|Kurama and Marthudunera Traditional Owners Bernadette Evans, Roy Evans, Joan Evans and Cyril Lockyer with YMAC staff and IOH representatives|
It is the Pilbara’s first native title agreement to provide payments in respect of the use of water and clearance of native vegetation, giving an incentive for IOH to minimise their impact on the environment. IOH also showed flexibility in planning their mine footprint in order to avoid any impact on culturally sensitive sites near the area.
In addition to strong cultural and environmental protection, the agreement provides milestone and production payments, which are now standard features of native title land access agreements.
Kurama and Marthudunera Traditional Owner, Cyril Lockyer said, “The important thing now is to continue our good working relationship. This area is of great significance to the families involved and we want to work closely with Iron Ore Holdings to see these sensitive places protected.”
“This unique agreement is due to the genuine good-will and flexibility shown by both parties, and recognises the cultural and environmental significance of the area for the Traditional Owners. It goes well beyond the requirements of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act by recognising that water and habitat are inextricably linked to cultural values,” said Simon Hawkins, CEO of Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation.