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Indigenous JVs win $184m of Rio's Hope Downs work

Mining giant Rio Tinto has awarded $184 million in contracts for work at its Hope Downs 4 mine site to two indigenous joint ventures.

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Great news. Both Ngarda and Pilbara Logistics, their JV partners and Rio as the client provide an opportunity to help willing people get off welfare and into paid work. A terrific initiative and they deserve all the more congratulations for winning the contract. The biggest problem is the cost of rent. If somebody is paid say $1400 per week, they lose their public housing benefit and then have to go on to the market. In the Pilbara - the weekly rent would be well over $1000 pw. A complete disincentive. A seemingly intractable problem when it costs more to take a high paying job. I understand the government is aware of this and trying to find a solution.

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