Kalgoorlie to become Western Australia regional training hub

Kalgoorlie is set to become Western Australia's regional training hub for Australia's largest rail freight company Aurizon, with new investment and leading-edge technology being rolled out for the next generation of WA rail recruits.

Kalgoorlie training centre opening

Aurizon already has over 500 employees in Western Australia with operations spanning the south and south-west including Leonora, Kalgoorlie, West Merriden, Geraldton, Perth, Kwinana, Picton/ Collie, Bunbury and Albany. The Aurizon Bulk business serves customers across WA's resources and industrials sectors including BHP Nickel West, Alcoa, South 32, Karara Mining, Mt Gibson, Orica, BP, Caltex, and Lynas.

As it looks to strengthen and grow its WA customer base, Aurizon will be using Kalgoorlie to produce a pipeline of highly-skilled train drivers and freight operators.

At the launch in Kalgoorlie today, Aurizon hosted a range of key players from the state's resources and business sectors, including the WA School of Mining, Kalgoorlie Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Aurizon today piloted the next-generation Virtual Reality technology with an enthusiastic team of new recruits and Kalgoorlie employees in the remodelled training facility. The VR technology is being rolled out nationally in training schools for Aurizon employees.

"Kalgoorlie is uniquely placed to become Aurizon's regional training hub for our new rail recruits in Western Australia," Aurizon's General Manager Iron Ore & Central West, Anna Dartnell.

"Already we have a strong operational platform and key personnel in Kal. It's at the crossroads for key regional areas but, most importantly, Kalgoorlie is where we bring together mixed multi-commodity trains for customers.

"This is a core capability for our Company, and where our employees learn skills of shunting and marshalling trains, consolidating consignments of various customers for various destinations in WA, including for export.

"As a large Australian company with a predominantly regional footprint, Aurizon understands the need to create value and build capability in the communities where we operate.

"Approximately 75% of our employees and their families live and work in regional centres. We know when we recruit and train people in these areas, they are much more likely to stay in local communities and be focussed on the success of the local customers.

"Kalgoorlie is the perfect training ground for all new WA operational recruits to our business, as well as for the upskilling of existing employees."

Anna said Aurizon was well-positioned to grow its WA Bulk business, both in traditional markets such as minerals and industrial products, as well as promising agri-business opportunities such as potash.

"Rail should do the heavy lifting for Bulk products in a large decentralised state such as Western Australia. We see our role to partner with customers so they can grow and be commercially successful. And in a broader sense, rail should be an important enabler of economic growth, especially in resource-rich regional areas of WA.

"This is where rail comes to the fore as a transport choice, carrying heavier bulk products over long distances, safely, reliably and with a much smaller carbon footprint than road alternatives.

The Aurizon Bulk business is excited to be serving customers for Australia's traditional exports such as iron ore, but also those inputs such as silver, lithium, cobalt and nickel that are supporting the rapid global growth in battery power, solar, electric cars, wind turbines and telecommunications."

Pictured L-R: Anna Dartnell, General Manager Iron Ore & Central West, Aurizon; Councillor Linden Brownley, City of Kalgoorlie Boulder; and Sue Jefford, Manager of Training at Aurizon.

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