Indigenous Land Use Agreement reached for Port Spencer

SIGNED: Peninsula Ports chairperson John Crosby and vice chairperson Trevor Gilmore sit down with Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Jason Bilney and vice chairperson Roderick Wingfield.
SIGNED: Peninsula Ports chairperson John Crosby and vice chairperson Trevor Gilmore sit down with Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Jason Bilney and vice chairperson Roderick Wingfield.

An agreement has been made which will see the Barngarla community involved in the development of the Port Spencer deep sea grain export facility.

An Indigenous Land Use Agreement was agreed upon between the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation and Free Eyre Ltd and its subsidiary Peninsula Ports Pty Ltd at a community meeting on Sunday and was signed by the parties on Monday.

The agreement will enable the Barngarla community to have a share of ownership in the facility as well as begin the development of an indigenous ranger program.

Free Eyre and Peninsula Ports chairperson John Crosby said the parties entered into discussions in good faith and achieved an outcome that would set the benchmark for business collaboration with traditional owners.

"We are delighted to have agreed terms with the Barngarla community that recognises their traditional ownership and cultural connection to the land and sea and lays the foundation for working together to deliver this exciting project for Eyre Peninsula," he said.

The shared ownership is setting a benchmark for indigenous people across Australia.

Jason Bilney

"This historic agreement, the first of its kind that includes Aboriginal share ownership in a grain port facility in South Australia, will see us working together as shareholders in Peninsula Ports to deliver long term mutual benefits for the Barngarla people, Eyre Peninsula's grain growers and the local community."

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Jason Bilney said the signing of the agreement was important recognition for the Barngarla people and their connection to the country.

"The shared ownership is setting a benchmark for indigenous people across Australia," he said.

"As the native title holders for the area, it is important that we not just get benefits from these projects but get to be owners in the projects on our country and to have good relationships with the companies involved.

"We look forward to further working with Free Eyre and Peninsula Ports in the development of this project."

Construction of the Port Spencer deep sea port is targeted to begin in April this year with completion for wet testing in September next year.

Friday is the final day for public comment on the project's Public Environmental Report.

This story Agreement makes history first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.