The lease for Pine Gap was due for renewal in December 1975. On 10 November 1975, the day before Whitlam was sacked. Shackley sent an extraordinary cable from the CIA to ASIO’s director general, threatening to remove ASIO from the British-US intelligence agreement because he considered Whitlam a security threat.
Whitlam, the CIA and Nugan Hand http://nuganhand.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/whitlam-the-cia-and-nugan-hand/ November 11: Coup? What coup? [Green Left Weekly], November 21, 2010By John Jiggens “.……..Lest we forget.
Former Australian prime ministers Robert Menzies, Howard Holt, John Gorton, Bob Hawke and John Howard all compliantly sent Australian troops to fight US wars. But in the early 1970s, Whitlam’s government had the courage to bring Australian soldiers home from the US war in Vietnam.
For this audacious action, Labor would never be forgiven by then-US president Richard Nixon, the CIA, Rupert Murdoch, the CIA, and corrupt conservative premiers Bob Askin (NSW) and Joe Bjelke-Petersen (Queensland) — who all hated Whitlam as though he were Che Guevara.
Whitlam’s election in 1972 began a short-lived era in which the stated aims of the new Labor government were to promote equality and involve the people in decision-making processes. Continue reading
On 11 November – the day Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers”, Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The “Whitlam problem” was solved, and Australian politics never recovered, nor the nation its true independence.
THE FORGOTTEN COUP Little Darwin, John Pilger 24 Oct 14 – How America and Britain crushed the government of Australia Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.
Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had “reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution”. Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished Royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported “zones of peace” and opposed nuclear weapons testing. Continue reading
Gough Whitlam: former PM was father of Aboriginal land rights in Australia http://www.news.com.au/national/gough-whitlam-former-pm-was-father-of-aboriginal-land-rights-in-australia/story-fncynjr2-1227097636875 OCTOBER 21, 2014 GOUGH Whitlam left the political scene decades ago, but Aborigines still — and always will — acknowledge him as the father of land rights in Australia.
The Rirratjingu clan of northeast Arnhem Land today held a small smoking ceremony, led by Yothu Yindi founder Wityana Marika, and grieved for the man who forced white law to recognise our first people.
- At the time Whitlam came to power in 1972, Aborigines in northeast Arnhem Land were reeling from the 1971 Milirrpum v Nabalco case in the Northern Territory Supreme Court, which found that they had no sovereign rights to their land.
- The government of Robert Menzies had in the 1960s granted Nabalco total rights to mine bauxite on the tribal lands of the Yolngu people, without the consent of the traditional owners, whom the court later deemed did not exist in Australian law.
Whitlam, alert to the injustice, ordered the Woodward Royal Commission in 1973, which recommended the recognition of land rights in the Territory.
- Prior to this, a group of Aborigines led by Vincent Lingiari walked off Wave Hill station, in the west of the Territory, demanding equal wages and conditions and stockmen.
Their struggled morphed into a campaign for land rights, strengthened by the findings of the Woodward commission.
In 1975, Whitlam handed back the Wave Hill lease to Aborigines, famously running sand through the hand of Lingiari. He told him: “Vincent Lingiari, I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof in Australian law that these lands belong to the Gurindji people, and I put into your hands part of the earth as a sign that this land will be the possession of you and your children forever.”
Whitlam had by then drafted the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, though would be overthrown before it became law. His successor, Malcolm Fraser, passed the legislation almost unchanged, knowing that the time for recognition had come.
- All this was possible in the Territory, because it didn’t have full state rights; and state governments were by then eyeing the land rights’ developments nervously.
They fought against land rights, fearing they would surrender huge tracts of land to traditional owners.
In 1992, national recognition finally came when the High Court heard the Mabo case and found the doctrine of terra nullius — of Australia as an empty land prior to white arrival — to be a myth.
This led to the creation of Native Title law, which gave Aborigines cultural and economic rights to their land. All of this tied directly back to Milirrpum v Nabalco.
The son of Milirrpum, Wanyubi Marika, described Whitlam as “a very important man. Before him there was no land rights. “My father lost the case because of terra nullius. Mabo picked up the land rights issue from Arnhem Land and made it clear about the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait ownership of the country.
“(Whitlam) was very helpful to our people, to our fathers. We want to think about his work and we will let his spirit be with us, going forward.”
Gough Whitlam remembered: a true leader for Indigenous Australians, Guardian, 21 Oct 14
Gough Whitlam was the first prime minister to campaign so openly for Indigenous people and to listen to their concerns For Aboriginal people across the country, Gough Whitlam was our giant among former prime ministers. He was the first leader to campaign so openly for us. During his short term in office he and his government made momentous decisions to include Aboriginal people within the fabric of the nation. Continue reading
Ngiyani-ga nganbinganbi baluwaal miinba-y nginu-ngay, giirr wangaarrama-li! (We are in this together, never allow yourself to be beaten).
Enough is enough – It’s time to act by supporting the call for our true leaders The Stringer by Dr Woolombi Waters October 19th, 2014 The national call by community leaders Tauto Sansbury, Geoff Clark and Michael Mansell among others for a National Summit of legitimate First Nations leaders has the potential to change a generation. We are talking of the same influence of the Freedom Marches back in the ’60’s, the establishment of the Tent Embassy in ’72 and the Bark Petition in 1963.
But it will only change a generation if we embrace this movement as our own and realise the time for change has come. We can all be a part of history or we can continue to be victims of history. By calling for a National Gathering we are not excluding any people who share in the very real concerns of our mob, our identity and our Culture.
Very few will be given the opportunity to change history during their lives but by each and every one of us standing together we can start a movement to overcome … as together we work towards change.
We have all been called to the same stomping ground and it has come time to act. Continue reading
Aboriginal land was taken, but returning Aboriginal soldiers not entitled to soldier settlement blocks.
Racial issues were forgotten on the battlefield as allied troops united against the common enemy.
Initiatives such as the Soldier Settlement Scheme, which granted land to ex-servicemen was not extended to indigenous servicemen, despite the fact that much of the best farming land in Aboriginal reserves had been confiscated for soldier settlement blocks.
Aborigines Equal On The WWI Front, But Not At Home Central Western Daily 13 Oct 14 IT is estimated that up to 800 indigenous servicemen served in the First World War. The exact number will never be known since ethnicity was not recorded on enlistment papers.
When war broke out in 1914, many indigenous Australians who attempted to enlist were rejected on the grounds of race, their attestation papers marked ‘Unsuitable physique – Aboriginal’ or ‘Unsuitable physique – Colour’. This was in accordance with the Commonwealth Defence Act 1909 which prevented those who were not of ‘substantially European descent’ from enlisting in the armed forces. Many indigenous men enlisted under false names and/or places of birth in an attempt to evade these conditions…..
After Prime Minister Billy Hughes’ conscription referendum was defeated in October 1916 and enlistment numbers were falling, legislation was introduced allowing “half-castes” to enlist.
A Military Order stated: “Half-castes may be enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force provided that the examining medical officers are satisfied that one of the parents is of European origin.”
Indigenous Australians were present in almost every Australian campaign of World War I. At least 34 Aboriginal men fought at Gallipoli, 12 of whom were killed. They also served in trenches on the Western Front and on horseback with the Light Horse in the Middle East. Continue reading
Coniston massacre: Nigel Scullion returns site to traditional owners 86 years after killings 7 News, ANTHONY STEWART October 9, 2014, The site of Australia’s last recorded massacre of Aboriginal people has been returned to its traditional owners.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion travelled to Yurrkuru 274 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs to present native title deeds to traditional owners.
Here, in 1928, up to 100 Aboriginal people were killed near the Coniston cattle station in reprisal for the death of a white man. The murders later became known as the Coniston massacre.
Warlpiri and Anmatyerr people welcomed Senator Nigel Scullion on to their land with traditional song and dance.
Senior Anmatyerr man Teddy Long said generations of his family had been fighting to have the massacre acknowledged and the land returned. “My old man, my father been explaining to me what happened to me, the shooting days,” he said.
“In the massacre days many people were killed here and that’s why [I've] been fighting real hard for this land”
Land returned decades after Land Rights claim Traditional owners initially lodged a claim under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act for the land in 1985………
In 1928 The prime minister at the time, Stanley Bruce, launched an a board of inquiry into the actions of police and pastoralists.
It ruled the police had “acted in self-defence”……https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/25219778/coniston-massacre-nigel-scullion-returns-site-to-traditional-owners-86-years-after-killings/
The following summarizes some of the key conclusions of the Royal Commission:
- The Australian government controlled media reporting such that news items provided what the UK government deemed suitable only;
- Prior to the first tests on the Australian mainland, the Government Cabinet, Parliament and news media were not informed of what was happening;
- It is likely that the major tests resulted in a general increase in cancer within the Australian population;
- Exposure to radiation increased the risk of cancer in nuclear veterans;
- There was a failure to adequately take into account the distinctive lifestyle of Aboriginal people living in the region;
- The authorities were negligent in their management, equipping and briefing of the crews of the Lincoln aircraft who were directed to fly through the nuclear cloud in the Totem 1 test;
- In the Buffalo tests, “. . . the attempts to ensure Aboriginal safety during the Buffalo series demonstrate ignorance, incompetence and cynicism on the part of those responsible for that safety.” (12)
This summary is a very small and selective account of the content of the Royal Commission’s Report.
Since Hiroshima: Australia’s Active Involvement in the Use and Abuse of Nuclear Energy Sunday, 05 October 2014 09:59By Lindsay Fitzclarence, Truthout “………..By 1952, the government had signed a contract with the CDA (Combined Development Agency) representing the UK and United States to supply uranium (5).
At the same time, in a remarkable expression of executive power, the pro-royalist prime minister of Australia, Robert Menzies, agreed to a British request to begin testing of atomic weapons in its former colony (6). At the dawn of the Cold War nuclear arms race, Australia was an active participant at both ends of the weapons cycle: the source of primary nuclear fuel and as a nuclear testing ground. Continue reading
1984 – Australian Royal Commission starts an investigation into whether servicemen were deliberately exposed to radiation in British nuclear tests at Maralinga in 1956-57. It will conclude that they were. http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/1880269/good-morning-bendigo-12092014/?cs=80
British scientists tested dead Australians for nuclear radiation, Australian Times.co.uk Startling evidence that British scientists secretly tested up to 21,830 dead young Australians, without the knowledge of their parents, for radiation contamination following nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s. By Estelle Vosloo on 1 September, 2014 Dead Australians were tested for nuclear radiation contamination following nuclear tests, according to a new book.
The author of Maralinga, Frank Walker, laid his hands on minutes of a top secret UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment meeting in England on 24 May 1957 approving a program to determine the long-term effects of the tests on Australia and its citizens.
In his book, Walker describes how officials at the meeting, chaired by Professor Ernest Titterton, decided to first obtain soil samples from pasture regions near Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to check for fallout from the nine nuclear bombs detonated at Maralinga in the Australian Outback and the Monte Bello Islands, off WA.
The group also sought to collect animal bones from the regions around where the nuclear explosions were carried out.
In the document, the professor says that the final phase of testing would be to determine if Strontium-90 was being absorbed by the Australian population – most likely through the food chain.
“We have to find out if Strontium-90 is entering the food chain and getting into humans,” says the document. The scientists then agreed to start testing the bones of dead Australian infants and children for radiation contamination.
Acting on these orders, hundreds of bones from the bodies of 21,830 dead babies, infants, children, teenagers and young adults across Australia were collected without the knowledge of their parents, according to Adelaide newspaper, The Advertiser.
In a 2001 report to then federal health minister, Michael Wooldridge, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency said it had detected varying levels of Strontium-90 in the bone ash samples it had collected from hospitals in Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne………..http://www.australiantimes.co.uk/news/uk-australian-news/british-nuclear-tests-australia-maralinga-radiation-contamination.htm
As The Advertiser has previously reported, hundreds of bones were subsequently collected from the bodies of 21,830 dead babies, infants, children, teenagers and young adults across Australia without the knowledge of their parents.
The Strontium-90 testing program in Australia was the longest of its kind in the world, finally ending in 1978.
In September, 2001, following an extensive investigation by The Advertiser, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency revealed it had kept ash samples from bones collected from hospitals in Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne.
In a report to the then federal health minister, Michael Wooldridge, the agency said it had detected varying levels of Strontium-90 in all Australian capital cities.
British scientists secretly used Australian population to test for radiation contamination after nuclear tests at Maralinga (includes copies of documents from British National Archives) http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/british-scientists-secretly-used-australian-population-to-test-for-radiation-contamination-after-nuclear-tests-at-maralinga/story-fnii5yv4-1227041781005 news.com,.au 29 Aug 14 scientists secretly used the Australian population to test for radiation contamination after the nuclear tests at Maralinga in the 1950s, a new book confirms.
Its author, Frank Walker, has obtained the minutes of a top secret meeting in England where the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment approved a program to determine the long-term effects of the tests on Australia and its citizens. Continue reading
Australia – uranium and nuclear power, Online opinion By Helen Caldicott -, 26 August 2014 The Australian anti-nuclear movement started in Adelaide in 1971 when fallout from French atmospheric nuclear tests polluted Adelaide’s water supply. People were warned that strontium 90 concentrating in milk would further concentrate in childrens’ teeth and bones and years later could cause leukemia or bone cancer. Australians in general were not enamoured of the French, and were so incensed that they were polluting the southern hemisphere with their tests that a huge movement erupted. Spontaneous marches occurred in Adelaide streets, people stopped buying French wine and cheese, postal workers refused to deliver French mail and whole pages were devoted to indignant letters to the editor.
Within nine months 75% of Australians fervently opposed the tests. Jim Cairns, deputy Prime Minister, Ken Newcomb, Union of Australian Students, and I then travelled to Paris to inform the French Government of our opposition. Australia and New Zealand took France to the International Court of Justice and they were forced to test underground.
Despite this international victory, three years later Whitlam decided to mine and export uranium. I knew nothing about medical hazards of nuclear power until I read “Poisoned Power” by Gofman and Tamplin who had been commissioned by the US Atomic Energy Commission to research the dangers of nuclear power. I then travelled to Canberra to warn Whitlam of the medical dangers of the enterprise, but to no avail.
A group began in Adelaide called Campaign Against Nuclear Energy CANE and in Melbourne, Movement Against Uranium Mining MAUM. Unions learned of the dangers and became so deeply concerned that when a man refused to shunt a truck containing yellow cake in Brisbane, the Australian Railways Union called a 24 hour nationwide strike. The medical dangers of uranium and nuclear power hit the headlines. Finally in 1978 the ACTU passed a resolution to ban uranium mining, transport and export which lasted for five years until Bob Hawke introduced the Three Mine Policy ending the ban. The antinuclear movement in Australia was very powerful and prevailed for many years…….http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=16621
Westall ‘UFO’ incident was actually government radiation testing, reports reveal MARK DUNN HERALD SUN AUGUST 06, 2014 AN almost 50-year-old mystery when more than 200 people believed they had a close encounter with a UFO landing in Clayton may have finally been solved after newly-unearthed government documents revealed a secret radiation-testing program.
Although federal and state government agencies refused to comment about the 1966 ‘Westall’ incident at the time, it is now believed that, rather than a UFO, what landed was an errant high altitude balloon used to monitor radiation levels after the controversial Maralinga nuclear tests.
The HIBAL program was a joint US-Australian initiative to monitor atmospheric radiation levels using large silver balloons equipped with sensors between 1960 and 1969.
Documents held by the National Archives and former Department of Supply indicate one test balloon launched from Mildura may have been blown off course and came down in Clayton South in a paddock near Westall High School, alarming and baffling hundreds of eyewitnesses, including teachers and students.
After hovering over the area, it landed at an area known as The Grange, behind a grove of pine trees, before taking off again and being pursued by several light aircraft in a sighting which lasted 20 minutes from 11am on April 6, 1966.
The event has ever since been shrouded in mystery.
- But researcher Keith Basterfield, who has spent years investigating unexplained phenomenon in Australia, said a “runaway” balloon from the HIBAL (high altitude balloon) project was the likely answer.
Each test balloon lifted a 180kg payload consisting of an air sampling and telemetry unit in a gondola and was followed by a light aircraft tasked with tracking it and triggering its 12mtr parachute via radio signal.
Immediately after the Westall “UFO” sighting, reports emerged of Government men in suits converging on the area and asking school officials and other witnesses to not talk about the event……..http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/westall-ufo-incident-was-actually-government-radiation-testing-reports-reveal/story-fni0fit3-1227015591764?nk=bac73ea2ae593147970baba97764d7da
Superpit: Digging for uranium in the Australian cultural imaginary, [ excellent videos and pictures] National Sound and Film Archive, by Adam Broinowski The mining industry has been a central force in shaping Australian history in the 20th century. In fact, as is evident in the policy switch from the ‘Mining Super Profits Tax’ (Rudd/Gillard government) to ‘Open for Business’ (Abbott government)1, mining influence in Australian politics is direct and far-reaching. Any historical discussion of mining, however, should not overlook the historical relations between the Aboriginal owners and settler populations and their transnational partners…….
As the poisonous modern rituals of atomic testing were carried out (Monte Bello Island, Emu Fields, Maralinga), which included the use of Plutonium 239, both Australian and British officials repeated that the health risks were negligible, despite extensive local radioactive contamination
while some Aboriginal people from Ooldea were moved from their traditional lands to Yalata prior to the 1956–57 series of tests at Maralinga, there were still Aboriginal people using their camping grounds that passed through the Maralinga test site. As found in the Royal Commission (1975), the insufficient caution taken to ensure that all people were removed from the Area prior to tests was based on the false and negligent assumption that there were no longer people living on this land. Members of the Pitjantjantjara, Yakunytjatjara, Tjarutja, and the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta nations are said to have been exposed to radioactive contamination, whether in ‘black mist’ or other forms. Along with many Australian atomic test veterans, they developed chronic illnesses, the complications from which led to many premature deaths.
These ‘side effects’ were largely ignored as officials prioritised the plans to make Australia a ‘great power by 2000’ (such as Philip Baxter, Chair of the Australian Atomic Energy Agency)…….
In 1977, when the bid to mine one of the largest uranium deposits in the world at Ranger 1 and Nabarlek in the middle of the park was approved by the Fraser government, the Fox Report warned that mining waste would have to be stored for a quarter of a million years. Aboriginal elders also warned that mining ‘sickness country’ would lead to disaster…….
Given the ongoing damage caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster since 11 March 2011, with the Fukushima Daiichi reactor said to have been fuelled by Australian uranium (at least in part), one wonders how many more warnings the authorities and their transnational partners need. The image in Phantom Gold of a lone European settler in the desert who hunts for gold while dying from thirst, may indeed come back to haunt us.
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