Spinifex Processing Facility – Dugalunji Camp, Camooweal
This project involved Bennett + Bennett assisting the Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation (DAC) with gaining approval for a new spinifex processing pilot facility to be located within the existing Dugalunji Camp at Camooweal, North-western Queensland.
Dugalunji Camp, of which DAC is the Landlord, is the operational and spiritual heart of the Myuma Group of companies comprising Myuma P/L, Rainbow Gateway P/L and Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation. The corporate vision, from which all of the Myuma Group programs are founded and operate, is to sustain Aboriginal communities through the development of Aboriginal enterprises that provide employment and training opportunities. Currently, infrastructure and operations at Dugalunji Camp deliver residential Prevocational Training Programs offered to Indigenous people from remote and regional Queensland and Northern Territory; Myuma’s civil contracting, workshop and traffic control company offering a broad range of civil construction products and services and Dugalunji’s land and cultural heritage management programs including enterprises in agronomy and native title interests.
The development involved a spinifex processing pilot facility, and is the result of research carried out by DAC and the University of Queensland regarding the commercial applications of Triodia Pungens – a North-western Queensland spinifex species, and its applicability to the plastic and rubber industries. The application comprised the next phase of the research, to establish a pilot facility in the form of a small spinifex processing facility. The facility comprises a ‘Spinshed’ to be located within the existing Dugalunji Camp facility. Spinifex will be sustainably collected from a wider ‘Collection Area’ located within the Indjalandji-Dhidhanu People’s traditional lands, being the Traditional Owners of the Camooweal region.
Preparation of the application included consideration of the Biodiscovery Act 2004 in regard to the collection area, as well as the Nature Conservation Act (Qld) 1992. The application required a thorough understanding of the spinifex extraction process, current lease agreements, and State Government interests. The application required extensive negotiations with a range of State Government entities as well as Mount Isa City Council, particularly due to the unique nature of the proposed use. It also required coordination of public notification in a remote location.
The proposal will allow Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation to continue its current operations as well as also allow for the expansion of its core operations into the innovative new venture of spinifex research and commercialisation.
The proposed development was supported by Mount Isa City Council and approved in a timely manner.
Client: Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation
Location: Barkley Highway, Camooweal
Image Source: Australia Government Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations