03/07/2014 - 12:07

Whim Creek hotel to boost indigenous training

03/07/2014 - 12:07

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Whim Creek hotel to boost indigenous training
The historic Whim Creek pub, located around 120 kilometres south-west of Port Hedland

A consortium of two Karratha-based indigenous groups will reopen the historic Whim Creek hotel to provide training and employment opportunities for the local community, after purchasing the property from copper, gold and zinc explorer Venturex Resources for $1.7 million.

Venturex said the hotel and the adjacent accommodation village was sold to a consortium of Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation and Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation, which is planning to restore and reopen the hotel.

The accommodation village will provide short-stay facilities for resources companies operating in the area, businesses and tourism.

In a joint statement, NAC chief executive Paul Stenson and NYFL chief executive Evan Maloney said the acquisition would result in meaningful employment opportunities for Aboriginal people in the Whim Creek complex itself, while also preparing them for employment elsewhere in hospitality and tourism.

The sale of the hotel, which closed in 2011, was initially announced in January this year, but was only settled this week.

"It is important that the heritage values of this Australian icon is maintained," messrs Stenson and Maloney said.

"All of the famous historical memorabilia will be returned once the restoration and renovation works are completed."

Managing director Michael Mulroney said Venturex was pleased the hotel would remain in the hands of the local community.

“Today’s sale settlement provides a great opportunity for continued preservation and development of this historic hotel and its surrounds,” he said.

“The hotel and village will continue to provide accommodation to support the local mining and exploration sector as well as provide jobs and training opportunities for the local community.”

Mr Mulroney said the sale would boost Venturex’s cash reserves to $3.7 million, fully funding its 2014 exploration programs.

Venturex is progressing exploration at its Sulphur Springs and Whim Creek project areas.

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