After being awarded a contract in August 2021 with NTC Contracting to support Chevron Australia with the rehabilitation of Thevenard Island in the Pilbara region, Workpower has completed the first of three stages, with 30,000 native plants propagated and planted in Onslow.
Workpower’s Wholesale Nursery and Environmental Services teams have been instrumental in the project – visiting the site to get a select number of native cuttings before returning to Perth where the seeds were propagated, before returning them to Onslow for acclimatising and planting.
Supporting people with disability
Workpower CEO, Lee Broomhall, said businesses coming on board to support disability employment is integral to changing the lives of thousands of people across Western Australia.
“When organisations like NTC Contracting, Astron and Chevron Australia open the door to our services, it helps us to continue employing people with a disability and make a difference in their lives. We hope to see more energy companies like Chevron Australia support disability employment,” Ms Broomhall said.
“Through our support and employment services, including social enterprises like our nursery, we are able to employ more than 300 people with a disability each year.”
“Our workers are highly capable, hard-working team members who are passionate about what they do. This has been a unique project for us and is the first time we have propagated Pilbara plants at our nursery, so it was an exciting opportunity for the entire team,” Broomhall said.
Collaboration is key
The project is a showcase of how collaboration works at its finest with local Onslow contractor NTC Contracting instrumental in the set up of the conditioning facility for the plants, ensuring they were acclimatised to the Pilbara conditions.
NTC Contracting Managing Director, Jason Varcoe, said the partnership with Workpower to complete rehabilitation works at Thevenard Island was an important one.
“NTC is a core Pilbara-based contractor, providing opportunities to a diverse range of people and cultures,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons we were pleased to have Workpower come on board to assist us with this contract.”
“Workpower’s services are also highly rated – from its ability to collect and grow seeds native to the area, to its supply of already established plants from its nursery.”
In addition, Astron led the planting of the 30,000 native seedlings in May which has already made a significant difference to the Thevenard Island landscape.
The next phase
Across the three years, the 30-hectare area will then be replanted with 130,000 native seedlings thanks to the partnership with NTC Contracting, Workpower and Astron.
The aim is to restore the Island landscape, in line with classified A reserve land and small section of eco-tourism on the eastern point.
Workpower will commence the second phase in August to October 2022 when it begins the next round of cuttings and propagation.
About Thevenard Island
Thevenard Island is a 550-hectare island, located 22 kilometres offshore from Onslow. It is the largest of a group of 10 islands, hosting accommodation for tourists and can be reached by ferry, recreational boats, helicopters and light scenic planes. A small part of the island was used by Chevron Australia for oil and gas facilities which ceased in 2014.
Hear from Nursery team member Alisha Schilling as she talks on ABC Pilbara about what she’s loved most about this project:
Originally published as Seeds of growth for Thevenard Island Project in August 2021.