Employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have been bolstered in the Mackay Region through the Liberal-Nationals Government’s investment in local jobs.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and the Member for Dawson George Christensen, said today the investment of more than $1.4 million in Global Product Search would provide for up to 154 jobs.

Mr Christensen said he was pleased to announce the Commonwealth Government was investing in the region and helping to address the skills shortage by giving more workers the opportunity for work in the mining sector.

“Global Product Search is a fantastic local organisation and this investment from the Liberal-Nationals Government has been tailored to the needs of our region to maximise opportunities for our Indigenous jobseekers,” Mr Christensen said.

“I have had the opportunity to see how Global Product Search undertakes their training and meet some of the trainees who are being provided with these opportunities.

“I am very pleased that the Liberal-Nationals Government’s strong economic management means it can reinvest the dividends of a strong economy back into local solutions such as this one.”

GPS manager Warren McGraw said it was an exciting step for the company.

“Global Product Search is dedicated to further assisting with the engagement and creation of long term careers in the mining industry for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees,” Mr McGraw said.

“We will adapt our very successful pre-existing ‘new-to-industry’ training package to be specifically dedicated to Aboriginal & Torres Strait employees within Queensland to assist in them in gaining long term fulfilling employment.”

“These targeted grants are community-led initiatives that connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job seekers to real jobs and is part of the Government commitment to get more Australians into work,” Minister Scullion said.

“The very best form of welfare the Government can provide is a job, and this investment is about supporting the Government’s efforts to close the gap in Indigenous disparity.”

Funding for this project has been allocated out of existing resources in the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and complement other Government programs which have resulted in a 23.3 per cent in the number of Indigenous Australians with a job since the 2011 Census and 30 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous entrepreneurs in small business.