An Australian indigenous leader and prominent businessman Mr Warren Mundine says Public-private partnerships on Guadalcanal’s oil palm industry is a testimony of how customary land can be used for economic development.
The visiting Australian Indigenous leader made this statement during his visit to the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil’s operations in East Guadalcanal last Friday.
As part of his tour of GPPOL, Mr Mundine met with landowners, communities and village oil palm growers who have chosen to open up their land for commercial activity.
He heard about the history of oil palm plantations on the Guadalcanal Plains and about the importance of developing a social licence to operate.
In a statement by the Australian High Commission office in Honiara, Mr Mundine says customary landowners will determine the future of the Solomon Islands economy.
He adds if there’s seriousness on economic development for Indigenous communities, both in Solomon Islands and in Australia, then we need to find a way to support commercial activities and ensure benefits are fairly distributed.
Meanwhile, the Chair of the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (AICC) and CEO of Nyungga Black Group, a company that assists traditional landowners to promote economic, environmental and cultural development in New South Wales.
Mr. Mundine says, the Commercial system don’t just emerge from nothing and suddenly become mature and self-sustaining.
He explains, as for any society that has gone through this kind of transition one needs to start small with the likes of self-employed tradesman or a sandwich shop.
Mr Mundine’s first visit to Solomon Islands concludes yesterday.