Billion Opportunities partnership builds capacity in the Pilbara

Aug 25, 2016

A partnership between Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) and Western Australian-owned and operated transport, freight and logistics company, Centurion, has created a significant opportunity for an Aboriginal-owned business in the Pilbara. 

The award of a sub-contract to Red Dirt Transport Services by Centurion for fuel delivery to Fortescue’s Pilbara-based operational sites is part of Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program and the result of the companies’ shared vision and commitment to building sustainable opportunities for Aboriginal people. 

Guided by this vision and commitment, Centurion included local, Aboriginal-owned company, Red Dirt Transport Services, as part of its tender for Fortescue’s 36-month fuel delivery contract and helped the local business overcome common barriers by offering vendor finance on a new vehicle to service the contract. This paved the way for a mutually beneficial partnership that sets an outstanding example of building capacity through collaboration. 

In a nod to their Aboriginal heritage, Red Dirt Transport Services commissioned esteemed Yindjibarndi artist, Allery Sandy, to design the new vehicle’s livery. 

Director of Red Dirt Transport Services, Steven Dhu, said the contract will provide significant growth opportunities for the business and allow the team to implement its strategies for Aboriginal employment and participation. 

“We are very proud that we are able to provide meaningful socioeconomic development in the Pilbara with the support of companies like Fortescue and Centurion. We pay due respect to Centurion whose assistance and support can only be described as a credit to a large transport company,” Mr Dhu said. 

Speaking of the partnership between Centurion and Red Dirt Transport Services, Centurion Executive General Manager, Justin Cardaci, said the company was committed to providing Aboriginal people and businesses opportunities to thrive as part of its ongoing operations and service to the resources industry. 

“Fortescue has an outstanding reputation for building capacity in local Aboriginal communities and our partnership with Red Dirt, we believe, will truly make a difference, creating opportunities for these communities while helping the Red Dirt business to grow,” Mr Cardaci said.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Nev Power, further commended the partnership. 
“We are tremendously proud to be partnering with companies that share our commitment to building stronger communities. This is a great example of one of our contracting partners going the extra mile to help build the capabilities of an Aboriginal business. It is these opportunities that are absolutely necessary to continue changing the economic landscape for Aboriginal people,” Mr Power said. 

Since its inception, Billion Opportunities has awarded 238 contracts and sub-contracts worth more than A$1.8 billion to 102 Aboriginal-owned businesses and joint ventures, with a strong focus on traditional owner involvement.

160825 Red Dirt Transport Services