The minerals industry deeply values its relationships with the diverse First Nations landholders, communities and organisations with which it partners.
Industry will strengthen these partnerships, respect local cultures, protect heritage and support the near and long-term social and economic aspirations, prosperity and wellbeing of First Nations communities.
In valuing these relationships, the industry recognises the importance of:
- Respect for the cultures, knowledge, histories, rights and interests of the diverse First Nations landholders and communities with which it partners
- Senior company and site leadership accountability for engagement, relationships and fulfilment of commitments to First Nations landholders and communities
- Company and industry capability, systems and processes to ensure respectful, consistent and mutually-beneficial partnerships across the life of a project
- Understanding the unique history and local cultural, social and economic context of each community and region and collaborating on locally-appropriate approaches
- Supporting First Nations-led social, community and economic development initiatives and working to maximise economic participation through tailored employment, training and career advancement and supply and procurement opportunities
- Ongoing dialogue and review processes supported by meaningful transparency
- Equitable, stable and predictable native title and cultural heritage protection regimes
- Robust cultural heritage protection processes co-developed and monitored with Traditional Owners, including arrangements for ongoing access to country.
First Nations landholders and communities are core partners in minerals development and integral to the social and economic contribution the industry makes to Australia. The minerals industry is a significant stakeholder in the economic development of Australia’s First Nations people through employment, training, supply and procurement, infrastructure and wealth creation.
Through the MCA, industry will work together to support strong relationships – including driving cultural change across the sector where necessary – through a multi-year work program.
The implementation of the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) environmental, social and governance performance system as an expectation of MCA membership is integral to this work program. TSM indicators relating to heritage protection, engagement and benefits-sharing will be adapted for Australia in collaboration with First Nations organisations.
Other actions include industry cultural heritage education; contributing to, advocating for and implementing policies that support First Nations-led economic development; and increasing senior industry leadership engagement with national Indigenous leaders.
The industry will also constructively contribute to modernisation of cultural heritage protection regimes and improvements to support a practical, stable and equitable native title system. Stable, predictable and practical frameworks enable responsible land-based development.