Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Aboriginal politician Jacinta Price cynical about BHP, Rio Tinto backing Uluru Statement (I would be, too!)

BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto back Uluru Statement as politician questions interest in Indigenous lands, ABC 

Key points:

  • BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have announced they support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, almost two years after it was made
  • Alice Springs town councillor Jacinta Price has questioned whether the companies were looking for a way “to look better in the eyes of Indigenous people”
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he remained opposed to a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal voice in federal Parliament

Indigenous leaders gathered near Uluru in May 2017 to deliver the joint statement, which calls for a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal voice in Federal Parliament, and for the laying of foundations for a treaty.

The statement was controversially rejected by the Coalition, with Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion saying it had “absolutely zero chance of success”.

But now, almost two years on, mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have announced they back it.

Uluru Statement signatory and Nyugar man David Collard heard BHP’s boss deliver the news at an event in Perth on Thursday………..

Miners want to look better in eyes of Indigenous people: Price

Rio Tinto and BHP have mining interests on traditional lands right across the country.

Not everyone is convinced their motives are pure.

Speaking to Sky News today, Central Australian Aboriginal politician Jacinta Price was cynical about the announcement.

“We need to have a bit more of a discussion; I don’t know that simply throwing your support behind something that we’re not sure what that actually looks like is helpful,” Ms Price said.

“Perhaps it is a way of these companies to look better in the eyes of Indigenous people, considering it is Indigenous people’s land they want to be involved in.”

The mining giants’ announcement comes just a few months out from a federal election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the companies’ stance won’t change his opposition to the Statement.

“It doesn’t make a difference one way or the other,” he said.

“You assess these issues on their merits, but I’ve got to tell you, I’m more concerned about young Indigenous girls committing suicide.”

Mr Morrison said the Government would “soon” respond to a November report from a bipartisan committee about developing an Indigenous voice to Parliament.

Federal Labor has vowed to hold a referendum on the matter if it wins Government in May. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-31/bhp-billiton-rio-tinto-back-uluru-statement-indigenous-lands/10768478

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February 2, 2019 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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