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Cape York Model Agreement

Date: 1 January 1992
Sub Category:Template Agreement
Place:Cape York
State/Country:Queensland, Australia
Subject Matter:Cultural Heritage | Economic Development | Mining and Minerals | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
Summary Information:
The Cape York Model Agreement was developed in 1991-1992 by the Cape York Land Council with the objectives to:
- place Aboriginal people in a position to make informed decisions relating to proposed and existing developments;
- put Aboriginal people in as strong a position as possible to maximise financial and non-financial benefits, and minimise costs they incur from any activities relating to proposed developments; and
- create a process which places as much control as possible in the hands of the traditional owners and other community members.
Detailed Information:
The Cape York Model was developed over time by the Cape York Land Council (CYLC). The Model suggests a bipartite agreement in which government involvement occurs after the main aspects of the agreement have been negotiated. The Model is designed to be flexible in order to apply to a variety of contexts.
The Model suggests seven stages:
1) Initiation of the process.
2) Creating a framework for negotiations by developing a:
a) Steering Committee which is broadly based;
b) CYLC Negotiating team to give advice and technical support;
c) Memorandum of Understanding which defines the roles and expectations of the parties and 'helps to avoid difficulties and tension later in the process by ensuring that the parties have common expectations and an agreed upon set of rules from the outset.'
3) Information gathering and community consultation. This includes:
a) Anthropological work 'to ensure that the CYLC has correctly identified the full range of interests affected by a project, ... and that these are represented on the steering committee', and provide the basis for warranting an agreement;
b) Economic and social impact assessment to assess the extent to which Aboriginal people have shared in economic benefits generated by major projects and identify ways that these can be enhanced;
c) Other studies in areas of particular importance.
4) Establishing a negotiating position to ascertain the position which the community wishes to put to the company. This serves as a bench mark for the future conduct of negotiations and the eventual agreement;
5) Conduct of negotiations and an agreement in principle.
6) Endorsement and signature of final agreement.
7) Implementation. The agreement should contain some of the fundamental requirements to ensure effective implementation of the benefits of the agreement. Provisions should be unambiguous and clear, yet flexible; funding should be provided for the implementation activities and initiatives; and structures such as joint Aboriginal community and mining company co-ordination committees should be established whose primary purpose is to ensure that implementation occurs as planned.

This model has been used for a number of developments including:
- Cape Flattery Silica Mine (1992);
- Skardon River Kaolin Project (1994);
- Alcan Bauxite project agreements (1997 and 1999); and
- Comalco Indigenous Land Use Agreement (2001).

Related Entries

  • Comalco Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Western Cape Communities Co-existence Agreement)
  • Alcan South Pacific Agreement
  • Hope Vale Aboriginal Council and Cape Flattery Silica Mines Deeds of Compensation A & B
  • Skardon River Kaolin Project
  • Organisation
  • Cape York Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
  • Cape Flattery Silica Mines Ptd Ltd
  • Alcan Incorporated
  • Comalco Limited

  • References

    Ciaran O'Faicheallaigh (1999) Negotiating Major Project Agreements: The 'Cape York Model'


    Template Agreement

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