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Left to right: Pilbara Development Commission Chair Brendan Hammond, Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation CEO Michael Woodley, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Commission CEO Terry Hill inside the newly refurbished Victoria Hotel
Project partners, local businesses and contractors gathered in Roebourne today to celebrate the completion of the Victoria Hotel redevelopment.
The $6 million project restored the heritage building to its former 1900s architectural form, delivering a new asset for the North-West's oldest town that will drive tourism, training and business opportunities in the Pilbara region.
An Aboriginal Employment and Training Model was developed for the project to maximise employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and local businesses.
That resulted in local business spend making up 70 per cent of construction expenditure and a total of 30 Aboriginal people engaged in employment and training during the project, including two apprentices and eight high school-based trainees.
Inmates from Roebourne Regional Prison and students from Roebourne Senior High School were among those to work on the project.
Known in the early 1900s as a popular watering hole for gold prospectors, pearlers and local pastoralists, the new Victoria Hotel boasts a contemporary interior featuring office space, a café, community library, and a visitor information and cultural centre.
Fit out of the facility will now commence in preparation for the official opening in the first quarter of 2019.
The Victoria Hotel redevelopment project was made possible with an equal investment of $2 million from the State Government through the Pilbara Development Commission, the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund, and the Yindjibarndi Capital Trust.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"When we came to government, we immediately switched the project's focus to driving opportunities for the local Aboriginal community - and we have seen real results.
"Before opening its doors, the Victoria Hotel has already created a new legacy by providing meaningful employment and training prospects for local Aboriginal people and businesses in Roebourne.
"The redevelopment of the Victoria Hotel adds to Roebourne's unique identity as a cultural and heritage hub in the North-West and will be a major drawcard, particularly for self-drive tourists.
"The Victoria Hotel is a great example of a powerful partnership between government and community to create real benefits for Aboriginal people and local business."