Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Uranium mining has done damage enough to Mirrar Aboriginal people

“Uranium mining has also taken our country away from us and destroyed it – billabongs and creeks gone for ever. There are hills of poisonous rock and great holes in the ground with poisonous mud.”

Aborigines to block uranium mining after Japan disaster, The Independent, By Kathy Marks, 14 April 2011 “………..Uranium mining has a troubled history in the area. The Ranger deposit – now operated by Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), a subsidiary of the Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto – was developed against the Mirarr’s wishes.

Jabiluka, also leased by ERA, has been in limbo since 1998, when thousands of people staged an eight-month blockade there at the Mirarr’s urging.Although the traditional owners have received royalties of more than A$200m (£129m) from Ranger, Ms Margarula told a parliamentary inquiry in 2005 that mining had “completely upturned our lives, bringing greater access to alcohol and many arguments between Aboriginal people, mainly about money”.

She added: “Uranium mining has also taken our country away from us and destroyed it – billabongs and creeks gone for ever. There are hills of poisonous rock and great holes in the ground with poisonous mud.”

Situated within the boundaries of Kakadu, the Ranger and Jabiluka leases were excluded when the national park was World Heritage-listed. Although the 70 landowners would reap billions in royalties if Jabiluka went into operation, placing them among the ranks of Australia’s richest people, they want the site protected for ever. They have held a veto over its development since 2005.

Ms Margarula told The Age newspaper that the Mirarr’s ancient “Dreaming” stories warned that a lethal power named Djang would be unleashed if their lands were disturbed. Her late father, Toby Gangale, had warned the Australian government in the late 1970s, when mining began at Ranger, that Djang “might kill all over the world”, she said, adding: “No one listened to him.”…

The Mirarr’s willingness to forgo untold riches may seem hard to believe, but it has a precedent. Last year, Jeffrey Lee, the traditional owner of a uranium deposit at Koongarra in Kakadu, gave the land to the national park…..

Aborigines to block uranium mining after Japan disaster – Australasia, World – The Independent

 

April 14, 2011 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: