By David Cousins
Aboriginals and the Mining Industry reports the participation of Aborigines in mining corporation employment. It examines the contribution of land rights laws to preserving Aboriginal pursuits, and it asks how some distance the expansion of mining in distant components of Australia has aided the commercial improvement of Aboriginal teams dwelling there. targeted case stories of mining initiatives are included.
In 1973, Peter Rogers concluded that 'Australia has no longer performed itself justice within the dealing with of recent as opposed to Aborigines conflict... the shortcoming of preparation... is a shame to govt, inner most agencies and unions alike'.
What has occurred given that then? Aboriginals and the mining industry studies 3 major questions - to what quantity have Aboriginals shared within the end result of the mining growth? Have new land rights helped Aboriginals defend their pursuits as laid low with mining? And what has been the contribution of mining to the industrial improvement of remote...
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Extra info for Aboriginals and the Mining Industry. Case Studies of the Australian Experience
Consequently, Aboriginal employment may be encouraged by a desire to avoid these costs. It is difficult to assess the importance of this but there was concern at Weipa that, were the company not to involve Aboriginals, the state government might seek to renegotiate royalty arrangements. Federal government pressure had influenced the adoption of the Aboriginal Training Scheme at Weipa. It was recognised at Argyle that local Aboriginals would receive less financial reward than from mining projects in the NT.
In some places (for example the Kimberley) older Aboriginals still remember the conflicts between their people and the early settlers, and a general distrust continues. This seems less prevalent on Groote Eylandt, where early contacts were not so fractious. Elsewhere, animosities grew between Aboriginal communities and the mining companies in early stages of development. This may also have adversely affected Aboriginal attitudes to industrial employment. This is particularly so at Gove Peninsula and Weipa.
Detailed employment records available for Nabarlek and the Ieramagadu Group with Hammersley reveal work records ranging from very good to very poor. It is clearly inappropriate to stereotype Aboriginal workers. Work productivity can obviously be affected by company work practices. Substantial cultural differences between workers should be recognised in company treatment of workers if productivity is to be improved. For Aboriginals, companies need to be especially aware of the importance of kinship relations.
Aboriginals and the Mining Industry. Case Studies of the Australian Experience by David Cousins