The Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation (BBAC), on behalf of the Barada Barna people, has signed a Native Title Project Agreement with BHP Mitsui Coal, a first of its kind between the two, providing “immediate and intergenerational” benefits to the former at the South Walker Creek operation in Queensland.
BHP said the agreement, which also offers certainty for both parties, allows for financial benefits for priority community projects that allow for the Barada Barna to live and work on-country, which will strengthen their connection, as well as give them ongoing financial security and non-financial contributions such as contracting, business, employment, education and training.
“The agreement will also support for the ongoing development and operation of South Walker Creek mine – including a framework for the parties to work together on cultural heritage management and protecting areas of cultural and environmental significance,” BHP officials said.
“Importantly, it sets Barada Barna on a path of self-determination,” BBAC Chairperson Luarna Walsh added.
“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 business’ that can tender for a variety of contracts on country.”
The Barada Barna people hold title to about 3,000 square kilometres of land in central Queensland near South Walker.