A NEW Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MG Corporation and Yeeda Pastoral Company has been welcomed by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
The MoU will see parcels of native title lands in the East Kimberley transitioned to cattle and irrigated fodder production which is expected to boost the northern cattle industry while driving jobs and economic development for Aboriginal people.
It comes as the State government steps up work with Aboriginal landholders in the north to explore alternative pastoral business models that will create job opportunities for Aboriginal people, and support expanded cattle production in the region.
Last year, the State government provided $500,000 to MG Corporation to support its path to financial sustainability with a focus on driving creative agricultural expansion opportunities.
Ms MacTiernan said the signing of the MoU was "fantastic news" considering the Miriuwung and Gajerrong (MG) people have an abundance of land and "Jack Burton's deep understanding of pastoralism in the north, through Yeeda Beef, will connect MG to local and international export markets and will drive the best outcome for Aboriginal people on the ground".
She said MG Corporation, under the leadership of Lawford Benning, understood they needed capability partners to commercialise their assets.
The State government's intensive support for MG Corporation over the past two years has focused on stimulating agricultural expansion and generating local jobs.
The MG people hold native title to large areas in the north of the East Kimberley region from Lake Argyle north around Kununurra to the Ord River Nature Reserve and the State border.
MG Corporation was established in 2006 to represent the interests of MG native title holders and to receive and manage the benefits transferred under the Ord Final Agreement (OFA) to MG people.
The OFA provides a broad package of measures to create a platform for future partnerships between MG people, the State government, industry and developers, for the benefit of the MG community and the wider East Kimberley region.
As one of the leading indigenous organisations in the East Kimberley, MG Corporation said it was committed to building a strong economic and social base for MG people beyond the life of the OFA by pursuing an inclusive economic development agenda, while protecting and enhancing MG culture and heritage.
Mr Burton was unavailable for comment due to mustering being underway however the Burton's have been focussed on building their business since the late 1990s and as they expanded operations more jobs have been created and opportunities developed for the local communities.
Yeeda has a beef cattle herd of approximately 80,000 head located in the Kimberley region, which is expected to be added upon under the MoU.
The company runs livestock at Yeeda, Kilto and Mt Jowlaenga stations in the West Kimberley along with Springvale Aggregation (including Texas, Mabel Downs, and Alice Downs stations) in the East Kimberley region and Spring Park farming property near Geraldton.
It also operates the Kimberley Meat Company processing plant and the Australian Rangeland Meat retail shop at Broome, Bungle Bungle Caravan Park at Mabel Downs station, and Willare Bridge Roadhouse at Yeeda station, West Kimberley.