Policy Position: Indigenous Engagement
Indigenous engagement is gaining increased attention within state and federal government agendas. This includes the Federal Government progressing a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament, and more broadly ‘Treaty and Truth Telling’ processes are underway. The Queensland Government is also reviewing cultural heritage Acts, while the Federal Government has recently concluded its parliamentary inquiry into Rio Tinto’s destruction of Juukan Gorge, which has recommended an overhaul of cultural heritage laws nationally.
Given these processes, it is thought timely for AgForce to consider how best to represent members’ interests, understanding the potential implications for landowners, and how to engage with our members on an agreed approach and positioning.

AgForce endorses the following policy:

  • Increased Indigenous collaboration and leadership are in the interests of everyone involved in the Australian agriculture sector. AgForce acknowledges the pivotal role that all landholders have in identifying, respecting and protecting areas of Indigenous significance.
  • AgForce supports a localised, holistic approach to Indigenous engagement. Engagement should primarily be predicated on a genuine partnership approach, aiming to realise shared opportunities and mutual benefits.
  • Efforts should be underpinned by a spirit of collaboration and proactive, long-term engagement. Wherever required, initiatives and actions should be ‘ground-truthed’ with relevant Indigenous representatives and stakeholders, including members.
  • When pursuing opportunities for engagement, AgForce respects the multifaceted nature of Indigenous engagement.
  • Advocacy efforts should continue to be pursued in the interests of all members and agricultural industries, recognising the diversity of member and stakeholder engagement and contexts. AgForce must have a clear understanding of its own role and a clear understanding of the role of the many groups and organisations involved in Indigenous agriculture.
  • Consistent with its core purpose, AgForce should focus primarily on initiatives and engagement related to agricultural, regional economic development and natural resource management, which may lead to broader social development outcomes.
  • Engagement efforts should be focused on actions that deliver tangible benefits.

AgForce’s Role:

With respect to Indigenous engagement, AgForce’s role may include:
  • Representing the broadacre agriculture sector in the process of Indigenous engagement.
  • Leading and supporting agriculturally related Indigenous engagement activities and strategies, including stakeholder consultation, program and strategy development and implementation.
  • Leading and supporting relevant forums, dialogue and communication structures as a means to identify current and emerging issues and find opportunities for collaboration and issue resolution. 
  • Supporting members with their Indigenous engagement activities as well as other intersecting policy areas such as Native Title, Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Cultural Water Carbon and all elements of Natural Capital.
  • Facilitating two-way dialogues with its members about issues of significance with respect to Indigenous engagement, including relevant legislative, advocacy efforts, media and community developments.