New Ranger Mine agreements
The Mirarr Traditional Owners and Aboriginal people in the wider Kakadu and West Arnhem region will benefit from a suite of new agreements for the Ranger Uranium Mine agreed to by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson today.
The Ranger Uranium Mine has been operating since 1980, providing revenue, jobs and opportunities for people in the Kakadu and West Arnhem region, as well as the broader Northern Territory.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said that by updating the provisions of the original Ranger agreement the new arrangements provide greater benefits to Traditional Owners.
“Ranger’s beginning was a difficult time for many Aboriginal people in Kakadu and I acknowledge the hurt felt then by Traditional Owners. I also applaud the ongoing efforts of the Traditional Owners to secure the future for their children,” Ms Macklin said.
“Importantly, the agreements will provide intergenerational benefits for Traditional Owners and the broader Kakadu and West Arnhem region, through the establishment of the Kakadu West Arnhem Social Trust,” Ms Macklin said.
“Existing payments from the Ranger operation have already boosted the local community and this agreement will allow the community to build on the great work already done.
“For example, traditional owners have used payments to fund the construction of the new Djidbidjidbi Residential College at Jabiru, which gives children from surrounding communities a great opportunity to get an education.
“I’m pleased that these new arrangements provide such strong benefits for Traditional Owners. These arrangements have been under discussion for many years and today’s agreement is a credit to all parties,” Ms Macklin said.
The Northern Land Council and Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) also entered into a separate Mining Agreement, the first agreement of its type in relation to this mine.
The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, said that importantly the agreements, in addition to comfirming Traditional Owner consent to the mining of uranium at Ranger, also provide for strong environmental protections and ensure mining at Ranger continues to be conducted in a safe and secure manner within the surrounding Kakadu National Park.
“Energy Resources of Australia will continue to work closely with Traditional Owners about the management of the mine and protection of the local environment, with the establishment of a new Relationship Committee,” Minister Ferguson said.
The Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon said the agreement was a credit to all parties.
“This will provide benefits into the future for people across the region,” Mr Snowdon said.