The State Government today launched a new and comprehensive booklet to encourage Aboriginal participation in the early stages of resource development in the State.
Resources Development Minister Colin Barnett and Mines and Acting Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kevin Minson launched the 20-page booklet `Working With Aboriginal Communities' as part of National Reconciliation Week.
The booklet was developed in consultation with key Aboriginal, Government and mining groups.
Mr Barnett said its aim was to provide a practical guide to communicating in an Aboriginal cultural setting.
It is being distributed to resource developers working in remote and rural areas.
Major topics covered in the publication include:
+ first steps in contacting an Aboriginal agency;
+ how to approach a remote community;
+ kinship within a community;
+ significant sites and recognising Aboriginal sites;
+ preparation for a meeting, and -
+ the relevant legislation concerning Aboriginal land and customs.
"`Working With Aboriginal Communities' is an important document which will go a long way to ensuring developers and Aboriginal people in remote communities build that all-important rapport which ensures the objectives and interests of all parties are met," Mr Barnett said.
Mr Minson said consultation with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people was an important part of any proposed project in remote areas of the State.
"There have been instances in the past where the lack of consultation has led to dispute and subsequent delays," he said.
"In some cases, that probably could have been avoided if more attention had been paid in the early stages to ensuring effective lines of communication were open and that cultural differences were taken into consideration.
"This booklet explains the cultural differences in Aboriginal communities which developers should be mindful of during project negotiation and development.
Copies of the booklet are available from all regional development authorities and from the Department of Resources Development on 327 5555.
Media contact: Carolyn Vicars 222 9699 Caroline Lacy 222 9595