Government commits to indigenous jobs in mining

Indigenous Australia will have more opportunities in Queensland’s mining sector following a Government partnership with the industry to works towards sustainable economic development of indigenous Australians.

Minister for indigenous employment and economic development Mark Arbib, minister for indigenous affairs Jenny Macklin and Queensland’s mining minster Stirling Hinchliffe said the MoU between the Federal and State Governments and the Queensland Resources Council is “great news for Indigenous jobseekers in Queensland”.

“This agreement, which focuses on education and training, employment, enterprise and business development, will create sustainable business and job opportunities for Indigenous Australians in the resource-rich areas of Queensland,” Arbib said.

“The size of Queensland’s resource sector will ensure Indigenous Australians have access to real job opportunities and skills that are transferable in an industry in need of skilled workers.”

Macklin explained that the governments would each contribute $200 000 over two years to support Queensland’s resources industry to develop Regional Action Plans.

The QRC is also contributing $140 000 over two years on behalf of the industry.

“These Plans will outline the specific strategies, activities, responsibilities, timeframes and performance indicators each party to the agreement will be required to meet in the regions covered by the MoU,” Macklin stated.

“These include things like explicit employment targets and joint projects to create jobs for local Indigenous people.” 

Hinchliffe added that “it’s great to see two governments, the QRC and its member companies working together and backing jobs for Indigenous workers”.

“The resources sector is well-placed to create job opportunities for Indigenous workers, especially in the North West, with a number of major mining projects in the pipeline.”

Arbib added that the new MoU ensure that Indigenous communities and stakeholders are involved and consulted in the development of any plans and projects.

“This is not training for training sake. The agreement unites governments, industry, employment providers and local communities to skilling Indigenous Australians and placing them into long term and meaningful jobs in the resource sector,” he said.

Local member for Mount Isa, Betty Kiernan, said the MoU will create jobs and job opportunities for people in the North West Minerals Province.

“It’s a win for Indigenous people and a win for industry.  It doesn’t get much better than that,” Kiernan said.

Companies already taking part in the program include BHP Billiton, Xstrata, MMG Century and Incitec Pivot.

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