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The protocols

The protocols of involvement in the Native Title and Protected Areas Project, agreed to by all participating environment non-government organisations operating in Queensland, and in effect until the completion of the project, shall be:

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Project management and coordination

THAT the project submission as funded shall be the primary reference document for purposes of management and coordination, action planning, the organisation and operation of the project, and the accountability to participant groups and to Government.

THAT the project management committee, as the agent of participant groups shall:
~ Authorise an action plan and the use of funds,
~ Receive regular reports from and give direction to the project coordinator, and
~ Ensure accountability to and of participant groups.

THAT the project coordinator shall carry out action in accordance with the agreed action plan, shall report regularly to the project management committee, and shall provide such assistance, guidance, information and facilitation to participant groups, as reasonable, to achieve the goals and benefits of the project.

THAT the project coordinator shall develop, in consultation with the project management committee and participant groups, policy-documents, communiques and submissions to the Government and, in particular, Native Title Services.

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Policy development

THAT all of the participant groups shall work towards an agreed policy on native title and protected areas as a basis for providing State ENGO responses and submissions to the Government and, in particular, Native Title Services.

THAT all of the participant groups shall work towards a consensus on both the 'first principles' and the detail of the policy.

THAT the policy shall be based on the best available advice and knowledge, and shall be tailored to the particular circumstances operating in Queensland with respect to native title and protected areas.

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Cooperation and dialogue

THAT all of the participant groups commit to working cooperatively and through dialogue within and between all of the participant groups

THAT the principles of cooperation include:
~ Participation in the project is at all times voluntary,
~ Democratic decision-making, in an appropriate form
~ Mutual concern and respect for the community of interests comprising the various groups
~ Sharing information, knowledge, expert advice and existing policy amongst all participant groups.
~ Communication of issues, concerns, views and policy and political differences directly within the processes of the project

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THAT all discussions, on behalf of participant groups, between the coordinator and, or, the management committee and the Government and, in particular, Native Title Services, be conducted on an in-confidence basis.

THAT the native title and protected areas policy discussions internal to each participant group remain confidential except where a group makes its own announcements or authorises the coordinator and, or, the management committee to make such announcements.

THAT a range of shared information material, printed and Web-based, be developed and distributed by participant groups to:
~ Educate and inform the group's members and communities of interest,
~ To promote the project as a cooperative process, and
~ To clarify an agenda which all participant groups are working on.

THAT where, in the usual course of ENGO business, public issues arise requiring a response or comment is sought by journalists which is directly or indirectly related to the native title and protected areas policy debate then participant groups will:
~ Make clear that they are speaking for their own group and not on behalf of State ENGOs, variously described as 'environmentalists', 'greenies' or 'conservationists' etc.,
~ State, as appropriate, that their views are being discussed within the context of the Native Title and Protected Areas Project,
~ Refrain from arguing publicly against other participant groups or making statements that would be contrary to these protocols or the achievement of the project goals,
~ Inform the project coordinator that they have made or are about to make public comments relevant to the Native Title and Protected Areas Project, and
~ Provide the journalist ororganiser of any forum, with the contact details of the project coordinator for supplementary comment and information.

THAT the project coordinator be authorised to speak on all matters within the coordinator's project brief and be accountable to all participant groups for any public comments.

THAT the project coordinator be the public spokesperson on behalf of participant groups collectively in relation to the Government’s review covering native title and protected areas.

THAT the project coordinator develops a communication strategy with the project committee and delegates of participant groups as the review progresses.

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Political management and negotiations

THAT participant groups recognise the value of building agreement, across a range of ENGOs, to effective advocacy for environment and biodiversity protection and conservation and will work towards effective environmental advocacy.

THAT at all times the participant groups will act lawfully and, as ethical 'corporate citizens', will act respectfully towards rights holders and other stakeholders.

THAT participant groups will work with the Provisional Position, as submitted to Native Title Services on August 6th 1999, as the starting point for internal and external discussion and negotiation.

THAT formal processes for negotiation between ENGOs and the Government and Indigenous Representatives be developed and implemented involving the project coordinator, the management committee and representatives of all participant groups, as appropriate.

THAT participant groups will maintain an independent political stand point in relation to the Government and QIWG (Queensland Indigenous Working Group).

THAT participant groups acknowledge the "Building Reconciliation" protocol between the Government and QIWG as an instrument governing the review of native title and protected areas.

THAT participant groups acknowledge the right of indigenous people to elect and determine their own representatives and that in the review of native title and protected areas QIWG is the principal representative body.

THAT the participant groups seek a cooperative relationship with QIWG involving information sharing, dialogue and negotiation.

THAT discussion and cooperation between individual participant groups and QIWG constituent groups, such as Native Title Representative Bodies, Traditional Owner groups and ATSIC councils based on existing or developing relationships, are not precluded by this protocol.

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Participation and representation

THAT each participant group will decide an appropriate internal process so long as policy commitments can be given and formal negotiations can be conducted.

THAT the delegates of all participant groups must be able to undertake negotiations over policy and make commitments on behalf of the participant group

THAT each participant group will delegate one person to be a contact between the project coordinator and each participant group.

THAT each participant group will delegate one person to be a representative of the group in formal discussions and negotiations, as appropriate.

THAT each participant group is responsible for managing its own interests within the project and ensuring it gets the support and communications it requires from the project.

THAT the aggregate membership base of each participant group, whether individuals, groups or both, shall be identified for the purposes confirming democratic support or objection to project outcomes. This information shall be kept confidential at all times.

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Resolutions and joint submissions

THAT a forum, whether face-to-face, or by phone-link-up, or by flying minute (whether electronic or hard-copy), involving all mandated delegates of participant groups shall be the basis for passing resolutions and endorsing any submissions on behalf of participant groups.

THAT procedures and ground rules for facilitating consensus amongst participant groups shall be agreed and employed at all times.

THAT where divisions persist and time constraints prevent further negotiation matters for resolution shall be put and decided by a vote.

THAT any resolutions passed shall record whether it was carried by consensus or by a particular majority.

THAT for the purpose of defining majorities any resolution so passed shall identify the number and name of groups voting for and against, as well as the number of constituent members thereby represented.

THAT submissions shall accurately reflect agreements, divisions and the positions of each participant group.

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Native title and protected areas project
E-mail: The project coordinator
Mail: QCC, PO Box 12046,
George Street Post Shop, Brisbane, 4003
Ph: 07 3221 0188 Fax: 07 3229 7992