BBAC announces native title agreement with BHP Mitsui Coal

The Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation (BBAC) announces deal with BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) to supply intergenerational benefits to Barada Barna people

BHP is back in the news regarding its latest agreement with the Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation (BBAC). The mining giant’s Mitsui Coal branch (BMC) struck a deal with BBAC in an attempt to secure strong intergenerational benefits to their people located in central Queensland.

It’s hoped the deal will seal an offer for financial support to help fund community projects near BMC's South Walker Creek Mine, as well as provide employment, educational and business opportunities, allowing the Aboriginal group to build a life on-country. Cultural awareness training will also be prescribed for all employees working on the mine. 

“The agreement will not only have long term benefits for our people and community, but will also achieve projects that BBAC have had in the pipeline for a considerable amount of time,” says BBAC chairperson Luarna Walsh. “It will ensure BBAC is sustainable into the future and help our generation of descendants achieve their goals through schooling and university, and employment and training.”

“First of its kind” cultural deal between BMC and BBAC

The agreement is being hailed as a “first of its kind” between the two parties, both of whom hope the 63-year deal will secure extensive socio-economic benefits for the people and region as a whole. 

Walsh continues: “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.”

Plans will also be drawn up that will see BBAC and BMC teaming up to tackle cultural heritage management at the mine, making sure territories deemed of significant importance are maintained and preserved. A formal signing ceremony is set to take place at Pink Lily Lagoon, pandemic restrictions permitting. 

South Walker Creek Mine prioritises the preservation of aboriginal culture

Elsabe Muller, Asset President for BMC, reveals that talks have been ongoing for over 18 months between the two parties with an emphasis on listening, respect, and trust between both BBAC and BMC. 

“The agreement recognises the Barada Barna peoples’ sacred connection to this land and the surrounding waterways, and it outlines a path forward for a relationship based on trust, respect, and mutual benefit,” Muller says. 

“We’re looking forward to continuing working with the Barada Barna people and delivering for their communities with sustainable benefits to their economic, social, and cultural wellbeing.”

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