The Australian Government’s Indigenous Employment Program will provide $680,000 to help the Mossman Gorge Gateway Centre employ 40 Indigenous staff.
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib and Senator for Queensland Jan McLucas said the funding would also be used to hire a Training and Development Manager and two employment mentors over next two years.
“The aim of the Mossman Gorge Gateway Centre is to provide an Indigenous experience to visitors while creating real economic and job opportunities for local Indigenous people,” Senator Arbib said.
“The Training and Development Manager will work with staff to build their skills and leadership abilities to make them competitive candidates for senior positions.
“They will be on-hand for the next two years to help with any staff development and also to help with personal issues that might arise.”
Senator McLucas said the Mossman Gorge Gateway Centre is a significant local project for the region that will deliver long term economic and social benefits.
“The Australian Government’s multi-million dollar investment in the Gateway Centre is not only delivering a world-class tourist facility in Mossman, it is creating meaningful job and training opportunities for local Indigenous people,” Senator McLucas said.
“It is fantastic that another 40 people will be employed in Mossman.”
“Indigenous economic development is a vital step in closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The Mossman community is working hard in partnership with government and industry to build a better future.”
Senator McLucas said the funding is in addition to $205,000 provided last year for the employment of a Human Resources Co-ordinator who managed the initial recruitment, training and work experience at the centre.
The Centre, scheduled to open in early 2012, is expected to see more than half a million visitors a year.
Senator Arbib said Treasury predicted 500,000 jobs would be created over the next two years and it was critical that Indigenous Australians had the support and training they needed to take up employment.
“Indigenous employment is not a short-term issue. Over the next four years the Australian Government has committed almost $650 million to the Indigenous Employment Program and $50 million to the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway Program,” Senator Arbib said.
“This is part of the Gillard Government’s target to create more than 100,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.”