Fortescue to connect Pilbara region with Indigenous culture

Image: John Holland

Fortescue Metals Group has welcomed a track construction machine featuring Indigenous art at its Eliwana iron ore mine and rail project in Western Australia via a $130 million contract with John Holland.

The machine will lay 143 kilometres of track at Eliwana as part of John Holland’s contract with Fortescue for the construction of rail tracks, signalling and infrastructure.

The installation features five pieces of artwork designed by John Holland administration assistant and Yamatji-Whadjuk-Ballardong woman Marcia McGuire, whom John Holland stated only previously used her talent to decorate company tender documents.

In adorning the John Holland machine, McGuire was influenced by a past and present connection to the land.

“I was inspired by the foundational importance of the machine and its impact for our community,” she said.

“The paintings visually explain how the tracklayer lays down the track across our country and different landscapes, connecting communities and businesses throughout (Western Australia).

“It mirrors how the Rainbow Serpent of the Dreamtime created waterholes uniting our lands together. The (new track construction) machine connects us through trackwork and therefore inspired me to design the serpent.”

The track will connect the Eliwana rail line with the Fortescue Hamersley line to Port Hedland and join Fortescue’s 620 kilometres of Hedland track as the fastest heavy haul line in the world.

The Eliwana project is 140 kilometres to the west of Fortescue’s Solomon Hub and will complete its construction this December.

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