One of our team in the NT

Leaving a positive and lasting legacy for the communities in the areas in which we operate is always front of mind for Ventia, and especially so for our Environmental Services team who are called upon to remediate contaminated land, often in remote areas. 

Returning the land to its original condition is often the standard set for the team, particularly where they are returning land to the Traditional Owners. 

One project on which they were able to make a positive contribution to the local Indigenous community was the Cox Peninsula Remediation project, in the Northern Territory, where Ventia's impact is still being felt today.

Located across Darwin harbour and accessible by ferry, large portions of the peninsula were used by the Commonwealth for maritime, communications and defence purposes for more than 120 years. 

The area was also subject to the nation's longest running Aboriginal land rights claim known as the Kenbi Land Claim. 

Our Environmental Services team were engaged by the Commonwealth Government to remediate and rehabilitate around 4,750 hectares of land to support the future transfer of the site to the Traditional Owners.

Team mates at Cox Peninsula

Wanting to take a more holistic look at what could be achieved in terms of Indigenous engagement, Project Manager David Bax and his team took time up-front to get to know the needs and future aspirations of the local community through conversations and meaningful engagement. David says a Ventia contract on the Peninsula a year earlier led by Nathan Sparke laid the foundations for David and his team.

"It was clear there were a number of opportunities to improve community infrastructure, upskill local Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees, and bring local businesses onto the project to provide products and services," David says. 

Indigenous participation was a strong focus for the team, and we were able to exceed the aspirational target of 15% set by the client, achieving a participation rate of 36% over the 15-month duration of the project.  

During the project, the team utilised local businesses, including the Kenbi Rangers. The traditional owners' Ranger group was a small team who were keen to expand their skillset and were able to do so with the help of our team. The Kenbi Rangers provided cultural heritage monitoring, labour, cycad (tree) relocations, site security, weed control, bushfire management and transportation to and from site from the ferry terminal. 

Remediation of Cox Peninsula

Other initiatives that continue to have a lasting impact on the community today include: 

Site office put to use

The project site office complex was donated to the Kenbi Rangers at the end of the project, for use as their new headquarters and community centre. We specifically designed our office complex so it could be utilised this way. 

Volunteer Bushfire Brigade donation

A donation of $8,000 to the Cox Peninsula Volunteer Bushfire Brigade enabled them to complete construction of their fire station and training facility. An opening ceremony was held in early 2019 with the facility named after former fire captain Ray Nichols. 

Tom Dyer, Public Officer to the Brigade says, "Sheds to house equipment are a given for most volunteer brigades across Australia.  The Cox Peninsula has been housing its trucks and equipment in yards for more than a decade. Ventia's generous support helped us to get the shed over the line."


Building supplier capability in the region

Marketing materials such as capability statements and case studies highlighting the Kenbi Rangers' activities were developed with Ventia's support, so that they could promote their services long after we left the area. 

Zoe and Raelene Singh, representing the Traditional Owners, said the cultural sensitivity displayed by our team was appreciated. 

"The protections of our cycads, artefacts, our burial grounds and other special places was important to us," they said. "Moreover, cleaning up our country from contamination makes us very happy."

Your time on our land has left a positive legacy.


A Ventia commissioned indigenous artwork

Benefiting generations to come 

The cooperation between Ventia and the Traditional Owners was so exemplary that together we won an award for Best Collaboration at the Northern Territory Resource Management Awards. The Kenbi Rangers later stated that the exposure they got from winning that award led to a significant increase in other companies engaging their services.

David says being able to not only improve the condition of the land through the remediation work the team does, but being able to build strong, lasting relationships with the Traditional Owners really gave the team a sense of pride in their achievements. 

"I know what we did on the Cox Peninsula will benefit generations to come," David says. "I'm looking forward to leaving lasting legacies on future projects around Australia." 

Read more on the project here.

Cox Peninsula received the NT Natural Resource Management Award