Aboriginal engagement

The project is located on Whadjuk Noongar country and the Whadjuk Noongar people are acknowledged as the traditional custodians for the country we are working on. We acknowledge their elders past and present.

Early engagement with Aboriginal people was critical for the project and a close relationship has continued through the life of the project.

During the project’s planning phase, the PTA consulted with the Whadjuk Working Party via the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) – the legal representative body for the Whadjuk Native Title claimants.

Since construction began in 2016, the project team has consulted with the members of the FAL Aboriginal Stakeholder Group on matters relating to Aboriginal heritage and engagement.

The FAL Aboriginal Stakeholder Group has also led the Noongar Recognition Project, a series of artworks and stories developed in collaboration with artist Maitland Hill displayed in the forecourt area of High Wycombe Station.

Aboriginal business participation

An Aboriginal Engagement Strategy was developed for the project to help ensure real, on-the-ground measurable results for Aboriginal employment and procurement. The targets are as follows:

  • 2% Aboriginal employment (of total work hours)
  • $15 million minimum spend with Aboriginal businesses
  • $25 million minimum spend opportunity via invitations to tender

The following documents provide further detail about opportunities for involvement.

Aboriginal heritage

The rail route is located nearby two registered Aboriginal Heritage Sites — the Swan River and Poison Gully Creek near the High Wycombe end of the line.

As such, notices were lodged under Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 for the project. Before preparing and lodging its statutory request for approvals relating to impacts on Aboriginal heritage, the PTA undertook site-specific heritage consultation surveys.

For each consultation survey, the project team selected appropriate spokespersons and ensured Noongar representation based on advice from SWALSC, the Whadjuk Working Party, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Public Transport Authority’s Aboriginal heritage consultant. This process took place in January 2015 and was an important milestone for the project, allowing planning to remain on target to deliver this important rail line in 2022.

Header photo: Noongar elder Mr Neville Collard performed a smoking ceremony at the future High Wycombe Station site in February 2017, at the location where the two tunnel boring machines were later launched.

$15 million

The minimum spend with Aboriginal businesses


The minimum percentage of Aboriginal employment 

Heritage Icon
Aboriginal engagement to continue throughout the project