Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Northern Territory: Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion manouvres on behalf of mining companies

handsoffNothing for Aborigines in Scullion’s manoeuvreALISON ANDERSON THE AUSTRALIAN AUGUST 20, 2014 
  THERE is a lack of mystery about the machinations of Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion in his drive to devolve power to smaller local land councils and Aboriginal corporations. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, he pretends to be one of us, out to provide power to the people. But he is not one of us — he is out for blood, the blood of the Northern and Central land councils. In reality, his proposed power shift will benefit only the minister, the Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory and their friends in mining, gas and agriculture.

By removing powers from the statutory authorities of the land councils, Scullion will undermine the collective authority of traditional owners over huge tracts of land. This collective ownership is the Aboriginal way; Tjukurrpa defines our relationships with the land. These relationships will be diminished by the government attitude of divide and conquer.

Perhaps it is an easy sales pitch to the mainstream world, to claim that we, remote Aboriginal people, are holding ourselves back. Or to claim that there will be no progress unless we are split into smaller, more containable, groups. Why? Because smaller numbers are easier to buy off? Because the lack of an independent Environment Protection Authority or an independent Development Consent Authority in the Territory means that this is the prime time to rape and pillage the land, before anyone looks too closely?

For Aboriginal people, the value of our land is deeper than a simple market value. It is a lasting legacy for our families. That does not mean that no development is warranted, but it needs to be on our terms. The land has to last us forever, not just for a brief boom-and-bust cycle that mostly benefits people from elsewhere.

Disassembling the collective authority over our land will not drive development. ……..

If the white knights want to ride in from distant lands and heroically try to save us from ourselves, why don’t they start by offering our children access to a real education? Nothing more, nothing less. The chance for our children to compete with any other children across Australia. Without this step in remote communities, no other development will be sustainable or meaningful.

After years of skimming commonwealth funds earmarked to ameliorate Aboriginal disadvantage, the source is finally drying up. The Territory government is close to the precipice of economic stagnation. Now the government must try to leverage Aboriginal lands in a squalid bid to attract corporate money to the Territory. It is a strategy doomed to failure.

Uninspiring catchphrases such as “Creating Parity” and “Developing the North” cannot become a reality without the participation of Aboriginal people. The economic wealth of the Territory depends on Aboriginal participation, including that of Aboriginal lands. That responsibility is not one that we will give up lightly under pressure from the commonwealth, the Territory or vested interests.

The governments of the day have made their motivations clear. They fear the collective power of Aboriginal people. They fear the power of the very statutory authorities that they created. But they do not speak with us and they definitely do not speak for us. We will have the last word.

Alison Anderson is the member for Namatjira in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/nothing-for-aborigines-in-scullions-manoeuvres/story-e6frg6zo-1227029853648

August 20, 2014 Posted by | Northern Territory, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s Pine Gap now an intrinsic part of USA’s drone killing system (and a terrorism target, too)

Map-Aust-Target1Pine Gap communications facility’s operations ‘ethically unacceptable’, Professor Des Ball says, ABC News By Dylan Wench 12 Aug 14  A senior strategic analyst has called for the Federal Government to rethink the Pine Gap communications facility, saying some of its work now is “ethically unacceptable”.Australian National University Professor Des Ball previously supported the joint Australia-US communications facility near Alice Springs, but changes to its role since the Al Qaeda attacks in 2001 have changed his mind.

“I’ve reached the point now where I can no longer stand up and provide the verbal, conceptual justification for the facility that I was able to do in the past,” he said.

Pine Gap is the jewel in the crown of Australia-US intelligence sharing, detecting nuclear weapons and intercepting communications around the globe. But for the past decade it has also been involved in the US drone program, which has killed thousands of militants and some civilians in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq.

“We’re now locked into this global network where intelligence and operations have become essentially fused,” Professor Ball told 7.30. “And Pine Gap is a key node in that network – that war machine, if you want to use that term – which is doing things which are very, very difficult I think, as an Australian, to justify.”…….

“We’ve already entered into a new phase of warfare where intelligence and unmanned vehicles of various sorts, under the water, killer satellites in space, are being fed from intelligence sources like Pine Gap – still one of the two biggest stations of this sort in the world – and we’re thoroughly embedded into it,” Professor Ball said……….

…..what is causing Professor Ball concern. “The drone program puts some of these dilemmas on a plate in front of you,” he said. “You have to start confronting this conflation of intelligence and operations, which has been an ongoing process now for some time.

“But the drones bring it right out in front, including on your television sets, and including the fact that I don’t know either how many terrorists have been killed by drones.

“But I would not be surprised if the total number of children exceeds the total number of terrorists. I don’t know.”

And he fears support of lethal US operations is becoming a steadily increasing part of what Pine Gap does.

“Aspects of what is collected there, the general surveillance function expanding, and the now increasing military operational uses, if they were really to change the balance around so that Pine Gap basically became a war fighting machine rather than an intelligence collector, then I think we all have to have second thoughts.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-13/pine-gap-us-drone-program-ethically-unacceptable-analyst/5669336

August 14, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Northern Territory, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Victoria Daly Regional Council, (Northern Territory) backs down from radioactive waste plan

wastesTop End council denies radio-active dump plans ABC News  ABC Rural  By Carmen Brown  8 Aug 14 The Victoria Daly Regional Council is backing away from reports it is planning to build a dump capable of storing radio-active material in the Top End.

A council employee revealed plans to build a 100 hectare waste facility near Timber Creek, which would be used to store municipal waste and ‘listed’ items including farm chemicals, acids and low-level radio-active medical waste.

However, Victoria Daly Regional Council Mayor, Steven Hennesey, denies the claims and says the site will only be used for household rubbish and asbestos.

“It is not, under any circumstances, going to deal with radio-active waste, and it is not going to be a toxic dump,” he said……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-06/top-end-council-denies-radio-active-dump-claims/5651756

August 8, 2014 Posted by | Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) reports a loss – AGAIN!

graph-downwardERA posts $127m loss in tough conditions, Trading Room,  PERTH, July 31 AAP  Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has reported a first half net loss as the uranium price hovers around nine year lows amid weak demand.
The uranium miner reported a $127 million loss in the six months to June 30 after posting a $53.5 million loss a year earlier.

The company did not produce any uranium oxide during the period…………..ERA said in the short term, the uranium oxide market remained challenging for producers.

“All Japanese reactors remain offline three years after the Fukushima accident and the market continues to be oversupplied,” the company said in its half year results.

“The spot price for uranium oxide has now fallen below $US30 per pound, the lowest level since 2005.”
ERA only restarted the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory last month after a toxic leak forced it to close in December.

The company said production in the first half was adversely impacted by the suspension of processing operations…….ERA is no longer mining new ore at its open pit and is exploring underground to see whether there is enough uranium to justify a new mine at the site, which is surrounded by the Kakadu National Park……..ERA shares fell 0.5 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $1.34 on Thursday. http://www.tradingroom.com.au/apps/view_breaking_news_article.ac?page=/data/news_research/published/2014/7/212/catf_140731_165300_4700.html

August 1, 2014 Posted by | business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Despite Tony Abbott, Solar Power is shining in Alice Springs

Red Centre keeps shining as solar technology hub http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-22/alice-springs-solar-hub-technology/5613534  ABC Rural  By Lauren Fitzgerald Central Australia is continuing to attract international investment from the solar industry, despite the Alice Solar City initiative wrapping up more than a year ago. In its five-year history, the program helped hundreds of homes and businesses install solar panels and solar hot water systems.

The general manager of the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT), Lyndon Frearson, says Alice Springs now also has a reputation as a hub for developing technology.

solar-stATION-aLICE-sPRINGS

He says companies from China, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland and America are all installing different solar PV modules at the CAT site. “The range of their investment varies depending on the size of the facility that they want to put in,” he said.

“Some of them are putting in little five-kilowatt systems as a test site, where they might be putting a number of small test sites around the world, through to a Swiss-based company which only has three R & D [research and development] facilities in the world, and they chose to build one of them here.

“And certainly those investments are in the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Mr Frearson says local businesses like the Alice Springs Airport are also demonstrating an ongoing commitment to solar. “They received a subsidy to do their original project, but they’ve just [installed] 320 kilowatts off their own bat, completely their own investment. “And that’s both a maturing of the economics, that the solar panels are cheaper and the energy prices have changed.

“But it also shows a degree of confidence that they as an organisation and their board have in the technology to better run their business. “And there are a number of examples within Alice and broader afield throughout central Australia where different entities are making those decisions.

“So I think the legacy of Alice Solar City in central Australia is strong. “Certainly it’s something we see people talking about with pride, and we still see people outside of Alice focus very heavily on and see Alice Springs as a leader in this space.”

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Northern Territory, solar | Leave a comment

Doubts on whether ERA’s Ranger 3 uranium mine can go ahead

Technical hitches bedevil ERA’s Ranger mine by: Matt Chambers The Australian July 12, 2014  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/technical-hitches-bedevil-eras-ranger-mine/story-e6frg9df-1226986174550   URANIUM producer Energy Resources of Australia could face more problems at its Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu National Park, flagging potential higher costs that Credit Suisse says could stop a planned underground ­expansion.

Ranger-3

The Darwin-based Rio Tinto subsidiary said its Ranger 3 Deeps exploration decline project was experiencing tougher than expected geotechnical conditions. “Some geotechnical conditions have been encountered that are less favourable than assumed,” ERA said in its June quarter report, released on Thursday.

“These findings are being factored in to the mine design and the pre-feasibility study.”

While the market was little moved by the report on Thursday, Credit Suisse analyst Matthew Hope saw red flags.“We believe the results of the Deeps resource drilling are poor,” Mr Hope said yesterday in a note to clients.“The rock is probably heavily fractured, so extensive rock bolting and meshing will likely be required to prevent the access drives from collapsing,” Mr Hope said.

Credit Suisse downgraded its rating on ERA from outperform to underperform, and cut its target price by two-thirds from $1.50 to just 50c.

Mr Hope said value in ERA was almost entirely based on whether Ranger 3 Deeps would be mined. “If ERA announces at the end of this year that Ranger Deeps is not viable, then the share price should collapse to very low levels, with only option value remaining,” he said.

“Ranger Deeps either adds value or there is close to none, and risks are increasing towards the latter.”Ranger shares slipped 0.5c to $1.16 yesterday, giving the company a market value of $600m.

July 12, 2014 Posted by | business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Northern Land Council in 2005 asked Australian government to change law. to faciliiate nuclear dump on Aboriginal land

NT News, 20 June 14 The NLC’s decision to pull out of a Federal Court case, which was arguing the NLC had acted deceptively and had consulted the wrong traditional owners, means the site on Muckaty will no longer be used for a radioactive waste dump. The NT News welcomes this decision, which has also seen the Commonwealth agree to settle the case and abandon Muckaty.

While understanding the nation needs to store radioactive waste, we do not believe the fact we do not have full statehood should see the Territory forced to take a dump on any form of land, Aboriginal or otherwise.

The site should be chosen based on the best scientific advice, not because money is waved in the faces of impoverished Aboriginal people. If the proper scientific advice is that the dump should be located on land within the Territory, we will look closely at the proposal when the exclamation-time comes.

The NLC is, however, hardly above criticism in this saga. It asked the Commonwealth to change the law in 2005, so traditional owners could nominate their land.

It says it used the right anthropology and located the right people, but we will never know: they pulled out of the case before their lawyers were subject to cross-examination in the Federal Court.

They wasted an untold amount of money arguing for the dump, causing a lot of anguish for people in Tennant Creek and nearby Elliott, and a lot of confusion in Darwin and Alice Springs.

We are prepared to take Mr Morrison at his word that the reason the NLC agreed to settle the case was because he did not enjoy seeing such deep fractures among the traditional owners…….” http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/opinion/good-first-step-by-council-boss-over-muckaty/story-fnk0b216-1226961682192

June 21, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

What will happen next, about Australia’s obligation to take back its high level nuclear waste?

Lucas-wastesAustralia’s first nuclear waste dump in limbo after Muckaty Station ruled out news.com.au 21 June 14, paul.toohey@news.com.au“……..In 2012, Labor introduced changes to the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act. It broke its promise by continuing to allow Aboriginal groups to nominate land (therefore validating Muckaty) but included another significant clause.

It said if a nomination on Aboriginal land should fail, any private landholder, anywhere in Australia, could nominate their land for the waste dump, as long as vaguely specified community consultations were made.

What is likely now to happen is that some small struggling outback town — preferably one in a geologically suitable arid zone — is likely to get together and go for some of that $12m, or whatever amount the Commonwealth is prepared to offer.

The Beyond Nuclear Initiative will then likely relocate and begin another campaign. And the reality is that it will be able to raise much more substantial popular opposition than it did with remote Muckaty, which was pretty much out of sight and mind…….

Behind the scenes, Muckaty has been deeply divisive. As traditional owners fought each other, it became clear that few had real traditional knowledge of land they rarely, if at all, visited.

And some in the NLC, the organisation that is supposed to represent the interests of traditional owners, wondered why they were involved in a dump nomination at all…….

The case got going in Melbourne several weeks ago and then moved to Tennant Creek where, last Saturday, there was explosive evidence that went widely unreported…….

The Ngapa clan can now nominate another site on the northern part of Muckaty for a dump, and the Commonwealth has given them three months to do so. But the same disputes about who owns that site would almost certainly curse that nomination, as it would any other nomination of Aboriginal land in the Territory……

The government is prepared to store the repatriated fuel rods at Lucas Heights near Sydney in the short term, but this case has only stalled, not ended, the search for a site. http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/australias-first-nuclear-waste-dump-in-limbo-after-muckaty-station-ruled-out/story-fn5fsgyc-1226961714663

June 21, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

Muckaty still at risk of getting radioactive trash dump

wastesMuckaty could still house nuclear dump, 9 News 20 June 14 Opponents of a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory have won the battle, but perhaps not the war. The Northern Land Council has three months to nominate another site for Australia’s nuclear waste storage facility after abandoning the Muckaty site, following a seven-year battle with Aboriginal traditional owner groups who launched a Federal Court challenge against the NLC for what they said was inadequate consultation and a failure to obtain informed consent from all traditional owners.

The NLC settled with opponents of the dump midway through a trial that had travelled from Melbourne to Tennant Creek and Muckaty, and was due in Darwin next week. “The NLC have walked away without being held truly accountable,” said Gerry McCarthy, local member for the Barkly tablelands, of which Muckaty is a part.

He now hopes for a scientific approach to locating the dump, which previous reports said would suit conditions in the northwestern corner of South Australia.

“Science will prove this facility needs to go to the driest part of this continent, (with) a water table very deep and preferably contaminated by salt, and also an area of minimal infrastructure that provides access to what will be low to intermediate-level waste coming home from France shortly,” he said.

Australian Conservation Foundation spokesman Dave Sweeney told AAP that for 20 years, successive governments had tried to find a “remote and vulnerable community and a remote place to dump Australian waste”. He said the federal government needed “an open, inclusive, evidence-based assessment of the range of radioactive waste management options available” for responsible and effective long-term storage.

Clan members think the NLC capitulation is not the end of the matter, with Marlene Bennett saying they were “still feeling slightly apprehensive”…….. Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion told ABC he hoped for another nomination of a northern site at Muckaty, not susceptible to the conflicts of the first.

Mr McCarthy said the NT couldn’t refuse the dump, which “should never be forced on a community due to constitutional exploitation”.Spent nuclear fuel rods are due to be returned to Australia from France by mid-2015, and traditional owners are ready to continue their fight if Muckaty is circled again.  http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2014/06/19/10/05/land-council-abandons-muckaty-dump-push#g3vDwhQZgipFw5Th.99

 

June 21, 2014 Posted by | Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

A new battle could be coming, to save Aboriginal land from radioactive trash dumping

handsoffMuckaty battle won, but war far from over  Crikey Paddy Gibson  Friday, 20 June 2014  After much wrangling, yesterday the federal government agreed not to continue with its original plans for a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station, a win for the local Aboriginal community. But another fight could be coming.

The Northern Land Council and federal government yesterday announced their … (registered readers only)http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/06/20/muckaty-battle-won-but-war-far-from-over/?wpmp_switcher=mobile

June 21, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Ray Aylett, Muckaty cattle station manager supports nuclear waste siting there

MuckatyMuckaty manager will support second nuclear waste nomination ABC News 20 June 14 The manager of Muckaty cattle station says he doesn’t care where a nuclear waste facility is put on the property, because it will mean more infrastructure.  The Northern Land Council (NLC) has withdrawn its original nomination of a small section of Muckaty Station, 600 kilometres north of Alice Springs, as the site for Australia’s first nuclear waste dump.

But the NLC has not ruled out the possibility of making a second nomination on behalf of Traditional Owners from the Muckaty Aboriginal Land Trust.

The Federal Minister for Industry, Ian McFarlane, has given the NLC three months to come up with a second nomination, and says it could possibly be an area on Muckaty known as the ‘Northern Site’.

The station manager of Muckaty, Ray Aylett, says while it’s not up to him, he would support a second nomination……Ray Aylett is currently in a dispute with the Northern Land Council about his licence on the property, saying he was given an eviction notice to be out by this month.

A tender for a grazing licence on the property was advertised late last year, but Mr Aylett says he doesn’t know where the process is up to.

The NLC is yet to respond to ABC Rural’s request for clarification on the status of the property’s lease. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-20/muckaty-nomination-support/5537722

June 21, 2014 Posted by | Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

Muckaty nuclear waste dump plan has been scrapped!

Natalie Wasley, Beyond Nuclear Initiative, 19 June 14 Some fantastic news today- the Commonwealth Government has committed not to pursue plans for a national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, 120km north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory!

Lawyers from Maurice Blackburn Social Justice Practice have just announced the exciting development in Melbourne and a delegation of Muckaty Traditional Owners travelled to Alice Springs for a press conference that has just concluded.

The announcement comes mid-way through the Federal Court trial examining the process under which the nomination of Muckaty was made by the Northern Land Council and accepted by the Commonwealth Government in 2007.

Two weeks of the trial were completed with hearings in Melbourne, Tennant Creek and on country at Muckaty outstation. The Northern Land Council and Commonwealth Government have agreed to settle with the Applicants by committing not to act on the proposal or nomination, so the hearings scheduled for Darwin (June 23-July 4) have been cancelled.

A blog of the court proceedings is online at www.beyondnuclearinitiative.com/blog and photos posted atwww.beyondnuclearinitiative.com/photos

muckaty nuclear waste court case

This campaign has followed the successful campaign by the Kupi Piti Kungka Tjuta to stop a nuclear dump in SA and been built from the ground up in Tennant Creek with help from supporters across the NT. Over the last 7 years, the community has marched in Tennant Creek every year, hosted trade union delegations, written songs and poems, made films and toured photo exhibitions. People have travelled tirelessly around the country to build awareness and support, having conversations over cups of tea in regional areas and walking the corridors of Canberra Parliament House to lobby Ministers.

The community used the May 25 rally and media attention on the federal court proceedings to reiterate they would continue campaigning until the dump was stopped- including blocking the road if needed.

So the deadly news is now public – please tell everyone that together we dumped the Muckaty plan! Traditional Owners and the broader community in Tennant Creek are very excited and relieved and looking forward to a big celebration in the coming few weeks.

We will then set about collating photos, footage and other materials from the campaign, so stay tuned for the call out to copy and/or send these to the Arid Lands Environment Centre for archiving.

There is a lot more to say but we are still all a bit shocked and processing the news so will send more updates and reflections in the coming week.

Media release from today is attached.

I was asked to finish this note with a huge thanks to everyone who has been part of this campaign and supported the Muckaty mob to be heard- every action, letter, conversation, trip to Tennant, fundraising gig and movie night has helped bring about this victory!!

Muckaty will be nuclear free!

 

June 19, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

The finish for the plan to dump nuclear waste at Muckaty

muckaty nuclear waste court caseMuckaty nuclear dump scrapped  Land council abandons Muckaty dump push SMH,  June 19, 2014 Neda Vanovac”…… the Northern Land Council has decided to abandon its push to locate a national nuclear waste dump on Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory. The NLC announced on Thursday that it had settled with opponents of the dump and that Federal Court proceedings would be dismissed. Settlement talks had been going on since the trial began earlier this month, NLC CEO Joe Morrison said.

Last week, the court travelled from Melbourne to Tennant Creek to take evidence from a number of Aboriginal clans from the Muckaty Land Trust, located 120km north of the town, who said their wishes were overruled by a fifth clan and the NLC, who worked together to nominate the site.

The groups have been battling one another for seven years since Muckaty was formally nominated in 2007……..

Whether a dump would be located on Aboriginal land is up to the Commonwealth and traditional owners, Mr Morrison said…….The $12 million that had been on the table from the federal government as compensation for the community will not be paid, and a second site on Muckaty will not be put forward.

Both sides will pay their own legal costs.

Whether a dump would be located on Aboriginal land is up to the Commonwealth and traditional owners, Mr Morrison said.  The federal government has agreed to an NLC request the site no longer be considered, and it will hold discussions to find an alternative, Minister for Industry Ian MacFarlane said in a statement.

“If a suitable site is not identified through these discussions the government will commence a new tender process for nominations for another site.”

Lawyers for the traditional land owners at Muckaty Station said their clients were overjoyed with the outcome.

“Every step of the process was opposed by people on the ground, and that may be one reason why they’ve decided to no longer rely on litigation,” Maurice Blackburn lawyer Elizabeth O’Shea told reporters in Melbourne. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/muckaty-nuclear-dump-scrapped-20140619-3af4c.html

June 19, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Senator Nova Peris sticks up for the Aboriginal Land Rights Act

Peris,-NovaLand Rights Act not an impediment: Peris Herald Sun 17 June 14, NORTHERN Territory Senator Nova Peris has rejected claims the Aboriginal Land Rights Act is holding indigenous people back. THE NT Minister for Community Services Bess Price said at a development conference in Darwin on Monday the Act has locked Aboriginal land away……..

Senator Peris said there were a number of things preventing Aboriginal economic development, such as a lack of infrastructure. “For someone in Bess Price’s position, when she opens her mouth she does speak for Aboriginal people but what she’s saying is totally untrue,” she told ABC radio, but admitted the approvals process was too slow.

Under the Land Rights Act in the NT, landowners must negotiate with a land council for an Indigenous Land Use Agreement before they can sell or use their land for commercial purposes, and lending institutions prefer longer 99-year leases in order to guarantee funds for people to buy their own homes or launch businesses, which can only be approved by the federal minister.

But land councils do not always act in the interests of traditional owners, said Senator Nigel Scullion.

“Sometimes a land council has a particular agenda and can assist with economic development; other land councils have other agendas and perhaps might not be so helpful because they have some fundamental opposition to independence from particular groups,” he told ABC.

“There’s no doubt that the system needs some adjustment but I don’t agree with Bess that it’s in the actual Land Rights Act. I can’t see any circumstance that the (Act) can’t assist with; it’s supposed to be enabling legislation.”

Both the Northern Land Council and the Central Land Council have indicated that they don’t like 99-year township leases “and they’re actively working against the interests of traditional owners in some cases”, Senator Scullion said.

“It’s my task to make sure that land councils as commonwealth agencies dance to the beat of the traditional owners’ drum, that’s their role……..http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/land-rights-act-not-an-impediment-peris/story-fni0xqi4-1226957327562

June 18, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Northern Territory, politics | Leave a comment

AUDIO: latest report on the Muckaty nuclear waste dump court case

Hear-This-wayMuckaty Court Case heads to Darwin  http://caama.com.au/muckaty-court-case 17 June 14 Damian Williams  The federal court case on the planned Muckaty nuclear waste dump has now adjourned. Paddy Gibson for the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning is following the trial:

The court is now adjourned. The last sitting was on Saturday. The judge travelled again out to Muckaty.  Aboriginal people thanked the court judge for coming to Muckaty out-station coming to country to hear from the elders directly and other Aboriginal people who are opposing nuclear waste dumping on their land. The  case will now move to Darwin to take evidence from Northern Land Council

justiceCrucial day of evidence, we  heard from –  a very senior man,  Dick Foster known as reliable authority on who owns this land. NLC was relying on  this man, Dick Foster.   In their early nomination they actually used Mr Foster’s name.  Whereas Dick has been crystal clear since 2007 that the NLC is wrong  The NLC are relying on the wrong idea that a small piece of Muckaty belongs to just on e family group. Not alright for this family to sell one piece of the and  made it clear that this was wrong.  The anthropology used was not correct. They needed to slow the process down. NLC should have heard from all of the groups on how decisions would be made for that small piece of land. NLC forged ahead in 2007  far too quickly according to Mr Foster. Sold Muckaty out without the consent of Aboriginal owners.  Far too much pressure.

Needed to encourage proper discussion on how that should be done. Sold Muckaty out

His evidence crucial. Process was far too rushed.

He made it clear that there was a lot of pressure on senior people like himself.  with a number of government people on senior Aborigines,

That evidence was very significant. No one in this case is questioning the cultural knowledge of Mr Foster, though not  a traditional owner himself. No question that he is not an authentic witness on Aboriginal culture, and the land around Muckaty

handsoffThe NLC and government should back off now. They really should listen to these people. People have been saying – “You’ve got it wrong. You’re rushing us”

The other point about the evidence that came out on the country –  people have not been told the real story, right back to 2007.  Even the individuals who nominated the land were never told. had no idea of the true nature of what was planned. No one was ever told that there could be accidents.  Those sorts of question are in the legislation, but this was never explained to the people.  People were not told of possibility of drastic accident. People were never properly informed that they may lose their land forever.

The government  is trying to say that it’s only for 200 years.  But there are provisions sin the legislation, that the government could hold that land forever. Never explained to any traditional owners in the consultation process. That is clear from the evidence which has come out. They’re trying to say that this will be  at temporary facility.

Relying on faulty flawed anthropology. Enormous amount of pressure was put on the traditional owners. They were relying on faulty, flawed anthropology. Iy was rushed through inn order to do a deal. Rights systematically stripped away from the traditional owners.   Very strong case coming out now from the  people who are opposed to the nuclear waste dump.. Quite shocking to learn how the government and NLC have treated these people, through this process.

Evidence is now wound up in Tennant Creek and Muckaty

Next is a trip to Darwin.  The focus now will be on the NLC and the Commonwealth. They will be subject to the same cross examination that the Aboriginal people had to go through.

The Aboriginal people are happy and proud with what they have achieved.  They have been so strong, so articulate.-  that they have stood up to these non indigenous very highly paid, highly educated barristers for the Land Council and government attacking them in the witness stand.  Some of the Aboriginal witnesses were cross examined for 3 hours – with lawyers for the government and NLC trying to trick them trap them  The truth has come out on how this nomination came about back in 2007.  Evidence is now wound up

We’ve had to go through 7 years of heartache, pain, stress sickness, and many people have died. A lot of people not alive now to give evidence on how they were treated. A very sad stressful thing that has happened to this community. In Darwin the pressure will be on the NLC and Government.

June 18, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

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