Winun Ngari CEO shows support for Thunderbird
Written on the 31 July 2017
The CEO of Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation has spoken out in support of Sheffield's Thunderbird project in its latest newsletter, who expressed delight by Sheffield's recent announcement confirming its commitment to the recruitment and work-ready programs.
Susan said, "WNAC believes these programs are both good for the community and the Traditional Owners (TOs). Susan added, Sheffield has a strong comitent to TOs (see the July 2017 Media Release) through the creation of aboriginal jobs, training and businesses. This commitent is further reinforced through the royalties for the life-of-mine program; anticipated to be for approximately 42 years. We (WNAC) believe that the sheffield project is of great benefit across the range of local and Kimberley stakeholder groups."
Susan says the recruitment of 3-key locals to the Sheffield team, icluding Ms. Gayle Keys (Broome), Mr Justin King (Bidjadanga) and Mr Terry Marshall (Bidan), is further evidence of the company's commitment to the project, and the region, stating:
"These individuals have been recruited to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the Sheffield program. Their contributions will include input to the development of the strategy for the work-ready program, and advice and expertise on local issues including Aboriginal eployment and training, cultural awareness, mentoring of aboriginal employees and an environment and heritage management system. Sheffield has confirmed that as soon as the environmental and Native Title processes are completed, more locals will benefit from employment with the company."
Susan said in the newsletter that an application has been lodged in the Federal Court of Australia by KRED, on bhalf of the NT claimants. The application asserts that the claimants do not support Thunderbird. Whilst there is an appeal in progress, a mining lease cannot be granted, thereby stalling the Thunderbid Mining Project and all its associated programs.
Susan advised that she has concerns with the application, stating:
"If the appeal is successful, the promised jobs, training, business opportunities and royalties will not materialise. We do not want to lose Thunderbird! To do so, would be to jeopardise many long-term jobs and a better lifestyle for the people in our community."
Susan told the newsletter that she remains hopeful that the TOs will withdraw their application, so that Sheffield can get on with its project and the locals will start to benefit from their commitment to the area, over a substantial period of time.
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