A new native plant nursery will be set up at the Tallawarra power plant with money generated being given to the local Aboriginal land council, operators have said.
The partnership would find a mutually acceptable way of handling a piece of land that was “culturally valuable”, the parties said, as well as creating employment for more than ten local indigenous people.
EnergyAustralia plans to convert part of its Tallawarra power station land into the nursery – part of a new partnership with the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council.
We’re converting a parcel of land that’s culturally significant and economically viable, which is a great match- Jason Lee, EnergyAustralia
EnergyAustralia’s power station boss Jason Lee said the nursery’s creation was aimed at delivering economic benefits to support the local Aboriginal community.
He said the arrangement with the land council followed the launch of EnergyAustralia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) last year.
“The creation of a nursery is our RAP in action,” Mr Lee said. “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.”
The relationship between the two organisations was solidified last year when the land council’s CEO Paul Knight went to EnergyAustralia’s RAP launch, where he delivered a welcome to country talk.
“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.
The land council’s environmental services business, Berrim Nuru, will receive funds from the nursery, which is being developed for a planned opening in 2018.
EnergyAustralia said the business was anticipated to create “employment prospects for the Aboriginal community in the order of 10-15 ongoing positions”, as well as having value for educational tours.
EnergyAustralia will look at whether seedlings grown at the nursery can be used for future revegetation works at the power station.