09/07/2008 - 14:41

Macmahon launches new contracting firm

09/07/2008 - 14:41

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Perth engineering company Macmahon Holdings Ltd has formed a new Aboriginal contracting business as it decides whether to extend its takeover offer period for Ausdrill Ltd.

Perth engineering company Macmahon Holdings Ltd has formed a new Aboriginal contracting business as it decides whether to extend its takeover offer period for Ausdrill Ltd.

Today Macmahon launched Doorn-Djil Yoordaning Mining and Construction, a new business designed to tap into the indigenous workforce.

"Doorn-Djil will be an integral part of our growth strategy. Macmahon traditionally operates in areas with a high Aboriginal population and Doorn-Djil will provide a vehicle for tapping into a potential workforce that has been under utilised," Macmahon chief financial officer Ross Carroll said.

"We expect Doorn-Djil to become a significant employer of Aborigines and a commercially viable business very quickly."

Newly appointed general manager of Doorn-Djil, Tony Noonan, said the new company would initially target mining and infrastructure construction contracts and would focus on meeting the needs of private and government customers around the country.

"Our aim is to deliver a competitive and high quality service to customers while maximising opportunities for Aboriginal workers, their families and communities," he said.

"The mining and construction industry is clamouring for manpower and we see huge benefits in helping to fill this need in a way that enables Aboriginal communities and individuals to share in the rewards.

The new business is expected to be fully operation next month.

Meanwhile, Macmahon's deadline for submitting an extension to its takeover for fellow Perth company Ausdrill ends tomorrow.

Macmahon is offering 1.45 of its shares for each Ausdrill share.

Mr Carroll told WA Business News that until the board makes a decision there was not much he could say, but there probably will be an announcement made early tomorrow.

Macmahon's takeover period ends July 18.

Below is the full announcement:

Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX: MAH) today announced the formation of an Aboriginal contracting business - Doorn-Djil Yoordaning Mining and Construction (Doorn-Djil).

The name of the new company is taken from the Noongar Balladong language of Western Australia (translated as "coming together") and represents a special opportunity for a business to work with many different local Aboriginal communities to create a new player in the Australian contracting sector.

Macmahon Chief Financial Officer, Ross Carroll, believes the new company provides an exciting opportunity that aligns perfectly with the Group's growth strategy.

"The decision to create a new company is the result of the considerable effort and success Macmahon has had in encouraging Aboriginal participation in the workforce during the past 40 years," he said.

"Doorn-Djil will be an integral part of our growth strategy. Macmahon traditionally operates in areas with a high Aboriginal population and Doorn-Djil will provide a vehicle for tapping into a potential workforce that has been under utilised.

"We expect Doorn-Djil to become a significant employer of Aborigines and a commercially viable business very quickly," Mr Carroll said.

The newly appointed General Manager of Doorn-Djil, Tony Noonan, said the new company would initially target mining and infrastructure construction contracts and would focus on meeting the needs of private and government customers around the country.

"Our aim is to deliver a competitive and high quality service to customers while maximising opportunities for Aboriginal workers, their families and communities," he said.

"The mining and construction industry is clamouring for manpower and we see huge benefits in helping to fill this need in a way that enables Aboriginal communities and individuals to share in the rewards.

"Doorn-Djil's biggest challenge will be bridging the cultural gap between employers and communities, as well as investing in programs that will deliver a skilled, work-ready Aboriginal workforce," Mr Noonan said.

Engagement with local communities will be a large part of the employment and training aspects of the new business. To support this goal Doorn-Djil will open offices in both Newman and Kununurra.

This stand-alone business will be backed by the expertise and resources of Macmahon, which is currently experiencing record growth and has an order book of approximately $2 billion.

The Board of the new company is currently being formed and one of the first directors to be appointed is prominent Aboriginal community leader Oral McGuire.

A long-term champion of Aboriginal employment, Mr McGuire said Doorn-Djil Yoordaning's results will depend on how the new company addresses the social and cultural issues faced by Aboriginal workers.

"The key will be Doorn Djil Yoordaning's capacity to accommodate a range of pressures without compromising the commercial success of the business," Mr McGuire said.

Doorn-Djil Yoordaning Mining and Construction was unveiled at a breakfast function in Perth, attended by more than 50 community and industry leaders including the Western Australian Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information; The Hon Michelle Roberts and the Member for Kimberley, Mrs Carol Martin MLA.

The business is expected to be fully operational in August, 2008.

 

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