Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Opposition to WA govt’s compulsory grab of Aboriginal land

the government is trying to compulsorily acquire Aboriginal land. Traditional owners, some of who had previously been prepared to support the project, are now united in opposition. Many unions, including the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, are supporting them.

Stop the Kimberley land grab: renewables not gas, Green Left Weekly, November 21, 2010By Alex Bainbridge, Perth Woodside and the Western Australian government’s push to build a massive gas-processing plant at James Price Point will be a key battle in a broader campaign to protect the cultural and environmental heritage of the Kimberley region in WA.This battle is significant for several reasons.

First, the government is trying to compulsorily acquire Aboriginal land. Traditional owners, some of who had previously been prepared to support the project, are now united in opposition. Many unions, including the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, are supporting them.

Second, it is the first of many proposed mining developments in the region. A port at James Price Point would boost these other projects and pave the way for more industrialisation of the Kimberley. The Kimberley would no longer be a relatively untouched wilderness.

Third, it means more greenhouse gas emissions. This project would emit 32 million tons of carbon dioxide a year — 6% of Australian total emissions. A victory in this fight would help defeat other new gas projects in WA that collectively would emit more than 60 million tons a year. WA now emits 80 million tons a year…………

Aboriginal activist Joseph Roe spoke to Green Left Weekly about the impact on Aboriginal culture.

He said: “[State premier] Colin Barnett is trying to kill and damage our spiritual connection to our country and our law; our culture and our heritage.”
Roe said there was no justice in sacrificing culture “for the sake of housing, employment, education, health and training”, which are the “birthright of every Australian”.“I will fight to keep my law and country intact, whatever it takes. I will fight them all the way.”…………

campaigns by Aboriginal people, environmentalists and concerned citizens have the power to derail the project. A high-level corporate campaign needs grassroots actions like the 2000-strong rally in Broome on October 17 or the community rally planned in Cottesloe for November 28…………..

there is a basis to win these unions to support for environmentally sustainable projects instead of polluting gas developments.

“When we come to build renewable wave power and offshore wind farms — and we should be starting now — it will be the same people currently working in the offshore oil and gas industry who will be the ones with the skills to do that work.”…

Stop the Kimberley land grab: renewables not gas | Green Left Weekly

November 22, 2010 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, Western Australia | , , ,

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