Aboriginals and the Mining Industry. Case Studies of the by David Cousins

By David Cousins

Aboriginals and the Mining Industry studies the participation of Aborigines in mining corporation employment. It examines the contribution of land rights laws to maintaining Aboriginal pursuits, and it asks how some distance the expansion of mining in distant components of Australia has aided the industrial improvement of Aboriginal teams residing there. certain case reports of mining tasks are included.

In 1973, Peter Rogers concluded that 'Australia has no longer performed itself justice within the dealing with of contemporary as opposed to Aborigines conflict... the shortcoming of preparation... is a shame to govt, inner most firms and unions alike'.

What has occurred considering then? Aboriginals and the mining industry studies 3 major questions - to what quantity have Aboriginals shared within the end result of the mining increase? Have new land rights helped Aboriginals guard their pursuits as tormented by mining? And what has been the contribution of mining to the commercial improvement of remote...

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Extra resources for Aboriginals and the Mining Industry. Case Studies of the Australian Experience

Sample text

The bauxite mining agreement Under the agreement5 signed by COMALCO and the Queensland government in 1957, COMALCO obtained a lease over 2380 square miles of land on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, 1000 square miles of which could be retained for up to 105 years, the remainder to be relinquished by 1977. Retained land might contain up to two-thirds of the commercial-grade bauxite found on the original holding. COMALCO was also given rights to perpetual leases over the mining town area and cattle grazing, timber, water and farming rights.

Previous contact with other races was limited, especially in the mountain region. The people lacked experience and the education and skills needed for industrial employment. 5 Anthropologists and local-language experts were employed to improve communications with the indigenous people; psychologists were employed to assess accurately skills and learning potential; visits to other mines were arranged; expatriate employees were taught to speak Pidgin and informed of the local culture; food was purchased from the local people to further business enterprise; strict regulations were adopted to minimise conflicts between indigenous and expatriate employees; and effective training schemes for indigenous people were introduced.

At Weipa, the company gave this as the reason for Aboriginal employees being in so-called ‘non-essential’ activities. Evidence of the work performance of Aboriginals employed by the mining companies is limited, as company records are often not classified according to race or are not publicly available. However, at Groote Eylandt, Aboriginals do have higher rates of absenteeism and labour turnover. There was also a lack of continuity in employment at Nabarlek, though this may partly reflect the few opportunities available to Aboriginals.

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