Housing for the future

Housing Minister Bill Marmion (front) with Chris Edmonds and Matthew and Hermann Haltiner.
Housing Minister Bill Marmion (front) with Chris Edmonds and Matthew and Hermann Haltiner.

One beneficiary, apprentice Chris Edmonds (23), moved to Perth from Katanning in mid-2012 in search of better opportunities and joined an Aboriginal employment and training initiative run by BGC.

After a year of training, he started his apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery last December.

Mr Edmonds worked on several modular houses at the building company’s Canning Vale yard. Last week, he and brothers Matthew (29) and Hermann (34) Haltiner, who are doing pre-apprenticeships, revisited the completed houses in Alkimos with Housing Minister Bill Marmion.

‘We had to work on them when they got there as well, doing the flashings and stuff,’ Mr Edmonds said.

The Langford resident said he felt lucky to have had the opportunity to work for BGC and hoped to eventually be in a position where he could employ his own indigenous apprentices.

Launching the modular home concept on July 22, Mr Marmion said they wanted to extend it through the affordable housing strategy. The minister said a partnership between the Department of Housing, BGC Modular and Banksia Grove Estate would determine buyer interest in the modular homes market.

‘Modular construction can help address the need for affordable housing in Perth by offering cost-saving, high-quality homes, with substantially decreased construction time,’ he said.

It took 10 weeks to build the houses in Canning Vale before they were delivered to Alkimos and completed in 10 days.

BGC joined Burnna Yurrul Aboriginal Corporation and Peedac in 2012 to provide young, at-risk people with employment and training, and so far it has recruited 20 Aboriginal men.