29/08/2012 - 10:12

Aboriginal contractor association rebuilds

29/08/2012 - 10:12

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Aboriginal contractor association rebuilds

THE Pilbara Aboriginal Contractors Association has had its operations on hold for the past three months, after its chief executive stepped down and left the organisation to reassess its board structure and operations.

Tony Connors is currently in place as acting chief executive of PACA and Pilbara Logistics founder Geoff Stocker is in place as acting chairman, having taken over from previous chairman Ralph Keller; both are working towards holding an annual general meeting within the next two months to appoint a new board and ratify PACA’s new strategy.

The association was set up to advocate for employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal contractors in the Pilbara; its previous management structure fell apart three months ago.

“The previous leadership had run into some problems, largely through some fairly devastating personal issues for the previous CEO, and the impacts of that were left to drag a little longer than they should have been … that has been the catalyst for a change in all our leadership positions,” Mr Connors said.

He didn’t detail the strategic changes but outlined the general ambitions for the ‘new’ PACA.

“Overall it will be a more strategic approach to working with our members, our clients to facilitate increased opportunities, be a more effective voice for contractors in dealing with issues that are problematic for them, working with organisations that can help provide capacity growth for members in financial and legal support, connecting our members with access to those sort of resources is going to form part of it,” Mr Connors said.

PACA started in 2010 with an office in Karratha, which was then moved to Perth.

“We would also have a more geographically strategic approach by having a cell-based approach in the north-west, having hub offices in the main areas of activity rather than trying to do everything from one office in Perth or Karratha or Port Hedland,” Mr Connors said.

PACA has more than 20 members, and Mr Connors said those he had spoken to while acting CEO had been supportive of its ongoing operations, although he was expecting negative feedback from some members.

Mr Connors is currently in talks with corporate organisations to come on as new sponsors of the re-launched organisation, and he will remain in the interim chief executive role until a replacement is found.

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