Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Aboriginal leader, previous supporter of Adani coal project, now rejects it

“I want to withdraw my signature on the Ilua,” he said. “I take this position because I do not believe that the Ilua adequately compensates us for the destruction the project will wreak upon the traditional culture and lands of our people.”

He said that most in the meeting, which was boycotted by those opposing the deal, were “people I did not recognise as being members of our claim group”.

“Most importantly, I believe that QSNTS failed us by not ensuring that we were properly and independently advised on the benefits of entering the Adani Ilua,” Dallen said. “Only the benefits of entering the Ilua were discussed.””..

Adani mine loses majority support of traditional owner representatives
Wangan and Jagalingou representative who had backed an Indigenous land use agreement now says he opposes the mine, Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 15 June 17 
Adani has lost majority support from traditional owner representatives for a land access deal for its Queensland mine, casting doubt on moves to implement the agreement.

Craig Dallen, a Wangan and Jagalingou representative who last year backed an Indigenous land use agreement (Ilua) with the miner, now says he opposes a deal that will not make up for “the destruction the project will wreak upon the traditional culture and lands of our people”.

Dallen’s reversal, which came while he was sidelined from the decision-making process while in custody in a Queensland jail, has left the W&J representative group deadlocked on the Adani deal, with six in favour and six against.

But federal government native title amendments passed on Wednesday mean Adani’s agreement, unlike all future Iluas, do not need majority support to proceed. Continue reading

June 16, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners slam passage of Native Title amendments

Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s proposed coal mine have expressed profound disappointment at the passage of Attorney General Brandis’ amendments to the Native Title Act, stressing that while Mabo’s legacy has been diminished they will continue to fight for their rights.

Senior spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, says, “Adani’s problems with the Wangan and Jagalingou people are not solved this week. The trial to decide the fate of Adani’s supposed deal with the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners is scheduled for the Federal Court in March 2018.

“Our people are the last line of legal defence against this mine and its corrosive impact on our rights, and the destruction of country that would occur.

“Senator Brandis has been disingenuous in prosecuting his argument for these changes to native title laws, while the hands of native title bureaucrats and the mining lobby are all over the outcome.

“This swift overturning of a Federal Court decision, without adequate consultation with Indigenous people, was a significant move, not a mere technical consideration as the Turnbull Government has tried to make out.

“It is appalling and false for George Brandis to pretend that by holding a ‘workshop’ with the CEOs of the native title service bodies, he has the unanimous agreement of Traditional Owners across Australia. No amount of claimed ‘beseeching’ by the head of the Native Title Council, Glen Kelly, can disguise this.

“The public were not properly informed about the bill, and nor were Indigenous people around the country, who were not consulted and did not consent to these changes.

“We draw the line today. We declare our right to our land. There is no surrender. There is no land use agreement. We are the people from that land. We’re the rightful Traditional Owners of Wangan and Jagalingou country, and we are in court to prove that others are usurping our rights”, he said.

Spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Ms Murrawah Johnson, says, “Whatever else this change does, we know that the Turnbull Government went into overdrive for Adani’s interests.

“Brandis’ intervention in our court case challenging the sham ILUA was about Adani. Most of what Senator Matt Canavan had to say in argueing his ill-informed case for native title changes was about Adani. The Chairman of Senate Committee inquiring into the bill, Senator Ian McFarlane, referring to the native title amendments as “the Adani bill” was about Adani. And the PM telling Chairman Gautam Adani that he’d fix native title was about Adani”.

“We are continuing to fight Adani in court and our grounds are strong. If anyone tells you this is settled because the bill was passed, they are lying”, she said.

Adrian Burragubba says, “The Labor Opposition seems to understand this, even though they supported passage of the bill. Senator Pat Dodson went so far as to say this bill does not provide some kind of green light for the Adani mine, as some suggest.

“Pat Dodson acknowledged that W&J have several legal actions afoot against Adani and we are glad that in the midst of this dismal response to the rights of Indigenous people some MPs, including the Greens who voted against the bill, recognise the serious claim we have to justice.

Mr Dodson said in the Senate that: “most of this litigation will be entirely unaffected by the passage of this bill. In particular, there are very serious allegations of fraud that have been made against Adani regarding the processes under which agreements with the Wangan and Jagalingou people were purportedly reached. And those proceedings, which may impact on the validity of any ILUA, will only commence hearings in March next year. Other legal action is also underway, including a case challenging the validity of the licences issued by the Queensland government.”

This week researchers from the University of Queensland released a report titled ‘Unfinished Business: Adani, the state, and the Indigenous rights struggle of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council‘.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Professor Marcia Langton promoting Big Coal, not Aboriginal Rights

The problem is that Langton’s argument boils down to mining, good, anything that stands in its way, bad. That’s why it falls apart when faced with Adani’s proposed coal mine in the Galilee Basin, slap-bang in the middle of which is Wangan and Jagalingou country.

Adani’s proposed mine has become the Coalition’s cargo cult and its free-marketeer ministers have happily ditched their principles to promote it, fund it and change laws (including the Native Title Act) to try and force it to happen.

For this treatment to come from a non-Aboriginal person would be suspect, but for it to come from a fellow Indigenous Australian is surely unforgivable.

Why Marcia Langton is wrong on Adani https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/why-marcia-langton-is-wrong-on-adani,10396  Tom Allen 13 June 2017 For all her powerful and peerless leadership of Aboriginal rights, Professor Marcia Langton has it wrong on Adani.

Her speech to the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) last week made headlines because she provocatively accused environmentalists of wanting to send Aboriginal Australians back to terra nullius. That’s simply wrong. But perhaps just as bad is the fact that, just as the #StopAdani campaign is gearing up, Ms Langton was shilling for Big Coal. Continue reading

June 14, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Marcia Langton “poorly informed” on Adani coal mine, says leading native title lawyer

Leading Indigenous lawyer hits back at Marcia Langton over Adani  Tony McAvoy says traditional owners are ‘proud and independent’ and are not being used by anti-mining activists to block the $16bn mine, Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 9 June 17, One of Australia’s leading native title lawyers has spoken publicly for the first time as a traditional owner fighting to stop the Adani mine, a campaign he said was driven by “proud and independent people” who were among the best-informed Indigenous litigants in the country.

Tony McAvoy SC, who became Australia’s first Indigenous silk in 2015, said the Wangan and Jagalingou people were keenly aware of how their priorities differed from environmentalist allies in a battle to preserve their Queensland country from one of the world’s largest proposed coalmines.

McAvoy dismissed claims by the prominent Indigenous academic Marcia Langton that Indigenous people had become “collateral damage” as the “environmental industry” hijacked the Adani issue.

He said the rhetoric of Langton and Warren Mundine, who likened anti-Adani campaigners to colonial oppressors running roughshod over Indigenous self-determination, “serves a purpose for them but is just so inaccurate”.

The barrister said to suggest that “the greens are puppet masters pulling the strings and we’re somehow puppets” was wildly off the mark and disrespectful to the many families opposing the mine, including his.

The W&J are the only Indigenous group in Australia to have, in McAvoy, a senior counsel with expertise in native title law within their ranks.

“We are likely to be one of the best informed claimant groups in the country, we have many people who are experienced in native title, including my own input, and representation by an extraordinary team of lawyers,” he said.

McAvoy is part of a contingent within W&J who have mounted legal challenges to an Indigenous land use agreement (Ilua) with Adani, contesting the right of pro-Adani representatives to approve a deal previously spurned by their claim group. The miner resurrected an Ilua last year with majority support in the W&J native title applicant, then sought to register it with the native title tribunal.

But the W&J opponents challenged the deal in the federal court, on grounds including that the pro-Adani applicant members were voted out in a claim group meeting, and that a rival meeting that endorsed the Adani deal was not legitimate.

Then Adani’s hopes suffered a blow with the McGlade native title case, which found that an Ilua was invalid because not all Indigenous representatives had signed it.

The shock precedent prompted the government to put up a bill changing native title legislation to safeguard what it argued were hundreds of Iluas thrown into doubt because they had a majority but not all the signatures of claimants.

The bill also contains amendments that would pave the way for Adani’s unregistered, contested Ilua.

Langton lashed out at Greens and environmentalists on Wednesday for delaying the government’s bill “in order to bolster their campaign against the Adani project”……….

McAvoy said Langton was “very poorly informed” on the Adani issue.

He and a swathe of the W&J argue there should be no rush to pass law changes dealing with critical issues around Indigenous property rights through future land access deals.

McAvoy argues for “splitting the bill” to validate Iluas already registered with the National Native Title Tribunal, but not those unregistered, such as Adani’s. McAvoy said he hoped this proposal would find favour with Labor and crossbench senators, with the bill due for voting as early as next week.

The W&J objectors were open about the fact that “we have an alliance between our objectives [and those of environmentalists] so that we can make use of each other and we do that”, he said.

But the group raises its own funds for its legal challenges.

“And more than that, we are very, very aware that our interests of preserving our country are not entirely aligned with the green interests,” he said……..

A land access deal is crucial to Adani gaining finance for the mine, initially needing $3.3bn.

The miner last week cited the end of this year as its deadline for finance. But the federal court this week signalled a trial to decide the fate of Adani’s deal with the W&J would take place in March 2018.

McAvoy said that even if the Senate “amends the Native Title Act in the way proposed [by the government], that proceeding is still to run its course”. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/09/leading-indigenous-lawyer-hits-back-at-marcia-langton-over-adani

June 11, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Professor Marcia Langton used to support Aboriginal empowerment, not the power of mining companies

In regards to mining on Aboriginal land, there are two primary concerns. Firstly, are the economic benefits as good as they sound? And secondly, what power do Aboriginal communities have in the agreement-making process?

While Prof. Langton has convincingly argued for many years that Aboriginal communities are not receiving their fair share of mining revenues, in the Boyer Lectures her proposed solutions to this economic vulnerability are largely to maintain the power of the mining industry

Responses to Marcia Langton’s Boyer Lectures http://www.foe.org.au/langton

Prof. Langton used to sit on the Australian Uranium Association’s so-called ‘Indigenous Dialogue Group’. Other mining companies support her work as discussed below.

[ I’m thinking that Marcia Langton might now have to be  be included in the hierarchy of Australia’s nuclear spinners? – C.M. ]

Spindocs-Aussie-2013

Indigenous communities, conservation and the resource boom Friends of the Earth Australia, Nick McClean and Dawn Wells Chain Reaction #117, April 2013 In the recent Boyer Lectures, Prof. Marcia Langton argued that mining is providing Indigenous communities with an opportunity to move out of the economic margins and grow into a new middle class of wealth and opportunity.

But is mining the only way forward for Indigenous communities seeking to develop economically sustainable futures? And are supporters of conservation committing an act of racism, as she suggests?

We can begin by looking to Prof. Langton’s own publications. In an article published in the Journal of Political Ecology in 2005, Prof. Langton and her colleagues brought together research from across Australia, the Middle-East, Indonesia and the United Nation’s chief conservation agency, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Assessing the benefits and pitfalls of developing community-based conservation programs in partnership with Indigenous peoples, the conclusions were clear − Australia is currently one of the few countries where Indigenous led conservation programs are proving successful.

To quote: “Australia has in relation to certain key national parks, taken a lead role in the development of joint management agreements with Indigenous groups” (p.35) and “we also argue, in contrast to many critiques of community-based conservation elsewhere, that community-oriented protected areas are delivering significant benefits to Indigenous peoples in Australia” (p.24).

Based on a number of detailed examples, Prof. Langton and her colleagues argued that Australia’s Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) program in particular provides significant potential for Indigenous communities to develop livelihoods that are economically sustainable and culturally relevant. Continue reading

June 11, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | 1 Comment

Traditional Owners fighting Adani mine query Labor’s support for Native Title Bill

http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-fighting-adani-mine-query-labors-support-for-native-title-bill/   “Responding to reports that Labor has come to an agreement with the Turnbull government  which will see passage of the contentious Native Title Bill in the Senate next week,  Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s mine are calling on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten  to outline what consultation has occurred with Indigenous people  which makes his party satisfied the Bill should now become law.

“Shadow Minister Assisting for Resources, Mr Tim Hammond, is reported to have told a Perth resources conference today there was now a “settled position” with the Government and that the Opposition envisaged the bill would be passed next week.

“Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, says  ““Labor made a bunch of noise about the failure of the Attorney General to conduct proper grassroots consultation  with Aboriginal people on these important changes to native title laws.

““People deserve to hear from Labor what, if anything, has changed since mid May when it refused to vote for Adani’s Native Title Bill because consultation had been so shabby and amendments were all over the shop.

““Until Labor has been provided with evidence by the Turnbull government of appropriate consultation,
and the Senate has seen the Bill as proposed, it should refuse to back it,” Mr Burragubba said.

June 10, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Adani ‘investment decision’ meaningless without Indigenous consent

 Federal Court sets date for W&J litigation against Adani’s sham ILUA for March 2018

Native Title Bill still to pass, but won’t stop court action

http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/adani-investment-decision-meaningless-without-indigenous-consent/
On the day the Federal Court sets a hearing date for Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s proposed coal mine,
the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council has labelled
Adani’s announcement in Townsville as disingenuous.

Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J)Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, says

““Adani can put on whatever song and dance they like but the reality is that we have never consented to Adani’s mine being constructed on our land.

““The company and the Queensland Government do not have an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with our people.
We are fighting this mine of mass destruction, and no matter what the Senate does in its next sitting in terms of voting for the Native Title Bill, the Federal Court will hear our case against Adani’s phony deal.”

““Adani is going nowhere fast. They have no money for their project, and they don’t have the crucial Traditional Owners’ consent they need to build it. We have them in the Federal Court until March 2018 at least.”

“Members of the Wangan and Jagalingou Registered Native Title Claimant are currently in the Federal Court seeking to strike out Adani’s purported Indigenous Land Use Agreement [ILUA],
filed by Adani Mining with the National Native Title Tribunal.
An ILUA has been opposed by the native title claim group on three occasions since 2012.

Youth spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Ms Murrawah Johnson,
giving a keynote address at the National Native Title Conference in Townsville tomorrow, says

““Adani’s approach seems to be ‘fake it until you make it’, but
the reality is that they can’t and won’t proceed in the face of our resistance”. …

June 9, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Aboriginal Referendum Council and The ABC’s Q and A betrayal of the Aboriginal cause.

Perfecting Trickery: Referendum Council #noconsent to Recognition   http://www.sovereignunion.mobi/content/perfecting-trickery-referendum-council“On his return from Uluru, Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic, details the rigged processes of the Referendum Council’s National Convention and the subsequent media:

““I was absolutely shocked and horrified at the disjointed discussion that occurred on ABC TV  Q&A last night ( 29 May 2017) from Parliament House, Canberra.

“In my opinion the conclusions that occurred at the Referendum Council’s National convention at Uluru were totally betrayed by the Q&A panel.

“Having been permitted to sit as an observer in the main National Convention of the Referendum Council at Yulara near Uluru, I was privy to observe the proceedings and I sat through the ‘Synthesis’ of the Regional Dialogues and  what they called the breakout workshops as well, where the key topics were ‘The Voice’, ‘Treaty’, ‘Strategy’.

“In respect of the Synthesis (summary) of the Dialogues it was very clear that nationally the specially selected people by the Land Councils (invitation-only delegates) independently concluded  that is must be made clear that First Nations sovereignty was never ceded.

“The next key point was the fact the people, from around this island continent, who attended these Regional Dialogues, were emphatic that they did not want a minimalist approach to constitutional reform and they did not want it to be symbolic. They wanted something substantive that would effect real and positive change.  It was very clear that they did not just want to remove Section 51(26) the Race Power,  because they did not want anything in the constitution that could be used in a manner that
would be detrimental to First Nations Peoples exercising their rights and their right to be self-determining.

“More importantly, the presentation in the Synthesis/Summary does suggest that an overwhelming majority of people, who attended these Regional Dialogues, were determined that, because sovereignty was never ceded, that Treaties should be made with Sovereign First Nations throughout the continent and they determined that our ancient tapestry of languages and cultures cannot be destroyed and lost forever to our future generations. …

“Despite all the rigging and wrongdoings, the consensus that was finalised was:

1)    Sovereignty was never ceded;

2)    Rejection of being ‘recognised’ in the constitution;

3)    No support a minimalist approach to constitutional reform;

4)    Agreement that a Treaty/Makaratta Commission be established to develop a national framework going forward
that would permit each Sovereign Nation State to negotiate their own respective Treaty;

5)    Removal of section 51 (26) from the constitution;

6)    Establishment of Truth and Justice Commission;

7)    Resolved also that the constitution of Australia should have a Bill of Rights; and

8)    Establishment of an elected Voice to the parliament and to ensure that this Voice has constitutional backing. … 

June 2, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Uncertainty about future of existing Indigenous Protected Areas

Ranger groups in the dark about future of existing Indigenous Protected Areas http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-05-30/future-of-existing-indigenous-protected-areas-uncertain/8557532 Weeks after the federal budget was handed down there is still uncertainty about future funding for existing Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs).

Many ranger groups welcomed the $15 million towards new IPAs, but it left a question in the air about the funding for existing IPAs.

Patrick O’Leary, from the Pew Charitable Trust, one of the key supporting organisations for the Country Needs People campaign, told local radio that he still had no information about potential funding for existing IPAs.

“What is going to happen to the existing Indigenous Protected Area network of 67 million hectares, 75 of them across the country, and about 20 or 30 million hectares worth in the NT?” he said.

“Because in June next year those contracts for IPAs reach the end of their five-year term.”

Detail about where these new IPAs might be has also not been given.

Groups seek commitment

Continue reading

May 31, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Aboriginal demands for a Treaty, not just Constitutional recognition

I do believe that Treaty is the mechanism in which we can hold the government to account for past and present atrocities; it is our means of asserting our sovereignty and ensuring the structures that will see our communities flourish are funded. 

The Treaty model I support is one where parallel to the existing Australian framework is an Indigenous organisational framework brought about by the signing of a treaty. In the same way, mainstream Australia has local government councils, Indigenous nations can have their own nation councils to deal with local issues.

The Uluru walkout: Constitutional recognition, Treaty and structural change, Independent Australia  Natalie Cromb 26 May 2017Yesterday, several Indigenous delegates walked out of a Constitutional recognition summit. Indigenous affairs editor Natalie Cromb explains why, before proposing a better way. 

Indigenous Australians have for some time been discussing Constitutional recognition via the well-known Recognise campaign, as well as some smaller conservative offshoots, which have alternative Constitutional recognition models.

This week, a national First People’s summit has been holding a Constitutional convention to discuss constitutional recognition at Uluru in the Northern Territory. Yesterday, seven delegates and a large number of their supporters walked out of this Convention.

SBS reported their reasons why: Continue reading

May 26, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Uluru summit hears calls for a treaty

Video ft. Fred Hooper, Dubbo delegate
“But seven delegates & about a dozen of their supporters from NSW & Vic  derailed the meeting on its second day by staging a walkout and stating ‘we won’t sell out our mob’.

“The dissenters claim their calls for a treaty are being  diminished in favour of constitutional recognition. …
“Dubbo delegate Fred Hooper believes indigenous Australians should follow  their Canadian and New Zealand counterparts in negotiating a treaty for compensation and land reparations. … ”
http://www.skynews.com.au/news/politics/federal/2017/05/25/uluru-summit-hears-calls-for-a-treaty.html

May 26, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Australia’s Attorney General Brandis intervenes in W and J court action against Adani

Traditional Owners fighting Adani  appalled at improper political interference   http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/brandis-intervenes-in-indigenous-court-action-against-adani/

“The Attorney General, George Brandis, has intervened in a Federal Court hearing in which the Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s proposed coal mine are seeking to strike out a fake agreement Adani claims to have for the mine to proceed.

“Senator Brandis’ intervention follows his second failure to rush through changes to the Native Title Act….

Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J)Traditional Owners CouncilAdrian Burragubba, said,

““The Attorney General has made an extraordinary and political intervention in matters before the court.  Intervening in our case shows Brandis is working in billionaire Adani’s interests,  not ensuring the proper administration of justice.  Again, Brandis is making Native Title all about Adani’s mine instead of good law reform. …

Youth spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, MsMurrawah Johnson, said,

““Adani didn’t negotiate and achieve the free prior informed consent of the W&J people. The meeting, which Adani and its barrackers claim achieved consent, with a 294 to 1 vote, is as fake as its ILUA.
It is not a true expression of the W&J Traditional Owners.

““Over 220 of the attendees at Adani’s meeting are people who have never been involved in the W&J claim or decision making, and who are identified with other nations and claims, or didn’t identify an apical descent line. …

Lawyer for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Mr Colin Hardie, said,
“My clients have four strong grounds against Adani’s purported ILUA. …

May 19, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Stalemate in Australian govt’s effort to change Native Title Act

Native Title Act changes stuck amid stand-off between major parties, ABC News By political reporter Dan Conifer, 11 May 17, Native Title Act changes the Government declared urgent in February will not pass Parliament until at least mid-June, amid a stand-off between the major parties.

Key points:

  • Coalition moved to amend native title laws after major deal with WA Government and traditional owners scuttled in court
  • Federal Court ruling threw hundreds of agreements around the country into doubt
  • Coalition proposed legislation that would allow ILUAs to be registered with consent from most claimants

The Coalition moved to amend the law months ago after a court scuttled a major deal between the West Australian Government and traditional owners.

The Federal Court ruling overturned years of established law, throwing doubt over more than 100 agreements nationwide, including one covering Adani’s proposed multi-billion-dollar Queensland coal mine. The decision meant Indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs) needed to be signed by all native title claimants before coming into force. The Coalition proposed legislation that would allow ILUAs to be registered with consent from most claimants.

Since February, the bill has been repeatedly amended, with two revisions coming just this week……. The Upper House next sits on June 13. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-11/native-title-act-changes-wont-pass-until-mid-june/8519174

May 12, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Senate frustrates Government’s push to pass Native Title Bill

Traditional Owners fighting Adani heartened by Senate’s defence of native title,
deferred vote on changes  
http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/senate-frustrates-governments-push-to-pass-native-title-bill/~ Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) wanganjagalingou.com.au 11 May 2017:

“Despite the Prime Minister recently reassuring billionaire Gautam Adani that he will ‘fix’ native title laws to enable Adani’s controversial mine to go ahead, the Turnbull Government failed in the Senate again today, with its Native Title Amendment Bill being pushed off to June.

Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J)Traditional Owners Council, Burragubba, said “The Senate blew the Government’s cover on the false urgency it has been relying on to push the Bill through. It is clear that there is no immediate threat to Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) from the recent Federal Court McGlade decision.

““The Wangan and Jagalingou Council are heartened that our right to object to a land use agreement over our lands, because our common law native title is threatened with extinguishment, has gained recognition in the Federal Parliament.

““Opposition and Greens Senators spoke clearly and strongly about the need to put the native title rights of Traditional Owners ahead of all other interests, including mining, when making changes to the Native Title Act. …

Youth spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, MsMurrawah Johnson, said, “The Government has again failed to pass the changes to the Native Title Act
it has been seeking in its clamour to back the Adani mine.”  “The Coalition has worked furiously to fast-track these amendments to overturn the recent McGlade decision in the Federal Court, which render Adani’s purported land use agreement incapable of registration.

““The Turnbull government has treated our native title as worthless and ignored the wishes of the Australian people in trying to push through this bill. We have had immense support from thousands of Australians who have implored the Parliament not to mess with our rights and those of Traditional Owners around the country.

““This reflects a recent national poll which showed that nearly two-thirds of Australians
believe that where Traditional Owners are opposed to Adani’s mine being being built on their lands,
State and Federal governments should wait for consent rather than push ahead with the mine. … “

May 12, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Help for Aboriginal victims of nuclear bomb testing “60 years too late” says Yami Lester

“60 years too late”: Yami Lester on gold card for Indigenous people victim of nuclear tests http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2017/05/09/60-years-too-late-yami-lester-gold-card-indigenous-people-victim-nuclear-tests  The government is only doing it to look good.” By Claudianna Blanco 9 MAY 2017 
It’s budget night, and while the government was tight-lipped about measures affecting Indigenous Australians, there were a number of leaks ahead of the treasurer’s announcments.

On Monday afternoon, it transpired that the Veteran’s Affairs Minister, Dan Tehan, was preparing to announce that Aboriginal people who were near British nuclear testing in the in 1950s and 1960s would finally receive a gold health card, which would mean access to improved health care, and most costs covered.

“The measure will provide Gold Cards to Indigenous people present at or near Maralinga, Emu Fields or the Monte Bello Islands at the time of the British Nuclear Tests in the 1950s or 1960s,” Mr Tehan told the ABC’s Q&A program.

The Government will also provide a gold card to cover the health care costs of the surviving participants of the British Nuclear Test program and veterans who served as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF). The Government has allocated $133.1 million for this initiative to cover eligible veterans.

The announcement has been a long time coming for many Indigenous people and veterans alike, who have campaigned for decades to receive compensation.

Yankunytjatjara man Yami Lester, who was blinded by atomic fallout says the support comes “60 years too late”.

“Most of our people have passed away. They were young ones then, now they’re older ones now, a few of them still living now today.”

May 10, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | 1 Comment