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Western Cape Regional Partnership Heads of Agreement

Date: 26 March 2008
Date To: 30 June 2012
Sub Category:Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA)
Place:Western Cape York
State/Country:Queensland, Australia
Alternative Names:
  • Western Cape Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA)
  • Subject Matter:Economic Development | Employment and Training | Youth
    Summary Information:
    The Western Cape Regional Partnership Heads of Agreement ('the RPA') between Rio Tinto Alcan, Western Cape Communities Trust, Western Cape Communities Coordinating Committee, Council of the Shire of Aurukun, Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council, Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council, Western Cape Chamber of Commerce, the Australian government and the Queensland government was signed on 26 March 2008 in Weipa, far north Queensland. The RPA is the result of two years' collaboration between the parties (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 2008). It is the first of its kind outside of Western Australia, and is the fourth RPA to build upon the Memorandum of Understanding between the Minerals Council of Australia and the Commonwealth Government.

    This RPA is a 'statement of intent by the parties to work towards improving opportunities for employment and training of Indigenous people in the western Cape York region (the Western Cape)' (RPA, 2008, 2). It nominates a target of creating 50 additional full time jobs per year in the Western Cape region over the next five years (RPA, 2008, 2).

    Detailed Information:

    This RPA is based on principles of collaboration and partnership drawn from the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding between the Minerals Council of Australia and the Commonwealth Government and the National Framework Principles for Service Delivery to Indigenous Australians, which were endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in 2004 (see links below).

    The RPA is also underpinned by the Queensland government's Partnerships Queensland policy framework, and the Cape York - Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Trial. It builds on existing agreements such as the 2001 Western Cape Communities Co-existence Agreement, the 1997 Ely Bauxite Mining Project Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Queensland Government and the Queensland Resources Council (see links below).

    The RPA is not intended to give rise to any enforceable rights or binding obligations (RPA, 2008, 2).

    Priorities, Objectives and Outcomes

    In order to meet the annual job placement target under this RPA, Rio Tinto Alcan will employ 25 local Indigenous people per year in addition to its existing Indigenous employment intake. The members of the Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses will offer the other 25 jobs (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 2008).

    The RPA identifies four priority areas:

    - work readiness;
    - access to employment and social independence through improved regional transport;
    - education and training; and
    - business development.

    Projects will be developed to address the four priority areas, and the Lead Agency responsible for each project will produce a detailed project design and implementation plan within three months of the signing of this RPA. Peter Guivarra, the Mayor of Mapoon, observed that the RPA's identification of 'barriers that are preventing Indigenous people from benefiting from the prosperous minerals sector ... helps to lay down real solutions to overcoming disadvantage' (Minister for Communities, Disability Services, ATSIP, Multicultural Affairs, Seniors and Youth, 2008).

    The expected outcomes of this RPA include:

    '1. A substantial increase in the number of indigenous people in mainstream employment;
    2. An increased share of mainstream employment held by Indigenous people;
    3. An increase in the number of residents of remote communities engaged in mainstream employment in Weipa;
    4. A substantial increase in the number of indigenous people undertaking vocational training that leads to employment;
    5. A sustained high level of demand for work-readiness training;
    6. A higher level of participation in primary and secondary schooling;
    7. An increased level of indigenous ownership of, and participation in, business enterprises in the western Cape York area;
    8. Improved profitability and viability of indigenous enterprises in western Cape York;
    9. A higher level of access to, and utilisation of, services in Weipa by remote community residents' (RPA, 2008, 8).

    Performance Measurement and Evaluation

    The RPA provides for the establishment of the Regional Partnership Agreement Steering Committee, which comprises representatives of the RPA parties as well as nominated observers. In addition to ensuring that baseline data for the performance of the RPA is established, the Committee will oversee and manage the implementation of the RPA, provide an annual report, and meet at least on a quarterly basis. It will be assisted by the Western Cape Indigenous Coordination Centre (ICC).

    Members of the Committee will also chair working groups focusing on the planning, development and implementation of projects under this RPA.

    Related Entries

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Minerals Council of Australia and the Commonwealth Government
  • Comalco Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Western Cape Communities Co-existence Agreement)
  • Memorandum of Understanding to Increase Indigenous Employment in the Queensland Resources Sector and Related Indigenous Enterprise Development
  • Ely Bauxite Mining Project Agreement
  • Organisation
  • Aurukun Shire Council - Signatory
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • State of Queensland - Signatory
  • Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council - Signatory
  • Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council - Signatory
  • Rio Tinto Alcan - Signatory
  • Western Cape Communities Trust - Signatory
  • Western Cape Communities Coordinating Committee - Signatory
  • Western Cape Chamber of Commerce - Signatory
  • Policy/Strategy
  • National Framework of Principles for Delivering Services to Indigenous Australians
  • Partnerships Queensland: Future Directions Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy in Queensland 2005-2010
  • Cape York COAG Trial

  • Glossary

    Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Australia)

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