News - Working closely with the Kokatha People in South Australia
24 October 2019 Read in 2 minutes

Working closely with the Kokatha People in South Australia

Key highlights
  • Ventia was privileged to work closely with the Kokatha People in South Australia
  • The relationship was built while working on a project located 500 kilometres north of Adelaide
  • Success on the project was inextricably linked to a mutually respectful relationship with the Kokatha People

Pictured left to right: Liam Allen with his father, Jeremy Allen

Our Transmission and Distribution electricity crew was privileged to work closely and build a mutually respectful relationship with the Kokatha People while delivering a large project in South Australia.

Ventia was contracted to provide the design, procurement and construction of a 132kV transmission line and 132/11kV substation to connect a large gold-copper mine site to the electricity network. The electricity will power the mine, including its on-site processing plant, due to be commissioned in late 2019.

Located almost 500 kilometres north of Adelaide, deep in the South Australian outback, one of the most important considerations for delivering this project was working with and respecting the local community whilst delivering the works.

The mine site contains sacred and heritage sites that have deep cultural significance and meaning for the local Kokatha People, the Traditional Owners of a large section of the land in the north of South Australia. 

The Kokatha use a Partnering Agreement and Native Title Mining Agreement to manage the key areas of:

  • Business and contracts
  • Employment and training
  • Cultural heritage
  • Environmental management
  • Health and safety.

Heritage surveys conducted by Aboriginal monitors identify heritage sites and artifacts that are protected by flagging boundaries and a Land Disturbance Permit system.

Ventia’s success on this project was inextricably linked to our close working relationship with the Kokatha People. Our planning and construction activity was strongly influenced by the requirements of working respectfully on their land.

Testament to the strong collaboration on this challenging site were words from Jeremy Allen, working for the Kokatha Corporation, who summed up the working relationship with Ventia: “I show them a little bit of our world and they show me a little bit of their world and it’s been good. A good marriage and working relationship.”

Read more about Ventia’s first Reconciliation Action Plan here.