Aboriginal construction jobs that last



Alice Springs builder Murray River North, which usually reaches or gets close to its target of 40% Aboriginal employment, is one of several NT companies participating in a $68m government program for housing in bush communities.

Operations Manager Ross McLellan says two “sentenced to a job” prison inmates moved from unskilled work to an apprenticeship to becoming tradesmen over six years.

Currently Aboriginal tilers, plumbers, an electrician assistant, carpentry apprentice and several labourers are employed by the company operating from Alice Springs airport land for about 20 years.

Mr McLellan says the firm, which also has a branches in Darwin and Borroloola, builds up to 100 houses on concrete slabs, weighing 34 tonnes all up, which are transported on “900mm off the ground trailers” to their destinations.

He says the company, initially from WA, obtains its materials from local firms including Home Hardware, Stratco, Neata Glass, Reece Plumbing, Central Tiling and Carla Furnishers.

The group of companies were last year awarded contracts to build 134 homes, 74 of which have been completed, according to a government media release.


  1. Is this an NT or Federal Contract? As it does not appear on the awarded NT Tenders. The only similar NT Government contract is valued at $7.5m.


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