On Saturday 22nd November 2014 the result of five years of negotiations came to a conclusion with the Wajarri Yamatji community agreeing to support the ‘SMC Weld Range Native Title and Heritage Sustainable Benefits Agreement’ for the Weld Range project.
“This is a momentous day for both SMC and the Wajarri Yamatji people,” said SMC General Manager Phil Allsopp.
“We started this process in July 2009 with a negotiation protocol. It has been a long road but we are glad that we have stuck to the path with a successful outcome.”
Apart from compensation payments, the Agreement offers significant future opportunities for employment and business development for the Wajarri people when a financial investment decision is made on the Weld Range project. It also specifically protects important heritage sites and areas over and above the protections afforded under existing laws.
Gavin Egan, Wajarri elder and Chair of the Negotiation Team was pleased with the final result.
“I am glad we finally got the deal done,” said Gavin. “When Weld Range starts up the Wajarri people will be in a good position to capitalise on the opportunities that it offers.
It may not happen overnight but we have time and support to get ourselves in a position to be an important player in the mine’s development.”
A key contributor to this preparation is the $100,000 per year Employment and Training commitment which commences as soon as the final document is executed with all signatures.
“We are looking forward to continuing our strong relationship with the Wajarri Yamatji people and the future economic opportunities that this agreement represents” said Phil.
Media Contact: Danielle van Kampen M 0409 104 613