Case studies

Case study

Downer and Bama build a lasting legacy

Downer is proud to partner with leading Indigenous business Bama Services to deliver transport and infrastructure solutions in North Queensland.

In FY19 the Downer-Bama partnership, which began in 2014, delivered $10 million worth of major infrastructure on the Peninsula Development Road (PDR) in Cape York to improve the accessibility, safety and reliability of transport infrastructure for the local community.

But our partnership goes beyond that. It is also about Downer mentoring the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce to develop their skills, capabilities and experience, leading to a greater sense of empowerment and broader employment opportunities.

As well as the successful delivery of the Cape York project joint venture, our partnership includes:

  • A Downer project manager seconded to Bama to provide support and expertise in 2014 via the Jawun program, who is now a permanent Bama employee
  • Bama provides local Indigenous labour to assist Downer’s VEC business on its bridge strengthening project on the Mulligan Highway in Cape York
  • Bama employees engaged through Downer’s Spotless Defence maintenance contracts to deliver landscaping work at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Scherger military air base at Weipa
  • Exploring further partnerships for joint road and civil project delivery in Cape York and beyond, consisting of bridge projects, traffic management and secondment, and people development opportunities.

“The commitment Downer has made is unprecedented and sets a high watermark for what the private sector can do to help ‘close the gap’ and generate Indigenous Economic Development,” General Manager of Bama Services, Ranjan Rajagopal, said.

“It is important to emphasise that the relationship is based on a commercial arrangement, not a gift or charity. Downer’s partnership with Bama is creating a skills transfer, which is enabling Bama to upskill and invest in its own staff in terms of further training, secondment opportunities and succession planning.

“For Bama, this partnership is a fillip to creating a sustainable business. The human capital and time investment Downer has put into Bama to date is unparalleled.”