Australian news, and some related international items

Traditional owners say Vimy Resources is not listening to Aboriginal people

Tom Robinson Kalgoorlie Miner, Tue, 30 November 2021

Debbie Carmody spoke at Vimy’s AGM as a proxy for a shareholder. 

A Goldfields Aboriginal woman has taken her people’s opposition to Vimy Resources’ proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine to the company’s inner sanctum, and says Vimy is not listening to traditional owners.

Anangu Spinifex woman Debbie Carmody is descended from displaced Aboriginal people, who were forced off their country at Maralinga in South Australia by nuclear testing in the mid-20th century.

Now, she is a prominent voice against the proposed uranium mine 290km east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, within her traditional lands on the Upurli Upurli Nguratja native title claim — which was registered on January 22 this year.

She believes her people’s cultural and social relationship with their country is threatened by the prospect of uranium mining.

Ms Carmody travelled to Perth last Friday to join protesters at Vimy’s AGM, and spoke at the meeting as a proxy for a shareholder who was in opposition to the Mulga Rock proposal, and bought the shares to gain access to the company’s meetings.

Conservation Council of WA protesting against the proposed uranium mine in front of Vimy’s AGM last week. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Ms Carmody said she told the AGM that Vimy had not consulted with UUN traditional owners and outlined the fears she holds for her country, but she said her protests fell on deaf ears.

“Our people have a long history with radioactive fallout and our families have died and have suffered rare and painful deaths as a result of radiation poisoning,” she said.

“We want to protect our special sites, the flora and fauna, and the underground water. We want to protect the destruction of our homelands.”

Last Thursday, Vimy Resources rejected claims it had not consulted with the UUN group, with interim chief executive Steven Michael saying the company met with Central Desert Native Title Services, which was acting on behalf of UUN.

But Ms Carmody said this did not represent proper consultation and felt the miner should have spoken to the UUN group directly.

“Vimy claimed to have consulted with Central Desert Native Title Services, I pointed out that they are not UNN with whom you should be speaking to,” she said.

“I also stated that all registered Native Title claimants have a right to negotiate, and therefore Vimy is not following due process.”

The company was given five years to begin work on Mulga Rock as part of ministerial approval for the controversial project issued on December 16, 2016 — at last week’s AGM the company listed a series of milestones it had met in the interim including the recent clearing of about 143ha at the site, but it is yet to make a final investment decision.

Ms Carmody said the clearing was disrespectful and showed “a lack of social value, moral and ethical leadership”.

December 2, 2021 - Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia

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