Getting to agreement
Aboriginal liaison officers are a common part of the modern mining company and play a central role in developing an ability to do business with Aboriginal communities. The leaders in the industry see the benefit of working with communities as a competitive advantage. The new legal framework requires companies to deal with native title. Therefore, a response that is constructive, and indeed supportive, of the aspirations of native titleholders and applicants will, it is thought, facilitate negotiation. The development of agreements whether, within or outside the Native Title Act regime, are a key instrument for industry to encourage development. The right to negotiate, while being rolled back under the 1998 amendments, has created a way of thinking amongst native title applicants and resource developers which has led to policies of engagement by some developers that are likely to continue. New provisions in the Native Title Act relating to Indigenous Land Use Agreements will make the status of such agreements more certain.
Keywords: industry opposition, land use, mining, Native Title Act (1993), recognition, reconciliation
Author: Strelein, Lisa