SRL and Indigenous supplier Panku see eye-to-eye

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As part of the Victorian Government’s support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers on Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East sites will be supplied prescription safety glasses from Melbourne-based, Indigenous-owned distributor Panku Safety Solutions.

With a name meaning 'united, together' in the Nyiyaparli language of the Pilbara region in Western Australia, Panku has 25 years of industry experience. As well as supplying the glasses, Panku also gives workers on SRL East sites access to optometrists for eye tests, or the option to have existing prescriptions fitted.

SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill will provide a massive pipeline of opportunities for the next generation of Victorians, and outstanding opportunities for Victorian businesses and workers to be involved in this city-shaping project.

Construction is now underway, creating up to 8000 direct local jobs, and offering opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the Victorian Government’s Barring Djinang program – a 5-year Indigenous employment strategy designed to support and enhance the career development of Aboriginal employees.

During initial and early works for SRL East, around 14% of the total hours will be undertaken by Victorian apprentices, trainees or cadets, with opportunities for women, Aboriginal and disadvantaged Victorians – contributing to the next generation of highly skilled workers.

The first subcontractor employed on the construction of SRL East, Wamarra, has worked on several Victoria’s Big Build projects, and provides long term employment for Aboriginal Victorians.

As part of ground investigations, members of Wurundjeri Council have been involved in important archaeological examinations, searching for signs of Aboriginal artefacts and items of cultural heritage.

Trains will be running on SRL East by 2035, with a trip from Cheltenham to Box Hill taking just 22 minutes.

Suburban Rail Loop