Collie’s new autonomous training facility opening soon, hundreds of students already booked

Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
Westrac CEO Jarvas Croome with a Live demonstration of autonomous haul truck in operation at Westrac's new training facility in Collie.
Camera IconWestrac CEO Jarvas Croome with a Live demonstration of autonomous haul truck in operation at Westrac's new training facility in Collie. Credit: Simon Santi The West Australian

Hundreds of West Australian students are expected to be trained at Collie’s soon-to-be-opened WesTrac Technology Training Centre.

The first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, the “groundbreaking” autonomous training facility has created quite a buzz, with courses almost fully booked for the rest of the year.

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone in Western Australia to get trained in this technology, both in the operation of it but also in the maintenance of it,” WesTrac CEO Jarvas Croome said.

… We’re seeing more and more autonomous vehicles being rolled out in mine site environments, at the moment we have over 280 units operating autonomously and we see that going to well over 450 units over the next 3-5 years.

Jarvas Croome
Hon. Mark McGowan MLA, Premier, Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC, Minister for Regional Development, Hon. Mick Murray MLA, in his capacity as Member for Collie-Preston meet with Westrac CEO Jarvas Croome for a Live demonstration of autonomous haul truck in operation at Westrac's new training facility in Collie.
Camera IconHon. Mark McGowan MLA, Premier, Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC, Minister for Regional Development, Hon. Mick Murray MLA, in his capacity as Member for Collie-Preston meet with Westrac CEO Jarvas Croome for a Live demonstration of autonomous haul truck in operation at Westrac's new training facility in Collie. Credit: Simon Santi The West Australian

He said the facility would streamline the process and allow training to be done at a single location.

“At the moment, the only way to be trained is to do some in the city and then fly up to a mine site and do the site training,” he said. “This facility allows us to train a lot more people in a much easier environment than trying to mobilise to site where we might have struggle getting access to equipment.”

Premier Mark McGowan yesterday inspected the facility, which he said would “put Collie on the map in training technicians and operators of autonomous equipment and vehicles”.

The WesTrac Technology Training Centre will result in new jobs and training opportunities for local people.

Mark McGowan

"At the same time, it will meet demand from around Australia and overseas from resource companies who need specialised technicians and operators of autonomous equipment to support the growth in this technology.”

Jarvas Croome,Alannah MacTiernan, Mark McGowan, Mick Murray & Kim Piacentini .
Camera IconJarvas Croome,Alannah MacTiernan, Mark McGowan, Mick Murray & Kim Piacentini . Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian, Simon Santi

Ahead of its formal opening, a site manager as well as a number of trainers have been employed, ready to run weekly classes of 10-15 students.

Mr Croome said as well as the actual operation of the vehicle, there were several other aspects involved including building layouts and future mine plans in the virtual world and maintaining the equipment.

Looking ahead, Mr Croome hoped to expand the facility and said they would work with TAFEs around the State in developing a future curriculum.

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