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Historic Kimberley Regional Agreement Signed

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has today met with the Kimberley Land Council and its member language groups in the Kimberley at Lombadina to sign a historic regional framework agreement aimed at ensuring better outcomes for communities in the area.

The KRFA follows on from the Kimberley Land Council and Union Partnership Agreement of six years ago. It’s understood to be the first comprehensive agreement of its kind.

The new agreement says that unions will work with KLC language groups together collaboratively to preserve and promote indigenous culture, values and empowerment, indigenous autonomy over their land, indigenous employment opportunities and training; and good wages and conditions through union collective agreements.

AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney said the agreement would provide for better outcomes for workers and traditional owners in the region by requiring union enterprise bargaining agreements with major employers to adopt the same principles as the KRFA.

Mr McCartney said “Employers haven’t had the best record in employing local aboriginal people in the Kimberley, or of understanding their cultural needs. We want to see a better outcome from the Kimberley region than what happened in the Pilbara. This is unions standing in solidarity with traditional owners.”

The KRFA recognises that Indigenous peoples are poorly represented in employment rates, and commit the unions and communities to working together to turn this around.

Steve McCartney said “It’s really also about giving them power to say what happens with their land.  We want to stand with them and help them get the best deal as they enter the economy. No land deal, no union deal. No union deal, no land deal."

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