The CSIRO and the National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS) yesterday announced a communication program aimed at giving remote communities better access to information on mining technology and exploration.
NIRS will provide its network of Remote Indigenous Broadcasters (RIBS) with a 14-part series of podcasts produced by the CSIRO’s Minerals Down Under Flagship.
NIRS manager and news director Matthew Leonard told MINING DAILY that the programs hopes to give indigenous communities better access to accurate information so they can make important decisions for themselves.
“We have the largest satellite footprint in the country, which links to about 130 broadcasters,” he said.
“We have a big presence in the top end, from the Kimberley and the resource rich areas of northern Western Australia right through to northern Queensland and the Torres Strait.
“In the last survey we did, we recorded an average audience of around 310,000 regular listeners a week.”
According to Minerals Down Under Flagship director Dr Peter Lilly, “We want communities to be better equipped to understand how current and possible future exploration and mining technologies may or may not affect the land.”
“We hope that this will help during bilateral negotiations about land use,” he said.
“Once the first set of interviews with CSIRO scientists has been disseminated through the NIRS network and website, we will look to listener feedback to see what additional information they would like.”
According to Leonard, the CSIRO’s indigenous advisor recommended NIRS as the most effective vehicle to get the research out to the communities.
“The mining and resource industry is an important source of income and employment for many Indigenous communities,” he said.
“Mining has a significant impact on country, so keeping communities aware of issues such as the role of feasibility studies, remote mining technologies and water usage fits perfectly with our charter.
“While this series focuses mainly on the technology and research, we would also be interested in broader discussions in the important issues that surround resource management and mining.”