RES has completed the first phase of the Commonwealth Government-funded Bidjara Traditional Owners project. The ground-breaking, pilot project work includes the review of all existing agreements between Bidjara Traditional Owners Ltd and resource companies, and the development of strategies to harness identified employment and business opportunities from existing and future agreements for the benefit of the Bidjara community.
While the desired outcome of native title and cultural heritage agreements may be to provide prosperity through investment in employment and business development opportunities for Indigenous groups, this is often not the case, and can represent aspirational rather than tangible commitment from resource companies.
RES’s work to date has focussed attention on Bidjara Traditional Owners’ key stakeholders, and provided useful information for negotiation discussions between the Bidjara Traditional Owners and applicable resource companies. The Group has requested that RES continue to work with them to help implement strategies to pursue long-term employment and ongoing business development opportunities for the Bidjara people.
RES will lobby Nigel Scullion, Senator for the Northern Territory Minister for Indigenous Affairs, to gain support for the second phase of the project, a one-year work commitment to continue the pursuit of positive outcomes for both the Bidjara people and the resource companies involved.