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SIHIP bags top prize at NLC employment awards

Posted: Fri, October 22, 2010

SIHIP partners were recognised by taking the top award at the NLC’s employer awards night.

The federal government’s oft-maligned Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Project (SIHIP) took out the Northern Land Council’s top award at its biennial Employer Awards.

Despite receiving media attention for budget blowouts and delays in delivering contracts the project received the endorsement of NLC CEO Kim Hill by winning the Chairman’s Award and Top Employer category.

“SIHIP isn’t just about building new houses and improving existing ones,” he said.  “The project is providing accredited training and real jobs, enabling Aboriginal peoples to gain meaningful employment and a solid base for economic development.”

The $672 million program began with the aim of building and improving almost 3,500 homes across the 73 prescribed communities affected by the Northern Territory Emergency Response Act.

An initial goal of 20 percent Indigenous employment across the project has been exceeded.  Through partnerships with private enterprise and the federal and Territory governments 160 people, more than 30 percent of the workforce, are Indigenous.

Mr Hill believes this figure will only grow and congratulated the SIHIP partners Territory Alliance, Labour Hire Company, Tiwi Enterprise, and the Commonwealth and NT governments on the award. 

“The skills base being created will play a key role in maintaining new housing infrastructure and I expect to see a range of Aboriginal business enterprises emerge from SIHIP in years to come,” he said.