Collie will become home to the southern hemisphere’s first Caterpillar autonomous technology training facility, with people from all over the world expected to visit the town to use the facility and support the local economy.
Premier Mark McGowan, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray today announced the McGowan Government has delivered $2.7 million to WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings to help get the trailblazing initiative off the ground.
The initiative is the latest investment in the McGowan Government’s $20 million Collie Futures Fund, aimed at diversifying Collie’s economy and creating jobs.
The facility, located at Coolangatta Industrial Estate, will deliver training courses to technicians and operators of autonomous equipment.
It is expected to train approximately 204 students during the first year of operation and is projected to grow to 320 students in its third year, delivering training courses to technicians and operators of autonomous equipment and to support the growth of this technology in mining.
The facility will complement Collie’s rich history as an industrial hub, by providing a service that will benefit operations around Australia and the world.
International mining industry leaders will travel to the South-West town to sample the new technology, supporting local business and Collie’s economy. The project will further contribute to the Collie region through expenditure on staff, locally delivered services and accommodation, and local spending associated with trainees and visitors.
Having the facility located in Collie will position the town at the forefront of automated heavy vehicle training and has the potential to create a range of opportunities for Collie residents. It is envisioned the facility will attract complementary like-minded businesses and industries to the region.
WesTrac is expecting to extend its service offering to the Asia Pacific region. As such the facility is expected to attract local, national and international students and associated industries which will significantly contribute to jobs and the Collie economy.
For more information, visit https://www.swdc.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“I congratulate WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings for working with the Government to get this groundbreaking facility off the ground.
“People will come from all over the world to utilise this facility – the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and the second worldwide for Caterpillar. Crucially, we expect clients to spend time in the town as they undertake their training, supporting local businesses and local jobs.
“It will see Collie placed at the forefront of training workers – including local workers in Collie – in new technological skills for large-scale mining operations across the State.
“My Government is focused on ensuring Collie’s long-term prosperity, by creating sustainable jobs in a strong, diverse local economy.
“This is a new industry for Collie and Western Australia that will result in new jobs and training opportunities for local people, while meeting demand from around Australia and overseas.”
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“When we launched the Collie Futures Fund, we opened the doors to new industry for the purpose of job creation and broadening the economic base – and it is working.
“Collie will provide a leading role in training people in the operation and maintenance of autonomous mining equipment. The facility will be used to train operators from across Australian mining operations and also international mine sites.
“It will be a vital facility to assist in meeting growing demand for training in autonomous technology, particularly in the resources sector.
“The project will create jobs both during construction and when the facility is operational.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“Establishing this world-leading training facility here in Collie, will help create another industry in the town and deliver vital support to our economy.
“This isn’t about changing what mining looks like in Collie, it’s about allowing locals, and people from across the State, to have the opportunity to be trained to work in industries in which there will be high demand in the future.
“It will see Collie placed at the forefront of training workers in new technical skills in a rapidly emerging part of the resources industry.
“We expect this facility will bring hundreds of people to Collie to undertake training, delivering large flow-on effects to small businesses, such as the hospitality sector.
“I congratulate WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings for coming together to develop this internationally significant project – and look forward to seeing it up and running.”