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CSIRO Talks Mining With Remote Communities

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by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Sep 02, 2009
CSIRO and the National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS) have joined forces to launch a communication program aimed at Australia's remote communities. "We want communities to be better equipped to understand how current and possible future exploration and mining technologies may or may not affect the land," CSIRO's Minerals Down Under Flagship Director Dr Peter Lilly said.

"We hope that this will help during bilateral negotiations about land use. Once the first set of interviews with CSIRO scientists has been disseminated through the NIRS network and web site, we will look for feedback from listeners to see what additional information they would like us to provide."

CSIRO identified the NIRS as an effective way to reach remote communities through about 160 Indigenous radio stations throughout Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

The NIRS Manager and News Director Matthew Leonard said the radio service is delighted to be involved with CSIRO in this project.

"The mining and resource industry is an important source of income and employment for many Indigenous communities," Mr Leonard said.

"Mining also has a significant impact on country, and keeping communities aware of issues such as the role of feasibility studies, remote mining technologies and water usage fits perfectly with our charter as an Indigenous media organisation.

"With the largest satellite footprint in the country and an accessible website, we're optimistic that the interviews will be heard by a wide audience across the country.

"We've worked hard with the scientists at CSIRO to ensure that the information we are providing is lively, accessible and relevant to the lives of Indigenous people - and everyone else too."

The long-term plan is for this one-way dialogue to be turned into a two-way conversation as community members respond to the interviews with questions and requests for more information through their local and NIRS blogs.

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