Aboriginal-owned companies will manage royalty streams from mining and state government contributions under a new agreement.
The three-year Western Cape Communities Co-existence Agreement (WCCCA), which rolls out later in 2009, recognises national title rights of Indigenous communities and aims to promote consultation for future Queensland mining developments.
The agreement recognises traditional ownership and provides support for mining activities in return for land use. Western Cape Communities Trust Executive Officer, Georgina Richters, said the plan provides a range of employment and training benefits, and preserves Indigenous heritage by protecting sacred sites.
“It will preserve culture, the environment, and heritage in the area, while stimulating community development and partnerships,” she said.
The plan will deliver annual payments of $4 million to fund development and training, and will provide an additional $500,000 for Aboriginal employment and training initiatives.
“This is a period of positive change with strong motivation and drive from the Aboriginal Directors and Members wanting to see more results,” Richters said.
The initiative is being widely endorsed for promoting harmony between Indigenous and mining communities while stimulating Queensland’s economy.
“The future is looking bright,” Richters said.