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Tanami Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA)

Date: 27 October 2008
Sub Category:Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA)
Place:Tanami Desert
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
The Tanami Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) relates to the Tanami Desert region, which is situated north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. This region falls within the jurisdiction of the Central Desert Shire and the Victoria Daly Shire, and includes the communities of Yuendumu, Lajamanu and Kalkarindji.
  • Proposed contribution - Commonwealth government funding for a project officer, information technology costs and a vehicle under this RPA amounts to a commitment of $432,000.
  • Proposed contribution - Northern Territory government funding for the operational and ongoing project costs of this RPA amounts to $60,000 over two years.
  • Subject Matter: | Economic Development | Education | Employment and Training
    Summary Information:
    The Tanami Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) was signed on 27 October 2008 by the following parties:

  • the Commonwealth government;

  • the Northern Territory government;

  • the Central Land Council (on behalf of the communities of Yuendumu, Lajamanu and Kalkarindji);

  • Newmont Mining Corporation;

  • the Central Desert Shire Council; and

  • the Victoria Daly Shire.

  • The purpose of this RPA is to increase the number of education, business development and job opportunities for Indigenous people in the Tanami region.
    Detailed Information:
    Background to this RPA

    The Tanami RPA is one of eight pilot initiatives created under the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Commonwealth government and the Minerals Council of Australia. This MoU sought to formalise a partnership between the parties that would enable them to work with Indigenous groups in mining regions to foster the development of sustainable, economically viable communities with opportunities for employment and economic development. The MoU was later reaffirmed on 27 May 2009, when a revised version was signed by the chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia and three Commonwealth government ministers.

    The signing of the MoU gave rise to eight Regional Partnership Agreements between mining companies and Indigenous communities, with the Tanami RPA being one of these agreements. According to a media release by Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin, the Tanami RPA is the product of three years of work, building on Commonwealth government initiatives such as the Closing the Gap strategy (Macklin, 2008). The RPA also builds on ongoing efforts by the Central Land Council and Newmont to increase local Indigenous people's participation in the mining industry (Central Land Council, 2008).

    Objectives of this RPA

    The main objective of the Tanami RPA is to 'create more indigenous job opportunities and greater economic independence through apprenticeships, literacy and numeracy training and business development support' (Robinson, 2008). In particular, the RPA seeks to enable the Shires, the Central Land Council and Newmont to work together to achieve the following aims:

    Employment with Newmont

    One of the aims of the Tanami RPA is to enable local people from the Warlpiri Indigenous community to secure jobs with Newmont at its Granites gold mine (Robinson, 2008).

    Business development

    Another key aim of the Tanami RPA is to assist Indigenous people in setting up their own businesses, both in services industries that support the Newmont mine, and in other areas that are judged to be workable and sustainable (Central Desert News, 2008, 7; Robinson, 2008). The RPA provides for local Indigenous people to receive mentoring and planning support for their business ideas, as well as advice on whether these ideas are viable (Central Desert News, 2008, 7).

    Other aims

    Aside from its provisions for sustainable job opportunities in the region, the Tanami RPA also includes other aims and initiatives such as the delivery of services and infrastructure by the Victoria Daly and Central Desert Shires, and the provision of early childhood, school retention, youth and media and lifelong learning programs by the Central Land Council (Central Desert News, 2008, 7). These latter education-focused objectives require the participation of the Warlpiri Education and Training Trust, which has been set up by the Warlpiri people to work towards the education outcomes envisaged by the community (Central Land Council, 2008).
    From the date of its signing in October 2008, the Tanami RPA has given rise to a number of local business initiatives by local Warlpiri people (Central Land Council, 2008; Central Desert News, 2008, 7). It has also brought about an increase in employment in the mining industry in the Tanami region (Indigenous Newslines Magazine, 2009, 15).

    The Tanami RPA has been followed by the signing of a Memorandum on Cooperative Relations to Pursue Viable Commercial Opportunities in the Tanami Region on 20 October 2009 by the Tanami Aboriginal Business Consortium (IED Update, 2010, 2). Through this Memorandum, the Tanami Aboriginal Business Consortium is now developing a business structure to increase its number of commercial contracts, boost local employment and contribute to local economies (IED Update, 2010, 2).

    Related Entries

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Minerals Council of Australia and the Commonwealth Government
  • National Indigenous Reform Agreement - Closing the Gap
  • Organisation
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Signatory
  • Newmont Mining Corporation - Signatory
  • Central Land Council - Signatory
  • Central Desert Shire Council - Signatory
  • Victoria Daly Regional Council - Signatory

  • Glossary

    Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Australia)

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