The nuclear war against Australia’s Aboriginal people, Ecologist Jim Green 14th July 2014 Dumping on South Australia “……….The failed attempt to establish a dump at Muckaty followed the failed attempt to establish a dump in South Australia. In 1998, the Howard government announced its intention to build a nuclear waste dump near Woomera in South Australia.
Leading the battle against the dump were the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, a council of senior Aboriginal women from northern SA. Many of the Kungkas personally suffered the impacts of the British nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga and Emu in the 1950s.
The proposed dump generated such controversy in SA that the federal government hired a public relations company. Correspondence between the company and the government was released under Freedom of Information laws.
In one exchange, a government official asked the PR company to remove sand-dunes from a photo to be used in a brochure. The explanation provided by the government official was that: “Dunes are a sensitive area with respect to Aboriginal Heritage”.
The sand-dunes were removed from the photo, only for the government official to ask if the horizon could be straightened up as well. ‘Terra nullius’!
In 2003, the federal government used the Lands Acquisition Act 1989 to seize land for the dump. Native Title rights and interests were extinguished with the stroke of a pen. This took place with no forewarning and no consultation with Aboriginal people.
Victory in the Federal Court
The Kungkas continued to implore the federal government to ‘get their ears out of their pockets’, and after six years the government did just that.
In the lead-up to the 2004 federal election – after a Federal Court ruling that the federal government had acted illegally in stripping Traditional Owners of their native title rights, and with the dump issue biting politically in SA – the Howard government decided to cut its losses and abandon the dump plan.
The Kungkas wrote in an open letter: “People said that you can’t win against the Government. Just a few women. We just kept talking and telling them to get their ears out of their pockets and listen. We never said we were going to give up. Government has big money to buy their way out but we never gave up.”
The Kungkas victory had broader ramifications – it was a set-back for everyone who likes the idea of stripping Aboriginal people of their land and their land rights, and it was a set-back for the nuclear power lobby.
Senator Nick Minchin, one of the Howard government ministers in charge of the failed attempt to impose a nuclear dump in SA, said in 2005:
“My experience with dealing with just low-level radioactive waste from our research reactor tells me it would be impossible to get any sort of consensus in this country around the management of the high-level waste a nuclear [power] reactor would produce.”
Minchin told a Liberal Party council meeting that “we must avoid being lumbered as the party that favours nuclear energy in this country” and that “we would be political mugs if we got sucked into this”…….. http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2476704/the_nuclear_war_against_australias_aboriginal_people.html
The nuclear war against Australia’s Aboriginal people, Ecologist Jim Green 14th July 2014 Australia’s nuclear industry has a shameful history of ‘radioactive racism’ that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes have been evident in recent debates over uranium mines and nuclear waste, but Aboriginal peoples are fighting back! The British government conducted 12 nuclear bomb tests in Australia in the 1950s, most of them at Maralinga in South Australia.
Permission was not sought from affected Aboriginal groups such as the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Tjarutja and Kokatha.
Thousands of people were adversely affected and the impact on Aboriginal people was particularly profound.
Many Aboriginal people suffered from radiological poisoning. There are tragic accounts of families sleeping in the bomb craters. So-called ‘Native Patrol Officers’ patrolled thousands of square kilometres to try to ensure that Aboriginal people were removed before nuclear tests took place – with little success.
‘Ignorance, incompetence and cynicism’
The 1985 Royal Commission found that regard for Aboriginal safety was characterised by“ignorance, incompetence and cynicism”. Many Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their homelands and taken to places such as the Yalata mission in South Australia, which was effectively a prison camp.
In the late-1990s, the Australian government carried out a clean-up of the Maralinga nuclear test site. It was done on the cheap and many tonnes of debris contaminated with kilograms of plutonium remain buried in shallow, unlined pits in totally unsuitable geology.
As nuclear engineer and whistleblower Alan Parkinson said of the ‘clean-up’ on ABC radio in August 2002: “What was done at Maralinga was a cheap and nasty solution that wouldn’t be adopted on white-fellas land.”
Barely a decade after the ‘clean-up’, a survey revealed that 19 of the 85 contaminated debris pits had been subject to erosion or subsidence. The half-life of plutonium-239 is 24,100 years.
Despite the residual contamination, the Australian government off-loaded responsibility for the land onto the Maralinga Tjarutja Traditional Owners.
The government portrayed this land transfer as an act of reconciliation, but the real agenda was spelt out in a 1996 government document which states that the ‘clean-up’ was “aimed at reducing Commonwealth liability arising from residual contamination.” ………..http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2476704/the_nuclear_war_against_australias_aboriginal_people.html
legal rights and protections are repeatedly stripped away whenever they get in the way of nuclear or mining interests. Thus the Olympic Dam mine is largely exempt from the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act. Sub-section 40(6) of the Commonwealth’s Aboriginal Land Rights Act exempts the Ranger uranium mine in the NT from the Act and thus removed the right of veto that Mirarr Traditional Owners would otherwise have enjoyed. NSW legislationexempts uranium mines from provisions of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act. Native Title rights were extinguished with the stroke of a pen to seize land for a radioactive waste dump in SA, and Aboriginal heritage laws and land rights were repeatedly overridden with the push to dump nuclear waste in the NT
The bipartisan nuclear war against Aboriginal people, Dr Jim Green, Online opinion 11 July 14 The nuclear industry has been responsible for some of the crudest racism in Australia’s history. This radioactive racism dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s and it has been evident in more recent debates over nuclear waste.
Since 2006 successive federal governments have been attempting to establish a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty, 110 kms north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. A toxic trade-off of basic services for a radioactive waste dump has been part of this story from the start. The nomination of the Muckaty site was made with the promise of $12 million compensation package comprising roads, houses and scholarships. Muckaty Traditional Owner Kylie Sambo objected to this radioactive ransom: “I think that is a very, very stupid idea for us to sell our land to get better education and scholarships. As an Australian we should be already entitled to that.”
While a small group of Traditional Owners supported the dump, a large majority were opposed and some initiated legal action in the Federal Court challenging the nomination of the Muckaty site by the federal government and the Northern Land Council (NLC). Continue reading
Lingiari’s legacy lost on the young AMOS AIKMAN THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 20, 2014
EVERY morning, the last of the Wave Hill Aboriginal stockmen gather at a place not far from where Gough Whitlam poured sand into Vincent Lingiari’s hands. Beside a dusty parking lot outside Kalkarindji store, where camp dogs and stray children eat breakfast, the old men watch passersby.The famous walk-off of Gurindji people from Wave Hill station in August 1966, protesting against poor pay and conditions, began the land rights movement that Whitlam’s gesture consummated.
Paddy Doolyak, one of the last surviving stockmen, said they walked off “for money, just for money”. Land rights came a “little bit later”.
From the time of the walk-off in 1966 until Whitlam’s historic land rights declaration in 1975, The Australian devoted prominent coverage to the Gurindji demands, commissioning a man who was central to the walk-off, the communist and novelist Frank Hardy, to write feature articles.
“The Gurindji people wanted to abandon contact with the white man and revert to their tribal ways,” Hardy wrote in one of those pieces.
He told of the day that the stockmen and their families, led by Lingiari, walked to Wattie Creek where they remained until their land rights victory so many years later…….
Indeed, they are those of virtually every indigenous group living in the remote bush. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/50th-birthday-news/lingiaris-legacy-lost-on-the-young/story-fnmx97ei-1226923245535#
Lest we forget, wars undeclared Canberra Times April 25, 2014 Although war was never declared, armed conflict between Australia’s indigenous people and Europeans was widespread. The consequences echo still. In an extract from his book Forgotten War, Henry Reynolds examines the evidence. Anyone acquainted with conditions on the Australian frontier knew that bloody work had been done. Writing in 1880 the pioneer ethnographers Lorimer Fison and Alfred Howitt declared:
”It may be stated broadly that the advance of settlement has, upon the frontier at least, been marked by a line of blood. The actual conflict of the two races has varied in intensity and in duration . . . But the tide of settlement has advanced along an ever-widening line, breaking the native tribes with its first waves and overwhelming their wrecks with its flood.”
We will never know how many Aborigines died directly or indirectly as a result of the conflict, how wide or how deep was the line of blood. Contemporaries often estimated the death rate in particular districts and a few observers attempted to calculate a more general figure. But then as now problems abound with making such estimations.
We are uncertain of the size of the indigenous population when settlement began. We have no idea how many people died in the smallpox epidemic that swept across south-eastern Australia in advance of settlement. We are unsure what the population was in particular regions when the tide of settlement arrived. We are even unsure of the number of indigenous people alive after localised conflict came to an end. There appears to have been no official estimate of those killed in conflict anywhere in Australia.
Even if a government had sought out such information the task would have been immensely difficult. Much of the killing happened on the edge of settlement in regions remote from the reach of authority. Because there was no official recognition of a state of war any killing was technically murder. Frontier communities were notorious for keeping secret their exploits in the war. Killing was referred to using a lexicon of known euphemisms. Punitive parties may often not have known how effective their attacks were, particularly when they operated in the dark or if they shot at groups some distance away. When the bodies of victims were encountered they were almost universally burnt to destroy the evidence. The long career of the Queensland Native Police was cloaked in official secrecy and most of the records were destroyed. If it is difficult to determine how many people died in direct conflict with the settlers. It is even harder to estimate how many more must have subsequently died of wounds or from the fierce rigours of prolonged and uneven warfare.
There was considerable interest in the question in the late 19th century but as the Aborigines themselves disappeared from the historiography of the first half of the 20th century, no one seems to have thought it an important matter for speculation. With the new interest in Aboriginal history that arose in the 1970s and 1980s attempts were made to assess how many people, both white and black, died in the frontier wars.
Historian and author Henry Reynolds: “Much of the killing happened on the edge of settlement in regions remote from the reach of authority. Because there was no official recognition of a state of war, any killing was technically murder.” Photo: Justin McManus
In my book The Other Side of the Frontier (1981), I argued that it was ”reasonable to suppose that at least 20,000 Aborigines were killed as a direct result of conflict with the settlers”…………
A compilation of regional studies does not allow us to assess the overall death rate in Australia’s frontier wars. But some things are clear. Aborigines were killed by settlers every year somewhere in Australia from 1788 to the early years of the 20th century, and died in disproportionate numbers. The research of the last decade has led most engaged scholars to conclude that the controversial 1981 estimate of 20,000 Aboriginal dead needs to be revised not downwards but steeply upwards to 30,000 and beyond, perhaps well beyond. And the dead do matter. They intimidate us. They force us to reassess many other aspects of Australian history. That is the least that can be done.
This is an edited extract from Forgotten War. It is published by NewSouth and won the 2014 Victorian Premier’s award for non-fiction. Henry Reynolds is a Tasmanian historian. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/lest-we-forget-wars-undeclared-20140424-376r3.html#ixzz2zvtw4pCi
Declassified documents from the National Archives of Australia, including the 1985 Cabinet minute about the SPNFZ Treaty, show clearly that Australia designed the treaty to protect US interests in the Pacific, including the deployment of nuclear-armed warships and the testing of nuclear missiles.
International legal experts, including Don Rothwell, professor of international law at the Australian National University, have raised concerns that uranium sales to India would breach Australia’s obligations under the treaty. Rothwell has prepared a legal opinion stating that the SPNFZ Treaty prohibits members from selling uranium to countries that do not accept full-scope nuclear safeguards under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
This is consistent with past Australian government policy.
Delaying The Nuclear-Free Zone In The Pacific http://concernedyapcitizens.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/pacific-islands-report-delaying-the-nuclear-free-zone-in-the-pacific/ By Nic Maclellan At the height of the nuclear arms race between the United States and Soviet Union, a treaty to create a South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, or SPNFZ, was opened for signature on Hiroshima Day, 6 August 1985, at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Rarotonga.
Twenty-eight years after it was signed on that day by Australia, New Zealand and island nations, the United States still hasn’t ratified its protocols, in spite of a request from president Barack Obama to the US Senate more than two years ago.
Next week, as Forum leaders gather in the Marshall Islands – site of sixty-seven US nuclear tests at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls – the US government will be eager to keep nuclear issues off the agenda, as it has been since the Treaty was first mooted. Declassified documents from the National Archives of Australia, and US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, highlight longstanding opposition in Canberra and Washington to a comprehensive nuclear-free zone that might hamper US nuclear deployments in the Pacific.
The Forum meeting, and the US Senate’s continued stalling, coincide with on-going concerns that Australia’s decision to sell uranium to India threatens to breach Australian treaty obligations. As Conservative Australian governments in the 1960s debated the acquisition of nuclear weapons and purchased aircraft capable of delivering nuclear strikes in Southeast Asia, the labour movement across the region proposed a nuclear free zone designed to ban the bomb in this part of the world. The SPNFZ Treaty was finally negotiated in the 1980s after decades of campaigning by unions, Pacific churches and the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement. Continue reading
Life-saving researcher fought nuclear power April 18, 2014 SMH, David Denborough
Michael Denborough Medical researcher, activist 11-7-1929 — 8-2-2014
On the day of his death, Michael Denborough, Australian medical researcher, activist and founder of the Nuclear Disarmament Party, declared quietly to his loved ones: ”I’ve lived the luckiest life.”……..
There was another field in which Michael Denborough was influential – activism to prevent nuclear war. In 1970 he learned from a colleague, Roger Melick, that every time an atmospheric French nuclear test was conducted in the Pacific the levels of radioactive iodine in sheep’s thyroid glands across Australia would rise alarmingly. We were all being radiated by these tests.
Michael and Roger penned a letter to national newspapers notifying the public and so began the scientific and political protests which led to the International Court in the Hague forcing nuclear tests underground.In 1983, as acting director of the Centre for Research and Environmental Studies in Canberra, Michael convened a symposium, Consequences of Nuclear War for Australia and its Region. Its aim was to promote international nuclear disarmament. Patrick White and other distinguished speakers accepted his invitation. Physicians and scientists from Eastern and Western countries, including the USSR and the US, came to see what they could do to fix the greatest threat to world health.
In 1984, as a response to the Labor Government’s sell-out on its anti-nuclear platform, Michael Denborough and others founded the Nuclear Disarmament Party. It was a single-issue party with three policies – no uranium mining, no nuclear weapons and no US bases on Australian soil. The NDP was the political voice of a strong grass-roots social movement. People from all walks of life, and of all ages, came together to try to save the planet. Two NDP senators were elected, one in 1984 and one in 1987. The NDP continued to highlight nuclear issues in elections until 2009.
In 2003, Michael set up a lone vigil for 52 days outside Parliament House to protest what almost everybody admits now was going to be an unjust invasion of Iraq. On the day John Howard committed Australian troops Michael was thrown out of Parliament for protesting loudly from the gallery. He was 74 years old.
Michael will be remembered for his passionate opposition to war and the nuclear industry. Lives will continue to be saved as the result of his medical discoveries. ….http://www.smh.com.au/comment/obituaries/lifesaving-researcher-fought-nuclear-power-20140417-36utf.html
Proposed Ranger 3 Deeps expansion too risky says PHAA , 7 April 14, The Northern Territory Branch of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA NT) is today launching its submission to the Social Impact Assessment process for the proposed ‘Ranger 3 Deeps’ (R3D) underground expansion at the Ranger uranium mine. This comes ahead of a public forum about the future of Ranger in Darwin titled “Reconsidering Ranger”.
The PHAA NT submission focusses on the health and safety impacts for the local population, mine workers and the environment as well as the impacts the exported uranium is having overseas.
“There have been over 200 significant safety incidents at Ranger in its 30 years of operation, including the December 2013 spillage of more than 1 million litres of radioactive and acidic slurry from a storage tank,” said Dr Michael Fonda, PHAA NT Branch Secretary.
“It is of great concern that Energy Resources Australia intends to use the same ageing processing equipment for its proposed R3D expansion,” Dr Fonda said.
PHAA NT is concerned about the health impacts underground mine workers will face from radon exposure.
“Radon inhalation is a particularly dangerous form of radiation exposure and PHAA NT wants reassurances that the R3D design would meet world’s best practice standards. Evidence has emerged linking Ranger to adverse impacts on the surrounding population and environment,” said Dr Fonda.
A 2006 Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies report investigating cancer rates in the local population found that the number of actual cases of cancer was 90% higher than expected.
“The research findings to date are very alarming. We believe it is unsafe and unethical to approve this underground expansion before further studies into the health effects in the region have been carried out,” he added.
In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima reactor disaster, which was fuelled in part by Australian uranium, the United Nations called for an urgent review into the health and environmental impacts of uranium mining in Australia. “This review still has not been initiated by the Australian Government. We believe Australia needs an inquiry into its entire nuclear industry before proceeding with any further expansions and PHAA have repeatedly called for this,” Dr Fonda said.
Dr Fonda will be talking about these issues along with other speakers at the “Reconsidering Ranger” public forum being held at the Hilton Hotel in Darwin on Tuesday 8 April 2014. Entry is free and doors open at 6:30pm.
For further information/comment:
Dr Michael Fonda, NT Branch Secretary, Public Health Association of Australia 0429 435 595
This media release – and the related submission – will be available on the PHAA website at: www.phaa.net.au
Australian atomic massacre still ignored By David T. Rowlands from Green Left Weekly issue 971 June 29, 2013
Nearly 60 years have passed since Totem 1, a British nuclear test in the Australian desert, was recklessly conducted in unfavourable meteorological conditions.
Nuclear testing of any sort, even in the most “controlled” of circumstances, is inherently abusive, a crime against the environment and humanity for countless generations to come. Yet the effects of Totem 1 were particularly bad, even by the warped standards of the era.
The mushroom cloud did not behave in the way it was supposed to. Instead of rising uniformly, part of it spread laterally, causing fallout to roll menacingly at ground level over a remote yet still populated corner of South Australia, sowing injury, illness and death in its wake.
In addition to those who died, many others were exposed to harmful levels of radiation. The long-term health effects on these individuals have never been charted — but anecdotal reports of high cancer rates and horrendous birth defects in isolated “downwinder” communities have circulated.
At the time of the tests, it was well known by authorities that communities of Aboriginal people were close by. Yet the official attitude was that the concerns of a “handful of natives” could not be allowed to interfere with the “interests” of the British Commonwealth.
Terrified, with all your senses in recoil from these unnatural developments, you wonder if an event of apocalyptic proportions is taking place. And your troubles are only just beginning.
This is what happened to 22-year-old Yankunytjatjara woman Lallie Lennon and her three young children at Mintabie on October 15, 1953. A 10-kiloton device (roughly two-thirds the yield of the Hiroshima bomb) was detonated 180 kilometres away at Emu Field, near Maralinga.
The levels of beta radiation contained in this toxic plume were so great that it felt like being “rolled in a fire”. The “kids were [ing] … it was terrible … We was glad we was alive but we got sick. We were sicker and sicker.”
About a year later, both Lallie and her son Bruce developed a debilitating skin condition that involves the periodic eruption of oozing, agonising sores all over the body.
Lallie said: “It went away and then came back and the sores were getting bigger and bigger every time … I was in a mess after the sores.” Her two daughters, who were in a tent at the time the mist swept through, were spared the beta burns, but developed other symptoms consistent with radiological contamination.
Lallie’s story first achieved public recognition when she spoke about her experiences for a 1981 documentary, “Backs to the Blast”.
Invasion, Theft, Rape, Murder: The Aboriginal Holocaust in Tasmania Atlanta Black Star, March 19, 2014 by Runoko Rashid DEDICATED TO TRUGANINI “……..The first people of Tasmania, known as Palawa, were marked by tightly curled hair, with skin complexions ranging from black to reddish-brown. They had broad noses, wide mouths, and deep-set brown eyes. They were relatively short in stature with little body fat. They were the indigenous people of Tasmania and their arrival there began at least 35,000 years ago. With the passage of time, the gradual rising of the sea level submerged the Australian-Tasmanian land bridge and the Black aborigines of Tasmania experienced more than 10,000 years of solitude and physical isolation from the rest of the world……..
As early as 1804 the British began to slaughter, kidnap and enslave the Black people of Tasmania. Continue reading
Forget the Preamble, what Australia needs is a Treaty Woollydays, Derek Barry January 3, 2014“………..A Treaty is a political document between sovereign people and it was this difficulty that saw John Howard reject the idea as far back as 1988 as an absurd proposition that “a nation should make a treaty with some of its own citizens.” Yet the idea is far from absurd to the many Indigenous people who see this as the first step in the recognition of the wars and dispossession of their country and the genocide that followed. It was Howard’s assimilatory ideas in the face of historical evidence that were blatantly contradictory and hence absurd. Howard’s culture of forgetting was shared by his later immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock who told ABC in October 1998 there couldn’t be a treaty because there never had been a war in this country.
Ruddock’s idea of war was flawed as was his view of a Treaty. A Treaty (also known by its Yolgnu name Makarrata meaning thigh) was long established as an appropriate way by which whites could acknowledge Aboriginal equality and prior ownership. In 1979 an Aboriginal treaty committee was formed by prominent whites almost all came from political and intellectual left. Then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser offered to discuss treaty conditions with Aborigines while 8 years later his successor Bob Hawke spoke of ‘a compact of understanding’. But this whitefella idea of a treaty was rejected by the Federation of Aboriginal Land Councils because of insufficient consultation with Aborigines, doubts of its significance and consequences and because it would legalise occupation and use of sovereign Aboriginal lands by the Australian settler state…… https://woollydays.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/forget-the-preamble-what-australia-needs-is-a-treaty/
Joh’s cabinet anxious about Labor rise, news.com.au Wednesday January 1, 2014 “…….Attorney-General Sam Doumany said the election of the Hawke government had paved the way for the Commonwealth to start making new sexual and racial discrimination laws.
His warning came in the wake of a 1982 High Court decision which found the Bjelke-Petersen government was acting discriminatorily by blocking the purchase of land by Aboriginal people in northern Queensland.
He said the High Court would ‘no longer provide any great protection’ because the majority of justices were ‘opposed to the long-term interests of the states’…..
The disposal of radioactive sand left over from sand mining was also at the fore as the government grappled with where to dump the substance, which had a half-life of 10,000 million years….. http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/johs-cabinet-anxious-about-labor-rise/story-e6frfku9-1226792829851
Why cabinet sought only a partial clean-up of British nuclear test site Archives give new insight into Hawke government’s response to royal commission on weapons testing in Maralinga region Paul Chadwick theguardian.com, Wednesday 1 January 2014
- Gareth Evans, the energy minister at the time, said ‘a non-confrontational approach’ had been adopted in dealing with the Thatcher government.
The complete rehabilitation of areas of Australia used to test British nuclear weapons may not be possible, the Hawke cabinet was advised in 1986.
Cabinet was warned that a full clean-up may have been more expensive than the British government would be willing to contemplate, according to documents released this week by theNational Archives.
They provide new insights into the Hawke government’s response to the recommendations of the McClelland royal commission into British nuclear tests in Australia. Continue reading
Cabinet rejected the royal commission’s recommendation for the creation of a new register of persons who may have been exposed to “black mist” or radiation at the tests.
The actions of previous Australian government [sic] in shepherding Aboriginal people from their traditional lands for the purpose of conducting atomic tests were both immoral and appallingly executed.
Why cabinet sought only a partial clean-up of British nuclear test site Paul Chadwick theguardian.com, Wednesday 1 January 2014 “…………An aerial survey of radioactivity around the test sites would be followed by a more detailed ground survey. Five studies would “define the areas – hopefully quite small – which must remain surrounded by fences, and further outer areas in which activities such as food gathering and excavation should not occur”.
A report by technical experts attached to the cabinet submission states: “Aboriginals living and gathering food on the Maralinga lands may be exposed [to contaminants] … in three major ways – by inhalation, by ingestion and by entry of contaminated material through open flesh wounds and abrasions.”
The experts considered options for burial of contaminated soil. They noted that since one of the contaminants had a half life of 24,000 years it was a prerequisite to make a prediction about the sort of changes in the earth expected to occur in the Maralinga area in the timeframe. Continue reading
Cabinet Papers 1986-87: The struggle for indigenous land rights, SMH, Damien Murphy, 28 Dec 13, The Hawke Government continued to grapple with the sensitive issue of indigenous land rights. In March 1986 Aboriginal Affairs Minister Clyde Holding told Cabinet that NSW, Queensland and South Australia had enacted legislation and Victoria was preparing to do so, but that Tasmania and Western Australia rejected the concept of land rights legislation in principle…….
Cabinet again endorsed its 1985 Preferred National Land Rights Model, but agreed to negotiate with Western Australia on non-legislative measures such as community funding and the granting of long leases to Aboriginal reserves.
The Tasmanian and Victorian governments presented the Commonwealth with conflicting challenges. In December 1986 Mr Holding told Cabinet that Tasmania refused to recognise that Aboriginal people had any legitimate claim to land.
……….The government was concerned that the parlous state of the Aboriginal community might become an issue of moral and political embarrassment during the 1988 bicentennial celebrations……….http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/cabinet-papers-198687-the-struggle-for-indigenous-land-rights-20131228-3017r.html