Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
The Australian Government and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) have agreed on an innovative partnership that represents another major step towards closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.
The partnership will improve the socioeconomic wellbeing of Indigenous Australians by expanding access to employment and business development opportunities available to Indigenous people and communities in mining regions. The new agreement builds on a partnership commenced in 2005, and is set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) officially launched on 27 May by the Deputy Prime Minister.
The MoU was signed by Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O'Connor, and Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, on behalf of the Australian Government and by MCA Chairman, Mr Ian Smith on behalf of MCA companies.
The vision of the MCA and its member companies is a thriving minerals industry working in partnership with Indigenous communities for the present and future development of mineral resources, and their contribution to the establishment of vibrant, diversified and sustainable regional economies.
At its launch, MCA Chairman Ian Smith said "Members of the MCA have long recognised that engagement with Indigenous peoples needs to be founded in the mutual respect and recognition of Indigenous Australians' rights, interests and special connection to land and waters, and we fully support the recognition and protection of those rights,".
"The Minerals industry recognises that the effective engagement of Indigenous people in our industry is not only the right thing to do, but there is a compelling business case. The majority of our operations are co-located with Indigenous communities - local workforces and communities with shared aspirations to create societal value from minerals development.
In working with the Australian Government to redevelop the MoU, it was agreed there was value in further aligning the Minerals industry's efforts with the Government's priorities on Indigenous affairs, specifically Closing the Gap".
Implementation of the new MoU, will be overseen by a joint industry and government National Steering Committee, and supported by the Australian Government's Job Services Australia providers, the reformed Community Development Employment Projects and the Indigenous Employment Program, as well as the wide range of current employment, training and business development initiatives led by minerals companies.