September 27, 2017

EnergyAustralia has announced plans to convert a section of land at its Tallawarra power station into a functioning nursery under a new partnership with the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council. The partnership follows the launch of EnergyAustralia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) last year.

Jason Lee, Asset Leader at Tallawarra power station, said the nursery’s creation is aimed at delivering economic benefits to support the local Aboriginal community.

“The creation of a nursery is our RAP in action. We’re converting a parcel of land that’s culturally significant and economically viable, which is a great match to help our local Aboriginal community achieve greater independence,” Mr Lee said.

EnergyAustralia hosted Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Paul Knight to deliver his Welcome to Country at EnergyAustralia’s RAP launch last year. Since then both organisations have been exploring a way to support the Illawarra region.

“Our partnership with EnergyAustralia has real potential to provide employment, general economic development and the opportunity to build a stronger and more inclusive community,” Mr Knight said.

Paul added that he looks forward to working more closely with EnergyAustralia and other partner organisations in the region to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people.

The agreement announced today involves developing a vacant lot of around 900 square meters on the site of the power station to cultivate native seedlings. Funds generated will go toward Illawarra Aboriginal Land Council’s environmental services business, Berrim Nuru.

The nursery is currently in development with the aim of commencing operation in 2018. The planned sustainable business is anticipated to create employment prospects for the Aboriginal community in the order of 10-15 ongoing positions. And in time, the nursery will be used for educational means to tour local school groups.

Once developed EnergyAustralia will assess whether seedlings grown at the nursery can be used for future revegetation works at Tallawarra power station.

The Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council is the peak Aboriginal community organisation with regards to land, culture and heritage for the region.