Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope (ASKAP)
The agreement was announced at Parliament House by the Wajarri People, their representativesYMAC, the Hon Christian Porter MLA, the Hon Brendan Grylls MLA, the Hon Troy Buswell MLA, and Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
The Wajarri People have approximately 2000-3000 community members and one of the largest native title claims in Australia. Wajarri country includes the area chosen for the Australian Square including the area chosen for the ASKAP telescope. The agreement area covers approximately 130 square kilometres of land, located 175 kilometres west of Meekatharra.
The agreement provides financial and non-financial benefits and ensures the cultural heritage of the Wajarri People is protected. Also, with a focus on Pia Aboriginal Community (just 30kms from the proposed SKA site), the agreement also included education opportunities, internet access and cadetships and mentoring for Wajarri kids.
Anthony Dann, Wajarri Traditional Owner said, “The myth that native title holds up development is false; this agreement was completed in record time and the future is looking bright. I look forward to the prospects that education, employment and training opportunities can bring to our community. It’s an exciting time for Wajarri People, the Mid-West and Australia that such a major development will be happening in our country.”
Image: Wajarri Representative, Anthony Dann.