Collie will become home to the southern hemisphere’s first Caterpillar autonomous technology training facility, with people from all over the world expected to visit the town to use the facility and support the local economy.
Premier Mark McGowan, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray today announced the State Government has delivered $2.7 million to WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings to help get the trailblazing initiative off the ground.
The initiative is the latest investment in the State Government’s $20 million Collie Futures Fund, aimed at diversifying Collie’s economy and creating jobs.
The facility, located at Coolangatta Industrial Estate, will deliver training courses to technicians and operators of autonomous equipment.
It is expected to train approximately 204 students during the first year of operation and is projected to grow to 320 students in its third year, delivering training courses to technicians and operators of autonomous equipment and to support the growth of this technology in mining.
The facility will complement Collie’s rich history as an industrial hub, by providing a service that will benefit operations around Australia and the world.
International mining industry leaders will travel to the South West town to sample the new technology, supporting local business and Collie’s economy. The project will further contribute to the Collie region through expenditure on staff, locally delivered services and accommodation, and local spending associated with trainees and visitors.
Having the facility located in Collie will position the town at the forefront of automated heavy vehicle training and has the potential to create a range of opportunities for Collie residents. It is envisioned the facility will attract complementary like-minded businesses and industries to the region.
WesTrac is expecting to extend its service offering to the Asia Pacific region. As such the facility is expected to attract local, national and international students and associated industries which will significantly contribute to jobs and the Collie economy.