The original project aim had been a single ILUA negotiated with all parties, however Manager Environment and Land Access Paul Maloney was happy with the outcome which resulted in three separate ILUAs. Maloney and his Native Title Advisor Jonathan Fulcher negotiated the three ILUAs over a 12-month period and achieved full registration with the Native Title Tribunal by Christmas 2004, a total time of 18 months from commencement. Maloney and Fulcher also negotiated the Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) during this period, achieving a single CHMP for the entire Project. All of which would not have been possible without the cooperation and involvement of the Aboriginal groups concerned.
One of the Project’s commitments during the ILUA negotiations was to provide employment opportunities to Indigenous stakeholders. Employment briefing sessions were held for Indigenous Stakeholders in Townsville, Mackay, Cherbourg and Brisbane. Interviews were given to all interested parties and 12 people were employed directly on the Project through this process. This was in addition to the Cultural Heritage Monitors and was done purely on merit; there was no quota system involved.
Cultural Heritage Awareness
The CHMP recognised the importance of both the protection of culturally sensitive material during construction and ensuring that the workforce was equally aware of this. To this end the CHMP provided for Cultural Heritage monitors to be present during clearing and trenching activities (a maximum of five monitors at any one time) and for indigenous representation in the induction program. With the assistance of NQGP, the indigenous groups created a Cultural Heritage awareness video and a Cultural Heritage Induction Presenter was employed on-site for the first eight weeks to deliver this video. Several employees on the Project commented that this was one of the most informative Cultural Heritage inductions they had encountered.