Adopting a more commercially astute and sustainable business model has paid dividends for leading Indigenous contractor, Gumala Enterprises Pty Ltd (GEPL), with the company winning $15m worth of contracts in the past six months.
GEPL is one of Australia’s largest 100% Indigenous-owned mining and civil contracting companies. It was established in 1997 following the signing of the historic Yandi Land Use Agreement (YULA) with Rio Tinto. Over two decades it has delivered key services for a range of projects across the Pilbara and operated the globally-recognised Karijini Eco Retreat.
The Western-Australian based mining and civil contracting specialist has been awarded competitive tenders with miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton Iron Ore, and secured maintenance and infrastructure projects with the Shire of Ashburton and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
GEPL has now achieved certification with Supply Nation – the national database of verified Indigenous businesses – which will create further opportunities with government and the corporate sector.
Chief Executive Officer, Tim Larkin, said the company is firmly focussed on growth and diversification as it builds on its recent successes.
“Our aim has been to take financial, partnership and operational performance across the enterprise to new levels,” he said.
We have strengthened our team, placed greater emphasis on training and safety and invested in better understanding the needs of our clients which has made us more competitive.
“The projects we have won include civil road works, major earthworks, rock sort for rock armour, shutdown works, fire-break clearing, road maintenance and upgrades.
“This shows our broad range of capabilities and our ability to respond to a variety of project needs.”
Mr Larkin said although GEPL has traditionally operated in the Pilbara, it is exploring opportunities to work with clients outside the region.
“As the Western Australia economy continues to recover we are seeing new projects and developments happening across the State,” he said.
“Our experience and our capabilities position us well to take our expertise beyond the Pilbara.”
Mr Larkin said although GEPL is proud of its Indigenous heritage it also wants to be known for its ability to win projects on merit.
“The mining and civil contracts market in Australia has never been more competitive and GEPL wants to be recognised for its quality standards, dynamic approach and delivery,” he said.
“We believe we have the vision and the determination to create a new level of Indigenous contracting.”
GEPL’s current workforce includes over 30 per cent Indigenous employees and it returns benefits to the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation serving the Banyjima, Innawonga and Nyiyaparli people of Western Australia’s Pilbara region.