The Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation (BBAC) has announced a native title agreement with BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) which will provide intergenerational benefits for the Barada Barna people of central Queensland.
Centred around BMC’s South Walker Creek Mine in Strathfield, the agreement will offer financial support for community projects enabling Barada Barna people to live and work on-country.
The Barada Barna people, the native title holders of around 3000 square kilometres in central Queensland, will also be assured financial security for socio-economic purposes, while there will also be investment in employment, education, business and contracting.
A framework will also be created allowing BBAC and BMC to work together on cultural heritage management at the South Walker Creek Mine, ensuring the conservation of significant territories.
BBAC chairperson Luarna Walsh said the agreement is momentous for the empowerment and self-determination of the Barada Barna people.
“The agreement will not only provide long term benefits for the Barada Barna community, it will also achieve projects that BBAC have had in the pipeline for a considerable amount of time,” Walsh said.
“Importantly, it sets Barada Barna on a path of self-determination. It will ensure BBAC is sustainable into the future and help our next generation of descendants achieve their goals through schooling and university, and employment and training.
“This agreement also provides BBAC with the ability to diversify our income streams, by creating traditional owner businesses that can tender for a variety of contracts on country.”
BMC asset president Elsabe Muller is excited by the prospects of the partnership, with two-way benefits ensured and significant developments to come.
“The agreement outlines a path forward for a long-term relationship based on trust, respect and mutual benefit,” Muller said.
“It will also see BMC and Barada Barna work together in relation to the management of cultural heritage at South Walker Creek and deepen our workforces’ knowledge and understanding of Barada Barna history and connection to country through cultural awareness training.”