Memorandum of Understanding to Increase Indigenous Employment in the Queensland Resources Sector and Related Indigenous Enterprise Development
|23 July 2007
|Memorandum of Understanding
|The MOU will be implemented first in the 'Northern Economic Triangle' and subsequently in the Bowen Basin and elsewhere in Queensland.
The Northern Economic Triangle is the area between Mount Isa, Townsville and Bowen in north and north-west Queensland, and is rich in minerals. The Bowen Basin is the area bordered by Collinsville, Theodore, Biloela and Clermont, mainly in Central Queensland. This area has significant coal deposits.
|Memorandum of Understanding between the Queensland Government and the Queensland Resources Council
|Economic Development | Education | Employment and Training | Mining and Minerals
|The Memorandum of Understanding to Increase Indigenous Employment in the Queensland Resources Sector and Related Indigenous Enterprise Development ('MOU') is made between the Queensland Government and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC). It was signed by the Hon Peter Beattie, Premier of Queensland, the Hon Warren Pitt, Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, and Michael Roche, Chief Executive Officer of the QRC on 23 July 2007 at Yarrabah, south of Cairns.
At the signing, Premier Beattie stated that the MOU 'is a practical step in providing employment for thousands of people' (Queensland Government 2007). The MOU is designed to be a response to the shortage of skilled workers, which is projected to reach 15,000 people by 2015 (Queensland Government 2007).
Mr Roche stated that the MOU places the QRC 'in a position to better coordinate and deliver at the regional level by encouraging work-ready education and training and opening up more opportunities through direct employment and related enterprise development' (QRC 2007). He also noted that the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy and the Mining Industry Skills Centre would support the MOU's goals (QRC 2007).
Under the MOU, the parties agree to work both in partnership with each other and with Indigenous stakeholders 'to create sustainable Indigenous economic development and employment opportunities that will contribute to building strong and sustainable Indigenous communities in Queensland.'
Key focus areas
The parties have agreed to cooperate for various objectives within three key focus areas.
The first is 'education and training, including work readiness'. The parties agree to work towards:
'attendance, participation, achievement, retention and re-engagement in education and training, including work readiness programs;
literacy and numeracy;
commencement and completion of apprenticeships and traineeships related to the resources sector;
customised training pathways that lead to employment or higher education;
mentoring and support programs and services to assist Indigenous people to successfully complete education and training;
parental and community involvement in education and training;
motivation to become and remain engaged in education, training and employment; and
standards of health and fitness required to obtain and remain in employment' (State Government of Queensland and Queensland Resources Council 2007, 3).
The second - 'increased employment of local Indigenous people' - includes agreement to:
'increase the number of local Indigenous people employed in the resources sector – including related support services industries on site;
increase the number of local Indigenous people accessing higher level jobs, through the development of career paths across the resources sector;
support mentoring programs to assist Indigenous Queenslanders [to] prosper in their employment;
improve cultural awareness, appreciation and acceptance across the resources sector, for example through: professional development for mining company, Government and Indigenous organisations on Indigenous community development as it relates to resource projects; and site level strategies to attract, support and retain an Indigenous workforce;
support for Indigenous Queenslanders to access employment near their community including via suitable transport; and
promote good practice in Indigenous employment and enterprise' (State Government of Queensland and Queensland Resources Council 2007, 3).
The third key focus is 'Indigenous enterprise development linked to the resources sector'. The parties commit to:
'[s]upport the establishment and ongoing viability of local Indigenous businesses;
[s]upport Indigenous entrepreneurs working in the resources sector to network and identify enterprise opportunities both linked to and beyond the resources sector;
[u]se existing Queensland Government policies such as the Indigenous Employment Policy for Queensland Government Building and Civil Construction Projects and the State Government Building and Construction Contracts Structured Training Policy to support the employment and skills development of local Indigenous people in construction projects related to the resources sector;
[m]entor and partner with local non-Indigenous businesses; and
[d]evelop programs to provide Indigenous Queenslanders with the training needed to operate a business' (State Government of Queensland and Queensland Resources Council 2007, 4).
Relationship with existing agreements
The MOU builds upon existing agreements, including the Comalco Indigenous Land Use Agreement (the Western Cape Communities Co-Existence Agreement) and the Gulf Communities Agreement.
Implementation of the MOU is to be overseen by a Steering Committee. This Committee will be formed from representatives of the Queensland Government and the QRC.
|On 12-13 March 2008 representatives from mining companies (Incitec Pivot, CopperCo, BHP Cannington, Xstrata Copper and Zinc, Zinifex Century Mine and BIS Industries Ltd) and from Queensland and Commonwealth Government departments attended a workshop about ways to increase Indigenous employment in the mining industry in north-west Queensland. The workshop was a direct result of the MOU (Koori Mail 2008, 39).