A small project involving only three workers in the Midwest is an unlikely but important milestone for Western Australia’s newest Aboriginal-owned civil contracting company.
Oaks Civil Construction (Oaks) will provide traffic management services for Main Roads WA as it begins pavement sampling along Indian Ocean Drive, between Jurien Bay to Geraldton.
A three-person traffic control team from Oaks has been tasked with safe traffic flow along the notoriously busy stretch of highway throughout the two-week project.
Oaks is an Aboriginal-owned business providing employment for Aboriginal people and the broader community and recently earned full, unconditional accreditation from Main Roads WA, under the Traffic Management Company Registration Scheme.
The scheme aims to improve the quality and safety of traffic management on WA roads, with companies registered only after meeting strict standards for occupational health and safety, quality assurance, financial management and experience.
Oaks founder and Managing Director Jarrad Oakley Nicholls said it was an exciting time for the new business and that this first contract with Main Roads was an early and important milestone.
“While the sampling is a small part of a larger project to continue to ensure that WA roads are safe and are regularly maintained, for Oaks Civil Construction it is a major achievement to be working directly with Main Roads for the first time,” Mr Oakley Nicholls said.
“Traffic management is more than stop-and-slow bats, it’s about logistics and organisation and we take our responsibility to ensure the safe and efficient movement of people very seriously.
“It’s a vote of confidence from Main Roads to be selected, and an achievement for our workers who come from many walks of life, and who know how important road safety is — particularly on busy regional roads and highways.”
Mr Oakley Nicholls said that Oaks was working with a range of private businesses and Government departments and he hoped this work would be the start of an ongoing relationship with Main Roads WA.
A former AFL footballer and employment manager at Wirrpanda Foundation, Mr Oakley Nicholls founded Oaks Civil Construction in September 2019, driven by his passion for creating sustainable employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.