WA partnership brings Aboriginal heritage protection into 21st century

In an Australian first, mining, exploration, and renewables companies will soon have access to a full suite of cultural heritage protection services through a partnership struck between location intelligence company GeoMoby and cultural heritage management specialist Agreement Hub.

GeoMoby’s WA-designed technology solution digitises the mapping of sensitive areas and provides an app-based platform to protect them, an innovation that reduces risk and simplifies a process that currently relies heavily on human intervention.

Combined with Agreement Hub’s experience in cultural heritage and land access negotiations between industry and Traditional Owners, this partnership is the first of its kind in Australia to offer a complete cultural heritage protection solution.

GeoMoby founder Chris Baudia said the need for risk mitigation strategies was stronger since the State Government commenced implementation of cultural heritage law reform and associated regulations, breaches of which carry hefty penalties.

“We realised we could apply our wireless geolocation tech to help organisations adapt to new laws as well as preserve culturally significant sites,” Mr Baudia said.

“With relevant permissions, our technology enables locations of sensitive cultural areas to be uploaded and stored on a platform that can be accessed by those operating on country.

“Digitising this information allows the app to communicate location and movement data on and offline, optimising protection of cultural sites with little requirement for intervention.”

The partnership is in talks with miners Karora Resources and K+S Salt Australia to roll out the app on sites in Western Australia.

Agreement Hub Managing Director Kellie Swanson-Hill, who has negotiated more than 100 major project agreements across the country, said the partnership would help meet increased demand from companies looking to strengthen their ESG positions and move past outdated cultural heritage inventory techniques.

“It is business critical for CEOs and boards of companies operating on country to protect Aboriginal heritage and work with their most important stakeholders, the Traditional Owners,” she said.

“At the moment, it takes considerable human intervention to ensure identified sites are avoided during operations, but we now have a product that’s simple to use, cost-effective, and can be implemented within a few days.”

GeoMoby’s platform uses location services including GPS, fusion sensors, and long-lasting battery-powered beacons to geofence sites and triggers an alert if a user enters or comes within proximity of the site.

Receivers can be carried on-person, in vehicles, machinery, or equipment, with the app compatible with most modern devices including phones, tablets and smartwatches.

The technology allows those operating on-site to create or upload geofences on a map and then define different alerts and triggers while ensuring minimum drain on the device battery.

The information is then uploaded to a cloud-based platform with replay features and reporting capabilities for compliance purposes.

About GeoMoby
GeoMoby provides an all-in-one visibility platform allowing real-time monitoring of assets and people. GeoMoby’s goal is to change the way businesses make decisions and reach people, to help businesses control their data and their future.

About Agreement Hub
Agreement Hub specialises in cultural heritage management, ESG alignment, community engagement, and land access negotiations with Traditional Owners. Its team brings more than three decades of experience operating in WA, Northern Territory, Queensland, and Victoria.