Fortescue Metals Group has entered into an “innovative contract model” that will see Aboriginal businesses carry out catering, accommodation management and lifestyle and recreation services for the Cloudbreak and Karntama villages in the Chichester Hub and Hamilton Village, in Port Hedland, Western Australia.
The Village Facilities Management agreements will be facilitated thorough a pact between Sodexo Remote Sites Australia, a food services and facilities management company, and three Aboriginal businesses owned by Pilbara Native Title groups, FMG said.
With a collective award value of A$165 million ($113 million) over three years, the contracts involve three individual unincorporated joint ventures agreements with Sodexo and 100% owned Aboriginal businesses Palyku Enterprises Pty Ltd, Karlka Facilities Management Pty Ltd and Kariyarra Hospitality Services Pty Ltd.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue’s Aboriginal procurement initiative and approach to providing opportunities to Aboriginal people has empowered our Native Title partners by building the capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses.
“These contracts are awarded on merit. Each of our business partners have competitively demonstrated their commercial ability to deliver the contracted services and by working within a joint venture, the Aboriginal businesses have the support and opportunity to increase their active participation and build long term sustainability.”
Across the three Fortescue sites, Sodexo will provide a range of village services, including accommodation services management to approximately 3,000 workers in a typical week, catering services – serving up to 8,500 meals daily, industrial cleaning, retail, health and wellbeing, transport and airport management services, as well as trade-based maintenance services delivery at Hamilton, Sodexo said.
The announcement is an important milestone for Sodexo after acquiring Morris Corp two years ago, which expanded Sodexo’s portfolio of facilities management operations in Australia, the company said. Morris had been Fortescue’s contractor since 2009.
Sodexo Chief Executive Officer of Energy and Resources Asia-Pacific, Darren Hedley, said: “Our ongoing work with Fortescue showed both companies were aligned in improving quality of village life, and valued strong engagement with communities.
“We’re looking forward to working with our joint venture partners, Kariyarra Group, Palyku Group and Karlka Group, and Fortescue as we continue to identify opportunities for constant improvements across the sites to deliver the best outcomes for Fortescue, with a priority being maintaining safety and quality operations for its growing workforce.”
Fortescue says it has awarded A$2.4 billion in contracts to over 115 Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners since 2011 through its Billion Opportunities initiative.