NQXT’s contract for on-site operation and maintenance of the terminal was awarded to Abbot Point Operations Pty Ltd (APO) in 2016. Abbot Point Operations acquired the previous operations and maintenance workforce, ensuring continuity of employment for the Bowen community.
Community Support Program
NQXT has a community support program in place which is led by the Terminal Operator – APO.
The purpose of this program has been to identify opportunities for the Terminal and its contractors to create a positive social impact through supporting a range of community groups and activities in the areas of health, education, environment and communities.
We consult and work with relevant community stakeholders to identify and listen to their concerns and needs. Then we work with community partners to help address those issues.
- The Terminal’s economic and social contributions to the local and regional community contribute greatly to the performance and success of the business to date, and will continue to do so into the future. The additional 75 people we have brought to the community between 2017 and 2021 have brought an array of new skills, expertise and culture.
- NQXT and APO have supported a range of community services and events, including a contribution towards the new Volunteer Marine Rescue vessel.
- More than $1.2 million has been awarded under APO’s Community Support Program since FY17, with $300,000 invested during FY21
- As part of APO’s Community Support Program, we provided two rounds of annual funding for the Bowen PCYC. This support subsidised their employment of a Community Development Officer wage, and paid for PCYC bus maintenance. The Community Development Officer organises and coordinates PCYC activities.
Community Engagement Initiative
APO partnered with local community organisations and the Queensland Government to beautify the Bowen Showgrounds – a local community landmark and meeting place.
With the 2021 Bowen Show unable to proceed at the Showgrounds due to COVID-19 restrictions, APO, alongside other organisations and community groups, used the downtime to upgrade the venue’s ticket booth, toilet blocks, fences and gardens. A gorgeous mural painted across Orchid House rounded out the makeover
Creating Jobs in Bowen
We are one of the largest providers of jobs in Bowen and the Whitsunday Region with more than 320 employees and contractors. We have a targeted approach to attract and retain local staff, including training and development programs including traineeships.
Abbot Point Operations has a policy of supporting local and regional procurement of goods and services. It is a member of regional economic development groups that seek to maximise local spend and economic contributions, which in turn supports a range of businesses and services within the community.
Some of the initiatives we have implemented to ensure we are continuing to create and support Bowen jobs include:
- Our procurement practices include a review of local providers when appointing work. In FY21, over 34% of our procurement spend was awarded to regional contractors, totalling almost $18 million.
- More than 100 jobs supported through local procurement policies in FY21
- Continuing our grow local focus by increasing our annual contractor spend with local providers.
- Increasing our percentage of contracts awarded to regional providers.
- Continuing to employ locals and encourage staff to move to the local community
Abbot Point Operations has an apprenticeship program that typically offers three places in a mechanical or electrical field to local young people each year.
In FY21, Abbot Point Operations had 12 apprentices engaged in this industry-leading training program; of which four of the 12 (33%) identified as First Nations People; and three of the 12 identified as female (25%). APO also places importance on regional contractor procurement to ensure its contracting partners make a positive contribution to the community in which the business operates.
Through its procurement process, APO requests information from proponents on:
- Their local involvement of any additional subcontractors.
- Accommodation within Bowen.
- Details of local recruitment initiatives.
- First Nations employment policies, including attraction and development processes.