Joint Media Release with Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator the Hon. Matt Canavan
- Three Aboriginal corporations across northern Australia to develop innovative land and water enterprise plans with scientific and business analysis support from the CSIRO.
- The Coalition Government and CSIRO co-invested $1.25 million through the Northern Australia White Paper to fund the pilot which will focus on economic mapping and commercial use of native title land.
Three Aboriginal corporations across Northern Australia are set to develop innovative land and water enterprise opportunities as part of a pilot project supported by a $1.25 million investment.
The pilot will see the CSIRO use their expertise to carry out economic mapping with communities to identify local natural, cultural, social and economic assets to inform future enterprise development.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion welcomed the partnership between the CSIRO, the National Native Title Council, the Coalition Government and three Indigenous corporations in North Queensland and Western Australia.
“The Northern Australia White Paper sets out our ambitious plan to develop the north. To achieve its goals we are providing $10.6 million over four years to support pilot projects such as this one to attract capital for sustainable land and water enterprises in Indigenous communities,” Minister Scullion said.
“Our Government is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can pursue their aspirations for economic development on their own land.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the Government was focused on using the Northern Australia agenda to create opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
“Northern Australia is home to 26 per cent of Australia’s Indigenous population, but only 9 per cent of Australia’s Indigenous businesses.
“We want to see that number increase as the economic benefits flow from our investment in roads, water and agriculture across the North.”
Dr Marcus Barber, senior research scientist, CSIRO emphasised that the CSIRO is co-investing in this pilot because it will develop scientific and business knowledge to support Indigenous communities across Australia to identify business opportunities and attract investment.
“Working directly with communities we can combine our scientific expertise and local knowledge to develop a comprehensive view of available economic opportunities. Using our scientific assessment and business planning techniques we can better inform strategic economic development and identify sustainable enterprise opportunities.” Dr Barber said.
Mr Jamie Lowe, Chairman of the National Native Title Council stressed the importance of this partnership to help communities unlock the economic and commercial potential of native title land.
“The project will provide solid and creative examples of how Traditional Owners can leverage their native title rights to develop economic opportunity on country. Native title groups have significant land resources and having the capacity to develop businesses and attract investment will provide sustainable benefits for Indigenous communities across the country.” Mr Lowe said.
The three Aboriginal corporations participating in the pilot are the Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation and the Nguddaboolgan Aboriginal Corporation from North Queensland, and the Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation from Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The three sites were chosen following an extensive consultation process with communities and traditional owners undertaken by the National Native Title Council over the past 9 months.