INDIGENOUS leader Noel Pearson has heralded the awarding of a $4.4?million road contract to a completely indigenous-owned company as a turning point for Aboriginal employment.

Cairns construction and civil earthworks business Bama Services has won the contract for the pavement and sealing of the Peninsula Developmental Rd between Laura and Coen in Cape York.

The company, part of the Cape York Partnership, was formed in 2010 with the goal of becoming a major player in training and employing an indigenous workforce.

Cape York Partnership founder Mr Pearson said the contract would open up a wealth of new opportunities.

“It means that Bama services will be able to lift our indigenous workforce numbers significantly,” he said.

“With a project of this size, it offers Bama the opportunity to upskill their more experienced team members and provide training for the newer and younger team members.

“We know that indigenous employees do better working for indigenous-owned and controlled businesses and that is certainly proving to be the case at Bama.”

The contract win coincided with the Queensland Productivity Commission handing down its draft report into service delivery to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Mr Pearson said the report provided an incisive view into the systemic dysfunction found at the heart of service delivery in Cape York communities. “This report is different, it is a real opportunity to chart a pathway towards empowerment and self-determination” he said. “It represents some real challenge to the current directions of indigenous policy in this state.”