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Co-designing the Future

All voices heard at native title workshop.

Co-designing the Future Workshop held in in Port Augusta from 17 to 18 October 2017. (Courtesy of K Mavromatis; photo 416135)
Co-designing the Future Workshop held in Port Augusta from 17 to 18 October 2017. (Courtesy of K Mavromatis; photo 416135)

On 17 and 18 October 2017 the Mineral Resources Division held the Co-designing the Future Workshop in Port Augusta for parties who are actively involved in negotiating native title mining agreements under Part 9B of the Mining Act 1971. With over 80 attendees, this was the largest meeting ever held of traditional owners, mineral explorers, government and peak bodies to discuss the future of mineral exploration and native title in South Australia. The workshop was the culmination of over two years of consultation with explorers and native title groups.

Ideas, expertise and wisdom were shared with a view to:

  • building further trust between government, native title groups and industry
  • strengthening relationships based on understanding and respect
  • driving better collaboration between stakeholders
  • considering co-designed solutions to the operation of the native title system for mineral exploration in South Australia.

Key issues discussed included cultural heritage management, ‘low impact’ exploration, alternative native title schemes, early engagement, and further opportunities for collaboration and better communication between all parties. Through facilitated discussions, attendees worked positively and creatively together to explore the issues.

It was the best opportunity stakeholders have had to consider the future of the native title system for mineral exploration in South Australia since the introduction of Part 9B.

Download the October 2017 Stronger Partners, Stronger Futures Co-designing the Future Workshop Issues Paper (PDF 6.5 MB).

Coincident with and relevant to the workshop was the proclamation of the Aboriginal Heritage (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2016 and gazettal of the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2017 and Aboriginal Heritage Guidelines, which introduce a new scheme for the management of Aboriginal heritage in South Australia. This scheme puts traditional owners at the centre of decision-making about their own heritage, while at the same time streamlining approval processes, recognising native title law and increasing certainty for land use proponents.

Future commitments

The spirit of respect and cooperation between parties was outstanding and a commitment from all was reached to continue to work together on reform in 2018.

Workshop outcomes and future activities will inform future amendments scheduled as part of the Leading Practice Mining Acts Review.

The government is committed to continue its joint approach to mining sector reform as a way of co-designing better solutions and policy outcomes.

– Heidi Crow

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