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Traditional owners get a deal over South Walker coal mine

BHP’s central Queensland South Walker coal mine joint venture has struck an “intergenerational agreement’’ with the Barada Barna people that will support the continued operation of the mine.

Aug 13, 2021, updated Aug 13, 2021
BMC Asset President Elsabe Muller and Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Luarna Walsh.
Photo by Luke Marsden.

BMC Asset President Elsabe Muller and Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Luarna Walsh. Photo by Luke Marsden.

The specifics of the deal between BHP Mitsui Coal and the Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation have not been disclosed but the traditional owners said it would set a path towards self-determination.

“Financial benefits will be directed towards priority community projects that enable Barada Barna people to live and work on-country, strengthening their important connection,’’ BMC said in a statement. 

“The agreement also delivers ongoing financial security for socio-economic purposes and non-financial contributions in the form of contracting, business, employment, education and training opportunities for Barada Barna people.’’

The agreement will provide financial support for priority community projects, namely, upgrading the Bidgerley Learning Centre and Nebo Training Centre, and developing Fieldworkers Accommodation in Moranbah.

There is also a commitment that a site of significant value to the Barada Barna people – Bidgerley – is accessible, protected, and handed back at the end of mine life.

There will also be ongoing financial benefits and non-financial benefits in contracting, business, employment, education, and training opportunities.

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