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$1.2 million refurbishment for Mer Guesthouse will supports local jobs and training opportunities

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) has committed more than $1.2 million to the Mer Guesthouse upgrade project on Mer Island through its Economic Development Programme.

Supported by funding through the TSRA’s Economic Development Programme, the collaborative project will provide valuable training opportunities and jobs for the local community.

Mer Gedkem Le Prescribed Body Corporate identified the guesthouse upgrade to the TSRA as a priority project for the tourism and visitor economy stream of the TSRA’s Regional Economic Investment Strategy (REIS).

Construction is set to commence next week andlocal Indigenous Contractor, Paul Ware Construction has been awarded the contract.

TSRA Chairperson, Mr Pedro Stephen AM, said this is a new and exciting project which will provide a number of benefits to the local community.

“The Mer Guesthouse upgrade will bring about much needed infrastructure improvements as well as training and employment opportunities, and we are aiming for a hundred percent Indigenous participation in the project,” Mr Stephen said.

“There are currently over 60 CDP job seekers on Mer Island and the TSRA is determined to utilise the Mer Guesthouse upgrade project as an opportunity to provide industry specific training.”

The project aims to provide a training venue for up to 20 Community Development Program (CDP) job seekers on Mer Island, and 20 white cards have been issued by CDP Provider – Gur A Baradharaw Kod (GBK) and My Pathway to the job seekers in preparation.

The CDP job seekers enrolled in a Certificate II in Construction Pathways as part of the project and are working under the guidance of Paul Ware Constructions.

Mer Gedkem Le Chairperson, Mr Doug Passi, said upgrading the Mer Guesthouse has been identified as a priority for Mer Island and the Torres Strait community.

“The guesthouse is in need of renovation and this work provides an opportunity to expand its uses, such as the provision of a central meeting room,” Mr Passi said.

Building contractor, Mr Paul Ware of Paul Ware Construction, said he is excited to be working on another joint venture project with My Pathways and the TSRA.

“The refurbishment project will generate sustainable returns for our community by delivering projects for our clients, while providing safe, rewarding and fulfilling careers for our people.

“We are also looking forward to be working with the Mer Gedkem Le (TSI) Co-operation on Mer Island.

“Our team is committed to utilising innovative design techniques and cost-effective construction methodologies to ensure the project objectives are achieved.

“Collaborative projects like this provide opportunities for local businesses, a socially-inclusive procurement strategy to broaden community benefits and will enhance local workforce capabilities to the benefit of the industry.

The project includes a substantial renovation of the guesthouse and will close in the area beneath the guesthouse for a meeting room, plus further works to ensure the guesthouse meets the current building code.

The TSRA is proud to work in partnership with Mer Ged Kem Le TSI Corporation RNTBC, Gur A Baradharaw Kod (GBK), My Pathway and Training Connections Australia in seeing the upgrade through to its completion.

ENDS

Image caption: Chairperson of Mer Gedkem Le (TSI) Corporation RNTBC – Mr Falen Passi, Director of Paul Ware Constructions and crew – Mr Paul Ware, Mr Timothy Kris, Mr George Ware with the GBK/MyPathways trainees at the Mer Guesthouse.

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