Kimberley Traditional Owners negotiate strong agreement over Ungani oil

KRED Enterprises is a not-for-profit Aboriginal charitable trust, owned by the Ambooriny Burru Foundation. Ambooriny Burru is made up of eight native title claim groups from across the Kimberley.

KRED Enterprises, Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation and Karajarri Yanja have successfully negotiated a coexistence agreement with the Mitsubishi-Buru Energy joint venture.

The Ungani Project Co-existence Agreement relates to Mitsubishi-Buru’s oil production licences at the Ungani oil field, located on an important slice of the determined Nyikina Mangala native title area and the Karajarri Yanja native title claim.

The representatives of the Nyikina Mangala and Karajarri groups were authorised to enter into the agreement today at a meeting at Pandanus Park community, 60km south of Derby.             

KRED Enterprises’ CEO Wayne Bergmann says he’s confident the strongest environmental and cultural heritage protection is in place.

‘The decision to take this agreement to the entire native title groups was not made lightly. KRED Enterprises has been fighting hard to come to a mutually acceptable terms, which balances adequate compensation and scope for Indigenous economic development, with comprehensive environmental and cultural heritage protection,” Mr Bergmann says.

For the last 18 months, the joint venture has extracted and trucked oil without any production agreement in place. This means there has been no compensation for Traditional Owners. Under the agreement, Traditional Owners will now be entitled to the outstanding amounts owed them and have a say over responsible development on their country.

“While we applaud Mitsubishi-Buru for exercising their corporate social responsibility we are also aware the native title system creates an uneven playing field,” Mr Bergmann says.

KRED Enterprises is negotiating some of the strongest agreements for Traditional Owners in Australia. We support Traditional Owners to make the best decisions possible about what happens on their country.