf on this initiative as part of his work for QR National across regional communities.
Steve Renouf said the initiative would allow QR National to build on its existing Indigenous employment base and strengthen its links with indigenous communities.
“I’ve been involved with QR National over many years and understand the fantastic employment opportunities that a company of this size and scale can offer,” he said.
“Already QR National has indigenous employees in diverse roles - driving trains, working in heavy-engineering workshops and on maintenance of the vast coal network.
“This is about QR National partnering with local communities, providing employment opportunities for indigenous people and making a difference where it really counts.”
About the AEC
The Australian Employment Covenant (AEC) is an industry driven initiative aimed at securing 50,000 sustainable jobs for Indigenous Australians. Backed by a three-way commitment between Australian employers, the Australian Government and Indigenous people, this landmark initiative seeks to break the vicious cycle of unemployment and poverty amongst Indigenous Australians by adopting a "learn or earn policy" for all those who have the capacity to work. A number of prominent Australians comprise its Steering Committee including Andrew Forrest, Marcia Langton, Sir Rod Eddington, Dr Sue Gordon, Noel Pearson, Warren Mundine, and David Bussau AM.
About QR National
QR National is Australia's largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2009/10, QR National transported more than 260 million tonnes of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. It also operates and manages the 2300 kilometre Central Queensland coal network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone.