Woodside and North West Alliance – working together to create opportunities

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In 2013, Woodside engaged Veolia to provide waste management services to our Karratha onshore and offshore operations. As part of Veolia's commitment to local sustainable development, operations under the contract are provided through its 50% Indigenous owned Pilbara based Joint Venture, North West Alliance (NWA). The multi-year contract is one of the most significant contracts serviced by an Indigenous organisation in Woodside's history.

More about the North West Alliance

The North West Alliance is a fully incorporated, 50/50 joint venture between two corporations: Our Country and Veolia. Our Country is a Pilbara Indigenous business founded by Dr Blaze Kwaymullina, a Palyku Traditional Owner. Our Country supports the sustainable development of local and regional communities through facilitation, collaboration and delivery of mutually beneficial local business and employment opportunities.

Veolia is a global environmental solutions company, specialising in waste, water and energy. At the core of Veolia's business
is providing sustainable solutions via continuous improvement through technical innovation. Veolia has a strong national commitment to working with regional communities and creating a positive social impact within its operational footprint.

NWA brings together Indigenous and Western approaches to sustainability, combining the world's oldest living culture with the technical and operational expertise of a global environmental organisation. This unique and complementary partnership delivers tremendous value to clients, as well as the regions in which we operate.  

More about Woodside

Woodside is Australia's largest independent oil and gas company with a global portfolio, recognised for our world-class capabilities – as an explorer, a developer, a producer and supplier of energy. Our mission is to deliver superior shareholder returns through realising our vision of becoming a global leader in upstream oil and gas. Our assets are renowned for their safety, reliability and efficiency, and we are Australia's most experienced liquefied natural gas (LNG) operator.

Since 1984, we have been operating the landmark Australian project, the North West Shelf, and it remains one of the world's premier LNG facilities. In 2012, we added our Pluto LNG Plant to our onshore operating facilities.

We operate floating oil production, storage and offloading vessels in Australia, and we have an excellent track record of efficiently and safely producing from current fields.

How the partnership began

In 2013, the North West Alliance was formed after a series of positive collaborations between Our Country and Veolia, combining the best of Veolia globally with the best of Our Country locally.

Since it was formed in 2013, the NWA has become one of the largest Indigenous waste management companies in Australia, with an annual turnover of more than $25 million per annum. The success of NWA has been supported through the commercial opportunities provided to the joint venture by Woodside, which has allowed the business to build capability and be competitive in the local market.

One of the key contracts that supported NWA's early development was the contract to provide waste management services to Woodside in the Pilbara region. Woodside's support has enabled the NWA to demonstrate its capabilities to other companies and grow its Karratha operations, securing other oil and gas contracts in the area.

Woodside's Regional Logistics Manager, Thomas Pritchard, said the North West Alliance had provided an "outstanding service to Woodside since 2013".

"The North West Alliance provides a world-class service which is critical to the ongoing operations of our facilities, both onshore and offshore," Thomas said.

"Further to this, the North West Alliance is giving back to the local Indigenous community through contracting, training and employment opportunities, and community programs. This aligns strongly with our own focus on working to build mutually-beneficial relationships with our host communities."

Working with communities – NWA

The joint venture is managed in accordance with the ethos of Kujungka la palyamarnku 'Work together to make it better'.

This vision is also backed by a significant commitment from Veolia to assist with the transfer of skills, knowledge and capability from the Veolia global group to local Indigenous businesses and communities. In this way, the NWA not only functions as an operating company, but has also become a positive agent for change in the region.

The North West Alliance operates with 47% Indigenous employees and subcontracts work to other Indigenous businesses. Services provided by other Indigenous businesses include:

  • Waste services
  • Graphic and web design
  • Truck washing
  • Labour hire and recruitment
  • Cleaning
  • Cultural awareness training
  • Supply of workwear and personal protective equipment.

The North West Alliance also has an Indigeno​us trainee at every depot and Indigenous people in leadership positions within the business.

More broadly, through the support of the Woodside contract, the NWA has been able to launch two community programs. The first is a Waste Education Program for local schools and remote communities in the Pilbara. The second is working with local communities and ranger programs to run annual 'community clean up' programs in the Pilbara.

Working with communities – Woodside

​Woodside places great value on working with Indigenous communities in the places where we are active. One of the fundamental activities we undertake in engaging with Indigenous communities is to increase economic opportunities by:

  • Growing the proportion of Indigenous peoples working for us or our suppliers
  • Awarding more contracts to Indigenous owned businesses
  • Encouraging skills building in those businesses

Working with NWA is a great example of this. Click here to learn more about how Woodside is working with Indigenous communities.

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