People with a disability, early school-leavers, the long-term unemployed and refugees often struggle to find a supportive and encouraging workplace.
However, Outlook, one of Australia’s leading social enterprises, promotes social inclusion by bringing dignity, empowerment and choice to workers – and the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) is delighted to be working with them.
From old sleepers, plastic tubing, and concrete to drink cans, food scraps and cardboard, Outlook is removing – and then recycling – truckloads of waste from the busy sites every day.
Material delivered to Outlook’s Hampton Park facility is sorted by a combination of hand and mechanical sorting – often by workers who have been encouraged and assisted to obtain forklift, loader and excavator tickets.
It’s such a big job that the organisation is about to open an additional site at Dandenong South to manage the workload.
The organisation will employ eight more people as a direct result of the work provided through the contract with Southern Program Alliance, the group made up of LXRA and its partners Lendlease, WSP, Coleman Rail and Metro Trains Melbourne.
Outlook General Manager Ross Cheesewright says the social enterprise promotes inclusion by bringing dignity, empowerment and choice to workers, many of whom come from a disadvantaged background or have a disability.
“It makes our workforce reflect our community,” he says.
Outlook won the contract for the waste disposal and recycling in an open tender process.
“It’s great that we are tendering in the open market, and at the same time providing jobs for people who might not find work in other organisations,” Ross says.
“Outlook provides a support structure where people of all abilities are able to work together in an inclusive workforce.”
He says Outlook provides a value for money service, social and community advantages, and maximises recycling and reuse of waste.
With locations at Hampton Park (which includes a popular recycling shop), Mornington, Reservoir, and Officer – as well as the new Dandenong site, Outlook employs about 200 people.
“A project of the significance of the removal of level crossings in Melbourne’s south is serving as an important catalyst for Outlook to further our mission in the south-east,” Ross says.
“It’s generating new employment opportunities and creating a legacy that will continue to serve the community long after the project has been delivered.”
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