A joint venture between two Weipa-based businesses will result in the Western Cape’s waste collection program being run by local operators.
Jai-Mec Rural Contracting has joined forces with Remondis to create new company Red Earth Industrial Services.
Red Earth’s core activity will be twice-weekly domestic waste collections from nearly 3500 residents in Weipa, Napranum and Mapoon.
This was previously handled by Remondis on behalf of the Weipa, Mapoon and Napranum councils.
Jai-Mec has history with the waste collection business, having serviced Remondis’ local fleet of 20 vehicles over the past few years.
Under the new arrangement, Remondis has transferred the domestic waste collection responsibilities to the Red Earth joint-venture, and also assigned two trucks to the new business to ensure collections continue in a smooth and timely manner.
Red Earth will be run by senior representatives from both Remondis and Jai-Mec.
Sandra Kirk, who runs Jai-Mec with husband Jai Christie, said Indigenous employment was one of the priorities under the Red Earth Industrial Services structure.
“We’ve got a big opportunity to create new jobs and we’ll be looking at opportunities for local Indigenous people wherever possible,” she said.
“Creating and keeping jobs in local communities is so important, given how remote we are.
“The sky could be the limit in terms of business growth as time progresses.
“Given how remote we are and given how costly it can be relying on support from distant centres such as Cairns, the importance of establishing local services can’t be understated.”
Remondis senior project manager Andrew Chrichton said it would be business as usual as far as residential waste collection was concerned.
Collections will continue to be overseen by the WTA.
The longer-term goal is that Red Earth Industrial Services will flourish into a diversified industrial business, offering a variety of additional services which may include sand blasting, painting and electrical work.
“The formation of Red Earth Industrial Services is a unique economic and employment opportunity for the Cape York region,” Mr Crichton said.
“By initiating the joint venture, Remondis has effectively established the region’s first locally owned waste management company.
“We’ve also planted a seed intended to result in the new company gradually expanding to provide a range of local industrial services and jobs.”
This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 19 April 2021.