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Embedding FPIC in the Future Made in Australia Act

As the Australian Government prepares to introduce its Future Made in Australia Act, the First Nations Clean Energy Network is urging Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to ensure the legislation includes and empowers First Nations peoples.

The First Nations Clean Energy Network has welcomed the government’s plans for the ambitious new act.

However, co-chairs Karrina Nolan and Chris Croker caution that the legislation must not “be at the expense of, nor take for granted, First Nations consent”.

The Network has pointed to precedents set by landmark clean energy legislation in the United States and Canada, which have recognised the crucial role of Indigenous communities in the clean energy transition.

The Network argues that Australia’s own energy transformation and manufacturing renaissance under the Future Made in Australia Act will require genuine partnership with First Nations peoples.

“We want to see economic and policy systems that include and embed First Nations culture, rights and interests, and priorities,” Karrina and Chris said in a statement.

“We don’t want to see a repeat of the mistakes of the past.”

The advocates are calling for the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to be “embedded in the Future Made in Australia Act”.

They note that where First Nations communities have been engaged as genuine partners on major projects, the results have been faster development, better value for investors, and decreased risk.

The Network has submitted recommendations to the government on ways to incentivise First Nations outcomes in the new legislation, such as through provisions for First Nations ownership, jobs, and business opportunities, as well as protections for cultural heritage and the environment.

With many First Nations communities on the frontlines of climate change, the Network argues this is a critical opportunity to recognise the mutual benefits of embedding First Nations interests in the government’s vision for Australia’s economic and energy future.

“Incentivising First Nations outcomes must be at the centre of the Future Made in Australia Act,” say Karrina and Chris.


This article was first published by EcoGeneration


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