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DJAARA forged benefit-sharing agreement despite exclusionary system

Bakaru Wayaparrangu, the voluntary benefit-sharing agreement between DJAARA and Canadian miner Agnico Eagle, operator of the Fosterville Gold Mine, is a significant step towards self-determination of DJAARA Dja Dja Wurrung People.

The multi-million-dollar agreement was settled following seven years of negotiations within a legislative system that favours developers.

DJAARA General Manager Cassandra Lewis said, “We negotiated this agreement with our hands tied behind our backs. We forged a path – finding our way through the colonial structures and laws that deliberately misrepresented and excluded Traditional Owners. But we persisted. We stayed the course. And we thank Agnico Eagle for staying with us.”

As Traditional Owners, we recognise and celebrate that each Peoples have different aspirations and needs and, necessarily, benefit sharing agreements need to be individual. However, the instigation for agreements needs to come from regulatory and statutory triggers.

Click here to read the full media statement