Empowering indigenous business

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Wiradjuri man Hayden Heta and his team at Wamarra have delivered work on the Level Crossing Removal Project, including planting more than 360 trees and 38,000 shrubs, groundcovers and grasses across the new Chelsea Station precinct, created as part of work to remove 5 dangerous and congested level crossings on the Frankston Line.

During NAIDOC Week (3-10 July), we’re celebrating the contribution and achievements of the Indigenous-owned business which is contracted to deliver works at 15 Level Crossing Removal Project sites across the city as work continues to remove 85 dangerous and congested level crossings by 2025 — with 64 already gone for good.

Wamarra employs more than 45 workers across Melbourne and was set up 2 years ago to provide training and experience in a range of construction industry roles including landscaping, machinery operation, concreting and carpentry.

Wamarra means ‘to build’ in the language of the Wiradjuri people of central New South Wales and the Spotswood-based construction business is helping to build a brighter and more secure future for its employees.

A team of 10 was deployed to newly landscaped areas in the Chelsea Station precinct to apply mulch and plant more than 75 different species of native trees, shrubs, flowering plants and grasses to enhance the bayside area.

'The backing of the Level Crossing Removal Project has allowed our business to grow and invest in the next generation of construction workers,' said Wamarra founder Hayden Heta.

'We support each of our Aboriginal employees by providing them with full-time work and individual training plans, in a culturally safe environment.'

The project team selected plants for the rail corridor that will thrive in the strong winds, harsh sun and salty air of the coastal environment such as Coast Banksia, Narrow Leaved Paperbark, Queensland Bottle Tree, Seaberry Saltbush, Dwarf Willow Myrtle, Emu Bush, Slender Wallaby Grass, Grass Trees, Grevilleas and Bottlebushes.

The plant selections were based on feedback from locals who asked for a combination of native trees, shrubs, flowering plants and grasses to preserve the bayside look and feel of the area.

Across the 3 new station precincts at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach, a total of more than 800 trees and 85,000 shrubs, groundcovers and grasses have been planted.

As part of the finishing works, a new 11km walking and cycling path between Edithvale and Frankston has opened to give locals a new way to commute, exercise and access shops and services. The new Chelsea pedestrian bridge has also been created to provide an easy and convenient link between Station Street and the Nepean Highway shopping strip.

Further north on the Frankston Line, another four level crossings are set to go at Neerim Road and Glen Huntly Road in Glen Huntly and Warrigal Road in Mentone and Parkers Road in Parkdale. 2 new stations are also being built at Glen Huntly and Parkdale.

The Victorian Government’s $4 billion investment in the Frankston Line will deliver 20 level crossing removals and create 13 new stations by 2025 to improve safety, reduce congestion and allow more trains to run more often.

Level Crossing Removal