Indigenous communities in the Top End are set to benefit for the next 40 years from a funding package formalised today by the Australian and Northern Territory governments, the Larrakia people and Japanese oil and gas company INPEX.
The Larrakia Benefits Package will contribute a total of $24 million over the its lifespan, providing education and employment support to the Larrakia people over the next 40 years of INPEX’s Ichthys LNG operations.
The agreement formalising the package was signed on behalf of the Larrakia people by Bill Risk, Chair of the INPEX Larrakia Advisory Committee and senior Larrakia Elder, and INPEX President Director Australia, Seiya Ito.
The signing was witnessed by Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner, with INPEX President and CEO Takayuki Ueda also in attendance.
The package has been set up with a Trust structure to ensure the funds are distributed for the sole benefit of the Larrakia people, the traditional owners of the land on which the LNG plant has been developed.
Minister Canavan said initial focus areas of the Trust included the provision of education opportunities and support for Larrakia Elders.
“I strongly support INPEX’s commitment to working collaboratively with the Larrakia people, who can now look forward to benefiting from tens of millions of dollars in funding for their communities over the life of the Ichthys project,” Minister Canavan said.
“The Ichthys project has already provided significant benefits, supporting more than 60 Indigenous businesses and employing more than 1,400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This agreement will lock in more educational and employment opportunities for many years to come.”
The first milestone will occur this week when $3 million is paid into the Trust to celebrate the start of the initiative.
A further $1 million will then be allocated to mark the Ichthys onshore LNG processing facility achieving 8.4 million tonnes per annum in LNG production.
Another $500,000 will go to the Trust on the anniversary of the first LNG cargo’s departure from Darwin Harbour every year for 40 years – or until the end of the economical production – whichever comes first.