Media Release

Local Business to Support Aboriginal Community in Cape York

Lismore organisation, Workways Australia has been awarded a $180,000 grant to develop a social enterprise in Cape York supporting the local Balnggarrawarra community.

The Battlecamp Station Connect to Country Camping facility will establish tented tourist infrastructure in Cape York which will allow the Balnggarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation to provide basic accommodation, tourist services and cultural and environmental tours to visitors. The project will be funded under the federal government’s highly-successful Building Better Regions Fund.

This announcement follows Workways recent success in being awarded a federal government contract to deliver employment services to people with a disability in Northern NSW and the Gold Coast; a service that commenced in the region last week.

Workways Australia Limited CEO Bryan McCormick said the organisation was immensely proud to be chosen by the community to help set up Cape York’s newest tourist destination “This will be a transformational project for the Balnggarrawarra community, and a model that could be adapted to other Aboriginal communities around Australia in future,” Mr McCormick said.

This important community project will be delivered by Workways’ environment division, Envite Environment which has offices across Northern NSW including its headquarters in Lismore.

Envite provide ecological restoration services and have a long and active history of partnering with Aboriginal communities restoring country, building capacity through mentoring and training and providing employment opportunities. Their skills and experience were seen as a perfect fit for this initiative.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the project was a significant investment in building a stronger economy and driving local jobs in the region for the long term.

“This is a fantastic outcome for the Cape York community,” Mr Entsch said. “The project will strengthen community cohesion by providing local jobs and opportunities to further promote the preservation of indigenous cultural heritage.

“It will also allow Traditional Owners to showcase the region’s rich history and provide environmental education to visitors about the Cape York Peninsula.

“This will have major flow-on benefits including economic, social and job creation to the Balnggarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation ensuring it will continue to thrive and prosper into the future.”

Workways Australia is a not-for –profit organisation that was established in regional Australia over 29 years ago, and delivers employment, youth, environment and community services nationally. Workways has grown to encompass 71 offices and 260 staff across Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria.

Federal Regional Development, Territories and Local Government Minister John McVeigh said the project will deliver significant economic and social benefits to the Cape York community.

“This project is receiving the funds needed to take a big idea and make it a reality,” Mr McVeigh said.

“The Federal Government has a plan for regional Australia and we are focused on getting it done.

“It is a plan to create more jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities.”