29/06/2017 6:00 AM
Keith Hunter, of Bidyadanga; Clinton (Minty) Sahanna, who covers the Dampier Peninsula communities of Beagle Bay, Lombadina/Djarindjin and Ardyaloon; Robert Hassett, of Kalumburu; and Brendan Walters, of Yungngora, are Australia's first Remote Community Utilities Workers after completing an apprenticeship created by Horizon Power.
The employees, who live and work in their communities, maintain electrical networks in these towns and power stations in Kalumburu and Yungngora, and have just received their trade qualification after years of study and on-the-job training.
Before the apprenticeship program began, it could take a day for crews based in Kununurra just to get to towns such as Kalumburu if there was a power outage and even longer during the wet season.
The State Government supports all efforts to create training positions and employment in Aboriginal communities, and is encouraging procurement policies which support Aboriginal-owned businesses and create jobs.
Comments attributed to Energy Minister Ben Wyatt:
"It has been a long journey for the four men who graduated today and I wish them the very best of success in their future roles. These positions will be significant for their communities and they should be very proud of their achievements.
"The staff at Horizon Power should also be congratulated for creating this apprenticeship scheme. I hope it produces graduates for many years to come."