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Issue #1477      20 October 2010

Sharing the benefits of economic development

Four Queensland mining and transport unions on October 8 signed an historic agreement with the North Queensland Land Council (NQLC), which will see unions work more closely with Land Council representatives during project and wage negotiations involving developments on Aboriginal land.

The Social Compact, between the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Electrical Trades Union (ETU), Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), CFMEU-Mining and Energy and the NQLC, is the first of its type in Queensland. It is likely that other Queensland unions will join this and future Compacts.

It applies across all industries, but will have most impact in Queensland’s $50 billion mining and minerals processing industries, as well as tourism, forestry and fishing. The Queensland Compact is based on agreements signed at the project level by Western Australia unions and the Kimberley Land Council and extends the concept to a more permanent, broader formal relationship.

It is expected this Compact will provide a template for similar agreements across Queensland and the rest of Australia. Once extended across Australia such Compacts will have their most immediate impact in Australia’s $180 billion mining industry, as well as various tourism, fishing and forestry locations. 

Next article – Capitalism worn out – The privatisation agenda

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