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Stronger partners stronger futures

Call for Project Partners

At the October 2017 Stronger Partners Stronger Futures Co-designing the Future Workshop, representatives of native title groups, exploration companies and the Government agreed to further discuss and explore solutions for relationship building, cultural heritage management, early exploration and the right to negotiate under the Mining Act.

Structure for engagement

For the next stage of Stronger Partners Stronger Futures, we will be focusing on working with project partners to develop specific solutions to the issues raised throughout consultation. This will be achieved through the following structure:

  • A Steering Committee consisting of representatives of government, native title groups, explorers and relevant peak bodies, will function as the main reference group. The Steering Committee will monitor progress and report back to project partners, provide direction and recommend actions to implement quick-wins.
  • Working as project partners with the Mineral Resources Division (MRD), native title groups and explorers will be asked to document their ideas to resolve the issues they have raised for improvement, or that will impact on how they operate. They can work either singly or collectively within their sector to suggest tools and strategies and submit ideas for reform to the Steering Committee.
  • MRD will prepare further information on key issues to support and focus parties’ deliberations. It will also continue to meet with native title groups throughout the first half of 2018 to seek advice and provide assistance to parties.
  • During this time, an internal government working group will consider matters that can be progressed by MRD and Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (AAR).

It is envisaged that discussions on the key issues will be completed by June 2018, in order to inform a joint forum of all the parties in the second half of 2018.

A timetable for the next steps is set out on page 15 of the Co-designing the Future Workshop Report (PDF 3.4 MB)

Project partner nomination form

The project partner nomination form identifies key issues and topics of interest.

If you would like to become a project partner it would be appreciated if you could:

  • nominate which of the key issues you want to be involved in;
  • fill in your details; and
  • return the form to Heidi Crow, Principal Policy Advisor (Aboriginal Heritage and Engagement) by 20 January 2018.

Download more information and the nomination form (DOCX 143 KB)

If you need more information or wish to discuss becoming a project partner contact Heidi via:

  • Email:
  • Phone: (08) 8463 3508.
  • To provide guidance to project partners, a working paper with further information about the key issues raised will be released in the new year.

Ngadjuri Contact First

The Ngadjuri Contact First video supports the Ngadjuri Nations Aboriginal Corporation by educating people about Ngadjuri People, their country and culturally appropriate protocols for when and how to engage with them. The video will help people understand what is expected of them when first contacting and meeting with the Ngadjuri community, and help build cultural competency and foster better relationships.

Fostering better relationships with the Ngadjuri community

A video with the Arabana Aboriginal Corporation is currently in production.

More about the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures video program

Co-designing the Future Workshop

The spirit of respect and cooperation between parties was outstanding and a commitment from all was reached to continue to work together on reform into 2018. A process to progress issues was strongly supported by the attendees and their peak representative bodies.

We have a clear pathway forward towards regulatory and policy reform that will support better communication, capacity and partnering between native title groups and explorers, and the government is committed to continue its consultative approach to mining sector reform as a way of do-designing better solutions and policy outcomes.

On 17 and 18 October 2017, the South Australian Government’s Mineral Resources Division held an independently facilitated Workshop in Port Augusta for those parties who are actively involved in negotiating native title mining agreements under Part 9B of the Mining Act 1971.

The purpose of the Workshop was to work together to share ideas, expertise and wisdom, with a view to:

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

The Workshop was the best opportunity stakeholders have had in over 21 years (since the introduction of the existing native title system) to consider the future of the native title system for mineral exploration in South Australia.

Over 80 representatives attended the Co-designing the Future Workshop to discuss and share their ideas and agree a path forward to progress possible reform. This was the largest ever meeting of Traditional Owners, mineral explorers, and peak bodies, to discuss the future of mineral exploration and native title in South Australia. Discussions sought improved trust and collaboration between mineral explorers and traditional owners, and identified how current processes could be streamlined and improved. The Workshop was the outcome of over two years of consultation undertaken in the lead up to the launch of the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures program.

Presentations given at the Workshop are available for download:

Footage of these presentations will be uploaded shortly.

Key issues and outcomes - including Workshop Report

The key issues considered included cultural heritage management, early exploration, alternative native title schemes, early engagement, and further opportunities for collaboration and better communication between all parties.

Co-designing the Future Workshop ReportThere was broad support among Workshop participants to modernise and improve Part 9B, rather than adopt the Commonwealth 'right to negotiate' scheme in the Native Title Act 1993. However, it was recognised further work on the following key issues is needed to inform future action:

  • early engagement;
  • early exploration; and
  • cultural heritage management.

Commitment was reached from all parties to establish working groups to progress each of these issues and the future of Part 9B of the Mining Act. outcomes from the working groups will inform future amendments scheduled as part of the Leading Practice Mining Acts Review, which saw the first of the bills, the Statutes Amendment (Leading Practice in Mining) Bill 2017, publicly released on 18 October 2017 and pass through the Lower House on 1 November 2017.

The overwhelmingly positive response at the Workshop and the energy to work together going forward was a great indicator that all major changes to South Australia's minerals regulation and business environment should be co-designed and supported by the people who use it.

Issues Paper

Co-designing the Future WorkshopThe Issues Paper summarises the key matters raised through consultations with Traditional Owners and industry, and their legal representatives between 2014 and October 2017. This Issues Paper was prepared so everyone can see what has been said, identify concerns they have in common and consider where they would like to see change. These issues formed the basis of discussions at the Co-designing the Future Workshop and will continue to inform future discussions.

For more information contact:

Heidi Crow
Principal Policy Advisor (Aboriginal Heritage and Engagement)
Phone: (08) 8463 3508


Andrew Moll
Principal Policy Advisor (Native Title and Engagement)
Phone: (08) 8463 3056

Summary report - Results of consultation so far

Key observations from the consultation to August 2017 are presented in the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures Summary Report, August 2017 (PDF 3.5 MB).

This report has been prepared by our independent facilitator Ian Dixon as an overall summary on the review of the native title land access process to date and sets out some of the key observations emerging from discussions.

Part 9B forum update - our progress so far

We have met with representatives of 9 native title groups so far. These meetings have provided a range of valuable insights into the issues faced by Aboriginal people dealing with exploration and mining.

We will continue to meet with native title groups to provide advice on the exploration process and the next steps in the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures process as required.

If you wish to meet please contact us to make an appointment.

More about how you can be involved in the consultation process

SARIG training

Our South Australian Resources Information Gateway (SARIG) provides free, easy to access online information about mining and exploration across the estate. Knowing how to use SARIG means you can go on the internet and easily find out who is exploring or mining in your native title area.

You can use SARIG to find:

  • South Australian mining and petroleum projects
  • Geology, geophysics, ergolith, paleodrainage, petroleum basins, groundwater and earthquakes
  • Mineral, petroleum and geothermal tenement boundaries
  • Exploration company details and commodity information
  • Infrastructure locations e.g. power stations, substations and transmission lines, water pipelines, roads and railway, ports and airports
  • Other government information e.g. about national parks, Native Title and property boundaries
  • Seismic lines and seismic horizon maps

Establishing the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures program

Part of what makes South Australia great is its great mineral resources. We want all South Australians to have the best social and economic opportunities that our rich mineral resources can provide.

Strong partnerships give the best results for everyone, and we know there is more work to be done to support Aboriginal communities, explorers and miners to work together to build better relationships based on collaboration and trust.

Because this is important to us, we have established the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures program to explore how we can all work together to forge better collaboration and maximise the long-term social and economic benefits that successful mining projects bring to communities.

Native title mining agreements

Part 9B of the Mining Act 1971 sets out procedures that must be followed before carrying out exploration or mining activities on native title land. Part 9B came into operation on 17 June 1996 and is an alternative to the ‘right to negotiate’ scheme in the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993.

Many native title mining agreements have been successfully negotiated since 1996, but the process still poses challenges for some. This includes valuing and preserving Aboriginal culture, engaging early and respectfully, determining when activities affect native title, and providing certainty about timeliness and costs.

Identifying solutions together

Our intention is that Aboriginal communities, explorers and Government work together to identify and make improvements to the operation of the native title system as it applies to mineral exploration. Building a shared vision about what the future might look like will provide the best possible outcomes for everyone.

We have consulted with explorers and native title lawyers to seek their views on the operation of Part 9B. We have also consulted with native title groups who work within the Part 9B system to see how the system is working, on the ground, for Aboriginal communities. This completed the first stage of the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures program.

Where to from here?

A key recommendation from the Co-designing the Future Workshop was the development of working groups comprising representatives from native title groups, industry and government to consider the key issues raised in the Issues Paper, namely; 'low impact' exploration, cultural heritage management and early engagement.

Invitations will be sent out shortly inviting interested persons to participate on the working groups.

In parallel with this ongoing engagement, we are developing a range of communication and education tools to make sure everyone has the best opportunity to understand the Part 9B process, and learn more about exploration and mining and about Aboriginal heritage and culture.

Video project

One of the aims of the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures program is to raise awareness with explorers and mining companies about how to engage with Aboriginal ommunities in a culturally appropriate way.

It has been suggested that making a short video with interested native title groups would be a good way for the mineral resources industry to learn about the groups they will be working with.

It would also be an easy way for native title groups who work with miners and explorers to start the education process with companies who want to access their country to learn about their people and country, their protocols and what they would consider to be good engagement. This will help companies to understand what is expected of them when first contacting and meeting with Aboriginal communities.

It is planned that each video would run for around 5–7 minutes and would be hosted on the Government of South Australia Mineral Resources Division website and the native title group’s website.

While each video would be in a similar format with a few key points to be addressed, it is up to each group to decide what they would like to say about themselves and the messages they would like to convey.

Production costs will be met by the Mineral Resources Division.

Funding for videos is subject to availability. Preference will be given to projects where filming can be coordinated to coincide with a meeting or other activities on country.

If you are interested in being part of this video project please contact:

Heidi Crow
Principal Policy Advisor (Aboriginal Heritage and Engagement)
Phone: (08) 8463 3508

Ngadjuri Contact First

Stronger partners, stronger futures

How can I find more information on the program?

For more information, contact:

Andrew Moll
Principal Policy Consultant
Phone: +61 8 8463 3056

Heidi Crow
Principal Policy Officer
Phone: +61 8 8463 3508