Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Wangan and Jagalingou rebut the pro mining spiel of industry puppet Warren Mundine

Mundine reduces Aboriginal land rights and First Nations treaties to ‘a fantasy business transaction’ Wangan and Jagalingou  http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/mundine-reduces-aboriginal-land-rights-and-first-nations-treaties/ 24 April 2017:

“In his opinion piece [1], “Activists undermine principles of self-determination”, 20 April 2017,
Warren Mundine makes exaggerated, false and misleading comments.

As his views still gain considerable national attention as the former head of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council [2], it is necessary for us to respond.

“While we agree that “making your own decisions and controlling your own destiny… is something for which Indigenous people long campaigned”  – he does much to undermine this premise in his article.
His uninformed characterisations of the Wangan and Jagalingou situation regarding the proposed Adani Carmichael mine do us and our campaign for self-determination a great disservice.

“Our forebears, like many others, pursued “sources of self-determination, like land rights”.  We too celebrate Koiki Eddie Mabo’s achievement to gain “recognition of his people’s fundamental and original right to the land and seas on which they’d lived and subsisted since time immemorial”.

“But to then build an argument on Mabo’s legacy, as Mundine does, and say that the Native Title Act in its present form is fostering “Indigenous economic participation by allowing traditional owners to use land as an economic asset”, is ludicrous. He fails to position the importance of traditional lands in the full spectrum of Indigenous values and uses (not just economic and extractive relations to resources), alongside the manifest failures of the  Native Title Act to deliver anything remotely like land rights for most Aboriginal people.

“His elevation of the role of businesses in empowering Traditional Owners through Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) compounds the folly. And to go further and state that there’s “little difference in substance between a treaty and an ILUA entered into with a government” reaches the height of absurdity. …

“As Deakin University’s Emeritus Professor Dr Jon Altman states [4], “Warren Mundine is poorly informed about the workings of the Native Title Act. His views run contrary to three Federal Court Judges. He confuses correlation with causation. In other words, just because key Traditional Owners and some ‘greenies’ agree, doesn’t mean one caused the other. It just means they share a similar view on Adani’s Carmichael mine proposal.” …

“We will argue our case to the Australian public. These are the people who support us, morally and financially. We welcome the many thousands of contributions that assist with our legal and other actions.

“We make no apologies for taking a stand, like so many Aboriginal rights campaigners,
against a dubious company intent on overriding our decisions, destroying our heritage, dividing our people and offering an insulting pittance in return.

“Mundine can characterise it however he likes, but we have no doubt that our stand is exactly an assertion of Indigenous self-determination. We don’t need his approval, or care about his disapproval.
“Though we’re sure his mates in the mining sector [5] and the halls of Government will welcome his opinions.”

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April 26, 2017 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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