Compact Will Deliver For Traditional Owners

A new Social Compact to support Aboriginal traditional owners in the Gladstone region during negotiations around projects on Aboriginal land is an important step in closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, the Maritime Union of Australia said today.

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[Picture: Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray]  

The compact between the Gureng Gureng peoples and 17 Queensland unions will be signed on Thursday.

MUA Assistant National Secretary, Ian Bray said the agreement was crucial to ensuring Aboriginal people got their share of Queensland’s $50 billion mining and minerals processing industries.

“This social compact agreement is historic because it puts reality-based concrete steps behind good intentions,” Mr Bray said.

“The framework of an agreement will mean that project and wage negotiations will pave the way for a further closing the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples, who are the traditional owners of the economic resources, and the rest of the community.

“It will also mean unions are partners with the Gureng Gureng when it comes to future development agreements.

“This agreement strengthens and builds on the role the MUA has always been proud to play in the advancement of social justice.”

Social Compact - Comments by Gwen Taylor, Indigenous Industrial Officer, Queensland Council of Unions:

Social Compact with the Gureng Gureng people occurred with a phone call from Uncle Mal Walker, he had been speaking with Uncle Terry O’Shane and they had discussed the Social Compact Agreement with the NQLC. 

Uncle Mal saw this as a great opportunity for his mob and contact me to arrange a meeting with myself and Ron Monaghan (QCU General Secretary) after the initial discussions, we had a few hick ups, with an Board election of the and a changing of positions on the Port Curtis Native Title claimant group.  But with the assistance of Uncle Mal and Uncle Terry O’Shane I was able to organise a meeting between representative of the signatory unions and the traditional custodians in Gladstone in June.

At this meeting, several unions sent representatives, and also in attendance was Ian Bray and Uncle Terry O’Shane.  Over the two days we nutted out any issues concerns and discussed strategies to implement this document once it was signed. 

The Elders also added a distinctly Gureng Gureng touches to the skeleton document.

I then brought the draft document back to Brisbane and started discussions with the Trade Unions.   Once these discussions where completed, artwork was discussed, ceremony etc., the decision was made to hold the ceremony in Gladstone on 6 th December.

Further comment: Watch the videos below from Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray, QLD Deputy Branch Secretary Trevor Munday, NT Branch Organiser Thomas Mayor and Gwen Talyor, Indigenous Industrial Officer from the Queensland Council of Unions.