Lawford Benning, chairman of MG`s board of directors, said the memorandum of understanding with Yeeda Pastoral was the most significant achievement for his people since the signing of the ord`s final agreement in 2005. The agreement, negotiated over eighteen months, aims to resolve disputes over land and water that the Federal and Supreme Courts of Australia have been unable to resolve over the previous decade. Unilateral decision-making, which changed the waterways and landscapes of the Ord, began to shift, in part through the Ord Final Indigenous Land Use Agreement. The agreement was signed in 2005 and officially registered in the weeks following the celebration of the 2006 Satisfaction Day and has a duration of 10 years. It is too early to fully judge success or failure. But its potential lies in the extensive negotiations that preceded the conclusion of the agreement. Costs to the state have increased in all areas of the project. The largest increases were due to construction ($59.2 million), project management and administration ($22.5 million), as well as the cost of building and operating a workers` camp for the project ($14.1 million). The Aboriginal development package with the Miriuwung Gajerrong cost $12.5 million, not the $10 million in the budget announced. The additional $2.5 million was obtained from the Office of Native Title and not from RfR. This package was needed as part of the final Ord agreement of 2005 and this figure was agreed in 2009. We are very happy to have reached this point. We had our disagreements, but we managed to work on them, and now we all continue to work.
We learned a lot from the process. An agreement was eventually reached between the Western Australian government, local Miriwoong Gajerrong`s traditional owners and private investors who gave everyone greater security on how 1450 square kilometres of land could be developed in the Kimberley – an area about 40 times larger than Melbourne`s central business district. The delays were mainly due to the fact that each project required detailed design and planning work before construction could begin. While it took time, this planning helped the projects stay on budget. For each project, a specific implementation plan had to be approved by the Commonwealth. The DSD monitored progress in these plans and any changes had to be agreed with the Commonwealth. Some plans took up to 12 months to complete. In addition, a small number of projects required the release of Aboriginal heritage, which also delayed construction. The projects managed by Auenland were completed until 2013. The agreement between the government, MG`s traditional owners and the private agricultural sector has brought to an end one of the largest and most complex local securities trading projects in Australia. The estimated irrigation construction for 2010 was $176 million. The final cost was $US 235 million, an increase of 34%.
The main contractor received $198.7 million for the construction of roads, irrigation canals and outlets. An additional $23.6 million was paid to other contractors. Finally, $12.6 million was invested in a development package for indigenous communities to train and support indigenous workers, separately from the package provided for under the final agreement of the DSB. The two plots located in the Goomig agricultural area, north of Kununurra, were handed over to MG last year as part of their native title settlement as part of the final Ord agreement. . For generations, colonization has spread in the Kimberley by graziers, and then by irrigation facilities that have made unilateral decisions on how to transform the order. The Dams of the Ord River, which made Lake Kununurra and Lake Argyle, were not built in accordance with the traditional indigenous owners. Not surprisingly, local indigenous peoples did not benefit and, initially, were not compensated for the losses that were accompanied by the flooding of their lands.
. « We`ve been talking to a lot of Aboriginal groups around the place and I think these boys should be commended for taking the leap of faith and making things happen, » Burton said.