Western Australia – The Golden Era

Kuuwa golden perfect storm

We’ve all seen them down at the beach in the height of summer with the bucket hats, vests with a million pockets and ankle boots buzzing around the sand looking for treasure while we are stripped down soaking up the sun.

While many of us are no doubt guilty of having a giggle at this scene down at Cottesloe it is fast become a popular past time in the Goldfields at the moment and local stores hiring out metal detectors are far from laughing.

With borders still closed and the Government encouraging us to ‘Wander out Yonder’ in our great state, people are thinking up new ways to explore at home.

There might be more to it than just the new experience as gold prices have hit a record high this year. Prices have reached over $2,800 AUD an ounce this year. We have not seen prices like this since 2011.  

Source – https://goldprice.org   

So perhaps when dad suggests the kids go searching for treasure, he isn’t far wrong!

The high gold prices aren’t only great for amateur gold hunters and mines currently in operation but for many that stopped production when the gold price was too low to sustain and are now expected to be brought back to life.

To top it off, there is also a new Top-10 global gold major on the block with Northern Star and Saracen merger this week. This will also see Kalgoorlie ‘Golden Mile’ consolidated under one owner for the first time in its 125+ year history.  

So good news for those selling gold, what about the rest of us?

You don’t have to be on site or digging around in the bush to cash in. You could dabble in the ASX but sadly this is where our advice stops on that front.

What we are most excited about is what this means for local communities.

With successful mines comes jobs and infrastructure. The Labor Government led its campaign with Jobs for Locals and now partly because of COVID that isn’t even really a choice but a necessity.

But how will that go? We wrote last year about the skill shortage we were facing and that was before all hell let lose!

BHP has already said it will preference West Australians over interstate FIFO workers to mitigate difficulties with WA’s hard border.

Karratha has done a lot of work to attract not only mine workers but whole families to the area. This will attract some skilled workers who would otherwise be put off by the FIFO lifestyle.  

We have no clear indication as to when the WA border will open but we do know that 2020 Diggers and Dealers will be a massive one next week in Kalgoorlie as we are still allowed to ‘Wander out Yonder’ in WA after all.

We will keep watching this space as gold in WA goes from strength to strength.

6 Months of Kuuwa

6 months of kuuwa

Six months ago today we headed off to the Mining Club lunch with our pull up banners, merchandise and a couple of cheesy grins.

Rewind a couple of months and Kuuwa was just an idea on a piece of paper.

We lined up all our ducks. Logo designed. Adverts in the Business News and The West all set up. Social media channels populated. Website maps drawn up. And the all-important trucker caps ordered. But we needed a launch date to focus on.

So the Mining Club email came through and we pinned the date on the board – 28th March 2019 was to be our launch. We quickly emailed Casandra and set up sponsoring the event – hence the banners. Don’t just turn up with banners, Cassandra will not be happy. Take it from us.

Russell’s Kuuwa video played on the big screen and we were off.

And we haven’t really stopped since.

Site visits all round the state. The sheer magnitude of these mines gets us every time, even now.

We’ve been to countless Mining Club events, a few Business News breakfasts and their 40 under 40 Awards Gala as well as a couple of important charity balls – including the Pirate Ship Foundation.  

We headed to Sydney for Supply Nation Connect and we followed them to Karratha for an indigenous industry trade show. To top it off, we managed to keep our liver intact on a quick trip to Diggers and Dealers.

If you are still reading, we’ll share this with you. Let’s talk about how giddy we got when we sent a couple of vehicles to the Mitchel Freeway expansion project. Yes, we went up and down the freeway looking for our water truck like a couple of kids at Christmas.

But it hasn’t all been fun and games, we have had a couple of hick ups along the way but they have taught us what is important and has made us a little tougher – bit like our trusty old LVs. Shameless plug – sorry.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us this far, let’s see what the next 6 months have in store.

Kuuwa, your trusted Indigenous partner.

Trusted Indigenous Partner

Choosing businesses to work with is hard.

That guy your family friend met at lawn bowls, you know the one he thinks is a top bloke and has a business that is a bit like yours. Good enough reason to give him a go? Probably not but you wouldn’t be the first person to be fouled by the ‘family friend’.

So what makes Kuuwa Rentals worth giving a fair go?

Firstly, who are we?

Kuuwa Rentals specialises in mine spec light, heavy and specialised vehicles for all environments including mining, civil, construction and resource projects.  We source high quality vehicles from our partners to guarantee they perform for our clients.

We know that your business is as important to you as our business is to us, so we carefully select who we work with. Our suppliers are all respected dealers and manufacturers with successful histories working in Australia.  

But lots of companies do that so what is different about Kuuwa?


Each project is unique and has diverse specific requirements, so each vehicle must be designed to your specifications. We don’t pull vehicles from our yard, you tell us what you want and we source and design the exact machine you are chasing.

We put together a Light Vehicle comparison chart to help you get the correct vehicle for the job.

Proudly Indigenous.

Kuuwa Rentals is Indigenous owned. We are proud of our Western Australian roots so we called our rental company, Kuuwa, which is the indigenous word for West.

If your business does not already have a structured approach to advance reconciliation, Kuuwa can be part of  that process. We work closely with our partners so they can implement a framework towards a structured approach through the four stages of their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).  

Being part of Supply Nation has allowed us to identify other genuine Indigenous businesses to partner with as well as allowing Kuuwa to be identified as a trusted Indigenous business too.

Reinvesting in Communities.

We are passionate about Indigenous communities and giving back in a way that will develop them and help them prosper.

One of our passion projects this year has been the Onslow School Breakfast Club. Kids flock to the Keeping Place every morning before school and are given breakfast and a packed lunch to ensure they are well fuelled for a full day at school. Since the inception of the program the local school has seen an increase in attendance.

Small steps but we are focused on encouraging young indigenous kids to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

We are focused on bridging the gap between the mining sector and indigenous communities. If we sound like the kind of business you want to do business with, then we would love to hear from you.

Contact us.

Karratha, ‘Good Country’

Karratha mining town

Where do you land if you travel 1,500 km north of Perth? In ‘Good Country’ which you might know better as Karratha.

You can see why it gained the Aboriginal name for ‘Good Country’ with its all year-round sunshine, being surrounded by iconic natural attractions, the largest shopping centre in the Pilbara on its door step and let us not forget about the abundance of natural resources.

The town was originally created to service and accommodate the workers of Hamersley Iron, Robe River Associates, the Dampier Salt Company and the North West Shelf Gas and Petroleum project so it is no wonder that the town of an estimates population of 18,000 is still heavily contributing to the mining workforce of local projects. It is in their blood.

Let’s look at what is happening in Karratha now.

Talk about diverse. Karratha has gold, urea fertilizer, sea salt, oil & gas, methanol and good old iron ore. No wonder Karratha is considered the Powerhouse of the Pilbara.

As well as current projects there is a projected $65 billion worth of new projects on the cards over the next five years. Projects include three big iron ore projects by Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and BHP as well as Woodside’s Scarborough and Browse developments.

With all this new development coupled with existing projects, Karratha looks set to head into another construction boom. There’s a new hanger going in to Karratha Airport to service offshore islands like Varanus Island gas processing facility and new policies have been set by the city council to encourage permanent residents over FIFO.

Lancorp already has blocks ready to go in Madigan and Mulataga and upgrades to health, leisure and education facilities as well as new transport and service infrastructure are already in the pipeline.  

Lancorp has said that there will be sites zoned ‘City Centre’ in the heart of the Karratha CBD available towards the end of 2019 and there is opportunity to develop and operate a 4-star hotel in the city’s main street within The Quarter. And to top it off, just 4km from the CBD is the proposed development of Tambrey Shopping Precinct.      

Is Karratha heading into another construction boom, or has it has already started? With 836 jobs listed on Seek.com as of July 2019 for the area of Karratha, 455 alone are for the mining and resource sector it would appear something is bubbling. 

So other than the odd tropical cyclones, Karratha looks like a good place to be.

If you are heading to Karratha for a trip and want to learn more about the local culture, join traditional custodians on a 1.5 hour rock art and cultural experience in the Murrunjuga National Park. Only 30 minutes from the town centre.



NAIDOC Week is coming up very soon and it is a very special week for Kuuwa, and we wanted to share with you why it is so important to us.

What is NAIDOC Week?

NAIDOC Week is celebrated annually on the first full week of July across Australia. It’s a week when Australia celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and communities and recognises the valuable contributions that Indigenous people make to our country.

It is an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of the first Australians with the wider community. Indigenous and non-indigenous people come together at events all around the country where those interested can learn more about Indigenous culture.

History of NAIDOC

NAIDOC stands for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’, adapted from NADOC in 1991 to include Torres Strait Islanders. The committee was formed in Sydney on Australia Day, 1938, when a group of approximately 100 Aboriginal people gathered for the first Day of Mourning, as a protest against the treatment of their people. Today, NAIDOC is a celebration of history and has since been extended from one day to a week.

2019 NAIDOC Week Theme


2019 is the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages and with that in mind this year’s NAIDOC theme focuses on the Indigenous voice of this country which is over 65,000 years old.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want their voice to be heard as it should be. First Nations were once excluded from Constitutional debates when they were first enforced in the 1800s.

How can you celebrate NAIDOC Week?

This part is easy! There are NAIDOC celebrations happening all around the country from the 7th to 14th July. Head to the NAIDOC Week website for a full list of events.  There are 55 listed in Western Australia alone so there is bound to be one near you.

Do you have the right LV for the job?

Mine Spec Light Vehicles

You know you need a mine spec light vehicle, but do you know what make, model, accessories and specifications you need to be compliant for your mine site?

What you do know is mining sites are some of the toughest workplaces in the world and any vehicle to venture on to site needs to be tough, so you are likely looking for a Toyota. In particular a Toyota Landcruiser or Toyota Hilux. Come on, we have all watched Top Gear, the car that wouldn’t give up.  

Now, you won’t be attempting to crush your vehicle or drive it down stairs, but you will be driving it on some pretty tough terrain and due to the diversity of mine site conditions each mine has designed its own set of specifications governing the vehicles operating onsite.  

Let’s look at your standard Toyota 4WD straight out the factory. Yes, it is great for off-roading and piling everything but the kitchen sink in for camping trips and yes, it appears ok for mine sites but usually that is not the case. Your mine site is an extremely hazardous environment and your company, quite rightly so, will have several safety concerns. Add-ons to your standard Toyota will be mandatory.

We know every mine site is different and has diverse specific requirements, so we put together a comparison table to help you get a better understanding of what accessories your vehicles might need. This is just a guide and you should check with your company’s mine specifications policies for further clarity. If you would like more information on Kuuwa’s mine spec light vehicles for hire or a high res copy of the table, please email us.

Kuuwa offers bespoke vehicles, designed and built for your requirements. Due to their durability and reliability we recommend the following but are happy to look at other options.

Toyota Furtuner Wagon 4WD

Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series Tray Back Dual Cab 4WD

Toyota Hilux Dual Cab 4WD Diesel

Toyota Hilux Single Cab 4WD

Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series Tray Back Single Cab 4wd Diesel

Toyota LandCruiser Prado Wagon 4WD

Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Wagon 4WD

Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series Troop Carrier Wagon 4WD



We caught up with Fire Tech Managing Director, Andrea Conte, to talk robots, drones and experiments.

Fire Tech launched STEM UnitED in conjunction with RUC, WA Mining Club and Platform Communications to be able to offer free STEM sessions to low and mid socio-economic status schools around WA.

Thus far the program has only reached metro areas, so we invited Andrea to meet our friends at Thalanyji Foundation to have a chat about a potential collaboration in their home ground – Onslow.

We were blown away with some of the projects the kids get involved in and how easily they pick these skills up. If we believe claims from a recent Foundation for Young Australians report, a whacking 75% of future roles will require STEM skills. That is phenomenal, and we want to be of ensuring children in indigenous communities have the same opportunities as Metro kids to gain these skills and experiences.

Who knows, perhaps the next Elon Musk is hiding up in the Pilbara!      

Kuuwa Becomes Supply Nation Registered

Kuuwa Rentals becomes Supply Nation’s newest member. Kuuwa Rentals launched on March 28, 2019 and received confirmation of Supply Nation registration on March 29, 2019.

The Supply Nation register is the largest register for indigenous businesses and corporations in Australia.

Kuuwa Rentals is a proudly indigenous business that returns profits into research, programs and projects that benefit indigenous people and their communities through charities and foundations that align with Kuuwa Rentals values.

Kuuwa intents to play a crucial part in mining business’s Reconciliation Action Plans to ensure they achieve their framework targets through Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and finally to the Elevate stage. Being a Supply Nation Member gives Kuuwa the credibility and network to successfully achieve that.

This is the first step for Kuuwa becoming more involved in Supply Nation activities.

Quotes attributed to Wes Chapman, Kuuwa General Manager

“It was really important to us to become Supply Nation certified as soon as we could, we are extremely proud of our indigenous connection and what we can deliver back to the community.”

 “Being part of the Supply Nation network gives our clients confidence that they are working with indigenous businesses.”

Mine Services to Breakfast Services

Each morning at 7am, Warren Cross – lead Thalanyji Foundation Breakfast Club Mentor- is ready and waiting for Onslow school kids to come in for breakfast before sending them off to school across the road. Without Warren and the Breakfast Club many of these children would miss out on the most important meal of the day and that extra encouragement to go to school. 

The Breakfast Club, delivered by Thalanyji Foundation, has gone from strength to strength since its inception last year. In February 112 breakfasts were delivered and by March that number nearly doubled to 202.

Aside the obvious benefits of a full stomach at school. Higher concentration and reduced disturbance the Onslow Primary School Deputy Principal, Joel Yates, also noted that attendance was up on this time last year due to the Breakfast Club.

Kuuwa Rentals is dedicated to supporting the next generation and ensuring they are able to take advantage of all opportunities. The Breakfast Club creates motivation and encouragement for school children to not only attend school but to actively participate.

Quotes attributed to Wes Chapman, Kuuwa General Manager

‘By supporting the Breakfast Club program, and in turn improving school attendance rates, we are encouraging the children to take advantage of the education available to them.’

“We know education also keeps culture strong and enables future generations to share stories about their community, culture and kinship.”

To find out more about Indigenous engagement click here.