~ Wangan & Jagalingou http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/
23 October 2016:
“Rockhampton-based Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan
“is feigning concern for Aboriginal people while relying on misleading media stories this weekend
which attempt to discredit the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners counciland
our rejection of the proposed Adani Carmichael mine”,
said Adrian Burragubba, senior Traditional Owner and spokesperson for the W&J council.
“Mr Adrian Burragubba said,
“We are self-determined and stand independently
– and we have said ‘no’ to Adani and their Government backers more times than we should have to
and Canavan is using us to serve his own self-interest.
““Hiding behind one W&J applicant, who is named as one of seven who received funds from Adani in a deal to attempt to overturn our decisions,
shows nothing but contempt for our concerns.
We have taken our concerns to the courts in a series of current cases, to the public, and to the United Nations. … “
One wonders if the interests of a ‘handful of natives’ might on some future occasion again be deemed subordinate to those of the dominant culture.
Each of these explosions generated considerable radioactivity, by means of the initial nuclear reaction and the through dispersion of radioactive particulate colloquially known as ‘fallout’. In addition to British scientific and military personnel, thousands of Australians were exposed to radiation produced by the tests. These included not only those involved in supporting the British testing program, but also Aboriginal people living downwind of the test sites, and other Australians more distant who came into contact with airborne radioactivity.
While less spectacular than the major detonations, the minor trials were more numerous. They also contributed to the lasting contamination of the Maralinga area. As a result of the nearly 600 minor trials, some 830 tons of debris contaminated by about 20 kg of plutonium were deposited in pits which graced the South Australian landscape. An additional 2 kg of plutonium was dispersed over the area. Such an outcome was unfortunate indeed, as plutonium is one of the most toxic substances known; it dissipates more slowly than most radioactive elements. The half-life of plutonium is 24,000 years. At this rate of decay, the Maralinga lands would be contaminated for the next half-million years.
Perhaps most significant was the secrecy surrounding the testing program. The decision to make the Monte Bello Islands available to the British for their first nuclear test appears to have been made by the Prime Minister alone, without reference to Cabinet, much less Parliament or the Australian public.
Chapter 16: A toxic legacy : British nuclear weapons testing in Australia Published in: Wayward governance : illegality and its control in the public sector / P N Grabosky Canberra : Australian Institute of Criminology, 1989 ISBN 0 642 14605 5(Australian studies in law, crime and justice series); pp. 235-253 “……..In 1950, Labor Prime Minister Clement Atlee sent a top secret personal message to Australian Prime Minister Menzies asking if the Australian government might agree to the testing of a British nuclear weapon at the Monte Bello Islands off Western Australia. Menzies agreed in principle, immediately; there is no record of his having consulted any of his Cabinet colleagues on the matter. A preliminary assessment of the suitability of the proposed test site was conducted in October-November 1950.
The Monte Bello site was deemed suitable by British authorities, and in a message to Menzies dated 26 March 1951 Atlee sought formal agreement to conduct the test. Atlee’s letter did not discuss the nature of the proposed test in minute detail. He did, however, see fit to mention the risk of radiation hazards:
6. There is one further aspect which I should mention. The effect of exploding an atomic weapon in the Monte Bello Islands will be to contaminate with radio activity the north-east group and this contamination may spread to others of the islands. The area is not likely to be entirely free from contamination for about three years and we would hope for continuing Australian help in investigating the decay of contamination. During this time the area will be unsafe for human occupation or even for visits by e.g. pearl fishermen who, we understand, at present go there from time to time and suitable measures will need to be taken to keep them away. We should not like the Australian Government to take a decision on the matter without having this aspect of it in their minds (quoted in Australia 1985, p. 13).
Menzies was only too pleased to assist the ‘motherland’, but deferred a response until after the 195 1 federal elections. With the return of his government, preparations for the test, code-named ‘Hurricane’, proceeded. Yet it was not until 19 February 1952 that the Australian public was informed that atomic weapons were to be tested on Australian soil.
Chapter 16: A toxic legacy : British nuclear weapons testing in Australia Published in: Wayward governance : illegality and its control in the public sector / P N Grabosky Canberra : Australian Institute of Criminology, 1989 ISBN 0 642 14605 5(Australian studies in law, crime and justice series); pp. 235-253 “…….The security measures taken to restrict access to the testing site were not without flaws. One morning in May 1957, four Aboriginal people, the Milpuddie family, were found by range authorities near the crater formed by the ‘Buffalo 2’ explosion the previous October. ‘Me man, woman, two children and two dogs had set out on foot from the Everard Ranges in the northwest of South Australia, and were unaware that the Aboriginal inhabitants of the Maralinga area had been removed. When authorities discovered them, the family was immediately taken to a decontamination centre at the site, and were required to shower. After this experience, which must have been frightening enough, the family was driven to Yalata.
As one of the site personnel described the experience:
It was a shocking trip down as they had never ridden in a vehicle before and vomited everywhere (Australia 1985, p. 320).
On instructions from the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Supply, the dogs were shot. ‘ne woman was pregnant at the time the family was taken into custody; subsequently, her baby was born dead. Australian authorities went to great lengths to keep the incident secret, but they appear to have been less concerned with the family’s subsequent health. Commenting upon the fact that no-one appears to have taken the time to explain the experience to which the hapless Aborigines were subjected, a team of anthropologists was to comment:
[T]he three remaining members of the family have been subjected to a high degree of stress and unhappiness about the events of twenty-eight years ago (Australia 1985, p. 323)…….http://aic.gov.au/publications/previous%20series/lcj/1-20/wayward/ch16.html
~ Wangan & Jagalingou Family Council http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/ http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-fighting-adani-mine-meet-un-rapporteur/ 13 October 2016
“Traditional owners fighting Adani mine meet UN Rapporteur today:
“Raise ‘egregious failure’ of Qld Mines Minister & Coordinator General to respect Indigenous rights
“The declaration of Adani’s Carmichael coal project as “critical infrastructure” by Qld Government Mines Minister, Anthony Lynham,
is “a political absurdity, and continues the egregious failure of the Queensland Government to respect our rights”,
said Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council senior spokesperson, Adrian Burragubba today,
before a meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders.
“Mr. Burragubba confirmed he would today raise this new development with Mr. Michel Forst,
who is currently conducting an official visit to Australia.
More detail about his visit is provided below.
“Mr Burragubba said, “Minister Lynham’s declaration is like calling a state of emergency for coal mining. Giving Adani this advantage provides cover for the abuse of the rights of Traditional Owners
who have stood firm in the face of the destruction that would befall their lands, waters and culture
if this massive, inappropriate project were to ever proceed.
““Adani and the Queensland government have used coercive powers under Native Title and State Development legislation, and the threat of compulsory acquisition of our land rights, to drive the development of the mine forward, over our vehement objections.
The Coordinator General, Mr Barry Broe, has been instrumental in making this happen and
this week Minister Lynham handed him even more power to override our legitimate concerns
about the destruction of our environment and the disregard of our rights”, Mr Burragubba said.
“Mr. Burragubba, and W&J youth spokesperson, Ms. Murrawah Johnson, said the meeting today will build on a previous submission W&J made to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in which they sought assistance to deal with the failure of both State and Federal Governments to properly respect the human rights of W&J Traditional Owners, as both Governments fell over themselves in obscene haste to get Adani’s coal mine approvals out the door. … “
We Need To Talk Much Less About Andrew Bolt And Much More About Treaty Liam McLoughlin @situtheatre
“A Yolngu man’s extraordinary win at the Northern Territory election is a significant milestone for the Treaty movement.
Yet all the media can talk about is the ‘Indigenous’ Andrew Bolt.
“In recent weeks it was declared that Yolngu man Yingiya Mark Guyula had won a stunning victory
over Labor’s Lynne Walker at the Northern Territory election, running proudly on a Treaty platform. …
“Held by the ALP since 1980, the seat was categorised as “Very Safe Labor” with a margin of 13.7 per cent.
While Labor’s Lynne Walker won the majority non-Indigenous mining town of Nhulunbuy,
Guyula won the vote in every single Yolngu community and was declared the overall winner by eight votes. … “
Aboriginal man’s story of Maralinga nuclear bomb survival told with virtual reality By Alex Mann ABC News, 7 Oct 16 In an unlikely collision of cultures, state-of-the-art 3D film technology is bringing an Aboriginal man’s unique tale of nuclear bomb survival to audiences across Australia.
In the 1950s Nyarri Morgan was a young man, walking and hunting in South Australia’s northern deserts. His dramatic first contact with whites came when he witnessed a nuclear bomb explosion at the British testing site at Maralinga.
Now, as an old man, and with the help of director Lynette Wallworth and some technology, he is sharing his story in a film called Collisions that is screening in selected venues around Australia.
“It happened in a desert where people assumed there were very few people [and] there was not much life and not much to be lost,” Wallworth said.
“Every one of those assumptions was wrong.”
‘People still have that poison today’ As the radioactive dust fell, Mr Morgan walked an ancient trade route at the edge of the test site. He had no idea of what he was witnessing.
In making the film, Wallworth asked Mr Morgan what he thought he was seeing. “He said, ‘We thought it was the spirit of our gods rising up to speak with us’,” she said. “[He said] ‘then we saw the spirit had made all the kangaroos fall down on the ground as a gift to us of easy hunting so we took those kangaroos and we ate them and people were sick and then the spirit left’.”
Mr Morgan is sharing his story, in his words, so it won’t ever be forgotten. “After the explosion the fallout went north,” Mr Morgan said. “Powder, white powder killed a lot of kangaroos [and] spinifex [grass]. Water was on fire, that’s what we saw.”
Mr Morgan said water “died” but that he and the two men he was with drank the water, even though it was still hot. “The smoke went into our noses, and other people still have that poison today,” he said.
“We all poisoned, in the heart, in the blood and other people that were much closer they didn’t live very long, they died, a whole lot of them.” ‘In virtual reality everything becomes personal’………..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-07/aboriginal-mans-story-of-nuclear-bomb-survival-told-in-vr/7913874
MAGALI MCDUFFIE http://www.magalimcduffie.com/travels/2016/9/26/south-australia-no-nuclear-dump Over two years ago, my partner Alexander Hayes met Bruce Hammond, of the Tanganekald & Western Arrente people, South Australia, who brought to his awareness the ongoing struggles and challenges that his people and other Aboriginal communities face, particularly in light of the South Australian proposal for a nuclear waste dump in the Flinders Ranges. With over three months of logistics and planning, and at Bruce’s invitation, Alex and myself will be travelling through many different communities in South Australia, listening to the voices of people on country, who have not been consulted by the government in an appropriate manner.
So on September 24th we started our journey from Canberra to South Australia.
Our road trip took us through Wagga-Wagga, the Hay Plains, Benanee Lake, Balranald, Mildura, finally arriving in Adelaide on the morning of the 26th. On 26 September, 2016 we had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Karina Lester, Co-Manager and Aboriginal Language Worker at Mobile-Language Team, at the University of Adelaide. Karina is the daughter of well-known Yankunytjatjara Elder and Activist Yami Lester, who was blinded by the ‘black mist’ from the first Atomic Test Bomb at Emu Junction, South Australia.
Karina told us that the idea of a nuclear waste dump in South Australia is not new – her grand-mother and her family successfully fought against it back in the 1990s. But now it is on the agenda again, and Aboriginal communities whose land the nuclear dump would be built on are not being properly consulted. Even though the South Australian government is sending representatives to a hundred different communities, under the guise of consultation (Get to Know Nuclear), they are not engaging language experts and interpreters to communicate directly and effectively with these communities. Aboriginal people are therefore not getting all the information on the nuclear waste project, thereby contravening the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Continue reading
Lauren Mellor, 27 Sept 16
Quick update from the NT as some of you may have seen the news last week that Rio Tinto was granted exploration rights for uranium at a site called Dry Creek, part of the Garawa Wanyii Land Trust on the border of the NT and QLD in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Well-known Garawa/Wanyii Aboriginal rights activist Alec Doomadgee’s family are caretakers for the area concerned and he has been posting video updates online about the situation, saying the community are preparing to challenge the Northern Land Council’s sign off on the project with Rio Tinto (you can view some on his Facebook page
and the Borroloola Change-makers page).
Opposition to the agreement is high and the community have responded quickly to the announcement calling for new meetings to clarify and reverse any decision made.
A fired-up delegation from the community including Alec have just travelled to Darwin and met with the NLC executive on Friday.
The outcome was that NLC have agreed not to proceed with the agreement sign-off until new community meetings can be called in coming weeks.
I’ve been speaking with people from Gulf communities and it looks like the ‘agreement’ was reached through a very sloppy consultation process with the NLC piggy-backing off an IPA meeting for the Garawa/Wanyii Land Trust and creating alot of confusion about the projects being discussed.
When some people requested more information about the uranium exploration project the NLC took that to mean agreement to start negotiations and as a ‘yes’ to exploration, which many will know ultimately means a yes to mining further down the track if the company wants to proceed..
Art exhibition to mark 60th anniversary of nuclear testing in Maralinga asks what has changed ABC Central Victoria By Larissa Romensky , 22 Sept 16, A national touring exhibition of artwork marks 60 years after the British government exploded an atomic bomb in South Australia’s outback.
On September 27, 1956 the British government conducted its first atomic test at Maralinga.
In total, seven nuclear bomb blasts were detonated between 1956 and 1967 in the southern part of the Great Victoria Desert in South Australia followed by more than 600 “minor tests”.
These were not the first nuclear tests to be conducted in Australia, but the term Maralinga, an Aboriginal word for thunder, became the name associated with this chapter in Australian history.
Black Mist Burnt Country, is a national touring exhibition that revisits the events and its location through the work of more than 30 Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.
Curator JD Mittman said the title refers to the “mysterious” black mist that hovered over the country after the first test at Emu Field in South Australia in 1953 that “badly” affected Aboriginal families at Wallatinna.
“[Yankunytjatjara man] Yami Lester testified that people got very sick, some died, and he lost his eyesight,” Mr Mittman said.
Burnt country was in reference to the enormous heat generated by an atomic bomb blast, 1,000 times hotter than the sun.
“The blast melts the ground to glass, also called Trinitide, after the Trinity test ," he said.
Inspired by Jonathan Kumintjarra Brown
Jonathan Kumintjara Brown was a member of the stolen generation and later in life connected with his family in South Australia and found out about the atomic testing of his traditional land.
Mr Mittman said the exhibition was originally inspired by the artist's work entitled Marilinga before the atomic test.
"The question that came to mind immediately was: if there's a work that depicts the country before the atomic tests then surely there must be work that is also about the period after or during the tests," he said.
The work in the exhibition spans seven decades from across the globe from the first atomic test in Hiroshima to the present day, from both private and public collections........http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-21/exhibition-to-mark-60th-anniversary-of-nuclear-testing/7865192
This March, documents obtained exclusively by news.com.au revealed that hundreds of children and grandchildren of veterans exposed to radiation were born with shocking illnesses including tumours, Down syndrome, cleft palates, cerebral palsy, autism, missing bones and heart disease.
Other veterans posted to the Maralinga nuclear test site blamed the British Nuclear Test for an unusually high number of stillbirths and miscarriages among the group.
“The rest of the Aboriginal people in this country need to know the story as well,” “This one’s been kept very quiet.”
Nuclear will be on show at the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide, South Australia from 17 September to 12 November.
The secret destruction of Australia’s Hiroshima, http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/the-secret-destruction-of-australias-hiroshima/news-story/9eabf722dbe2f87e03a297c2a348a8e1 news.com.au, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016 WHEN nuclear explosions tore through Australia’s vast, arid centre, some people living there didn’t even know it was coming.
It devastated the country for miles around, annihilating every bird, tree and animal in its path.
Even today, the effects of our very own Hiroshima are still felt by the families it ripped apart, and those suffering horrific health problems as a result.
The British military detonated seven nuclear bombs in remote Maralinga, around 800km north-west of Adelaide, plus two at Emu Fields and three off the coast near Karratha, Western Australia.
They also staged hundreds of minor trials investigating the impact of non-nuclear explosions on atomic weapons, involving tanks, gun, mannequins in uniforms and even tethered goats. In many ways, these smaller tests were equally dangerous, spraying plutonium in all directions.
Yet most Australians know very little about the blasts that shattered communities, and the dramatic story now buried under layers of dust. Continue reading
Our people today are signing Indigenous Land Use Agreements, ILUAs, without truly understanding what they are surrendering to the oppressor colonial state and no-one fully informs them of the consequences. Will a treaty be the same?
Justice Willis [in R v Bonjon, Supreme Court of New South Wales 1841] adds: “I repeat that I am not aware of any express enactment or treaty subjecting the Aborigines of this colony to the English colonial law, and I have shown that the Aborigines cannot be considered as Foreigners in a Kingdom which is their own”.
Justice Willis then reasoned that: “Aboriginal people remained ‘unconquered and free, entitled to be regarded as ‘self-governing communities’. Their rights ‘as distinct people’ could not be considered to have been ‘tacitly surrendered’. As they were ‘by no means devoid of legal capacity’ and had ‘laws and usages of their own’, ‘treaties should be made with them’. The colonists were ‘uninvited intruders’, the Aborigines ‘the native sovereigns of the soil’ “
We are under occupation by a foreign power, which keeps us in our place by superior force Ghillar, Michael Anderson https://linksunten.indymedia.org/en/node/190003 by: Ghillar, Michael Anderson (Account: Nuclear Worrier)09. September 2016. Bathurst, Put clearly, Australia does not have its own sovereignty. Under its British constitution all governments in Australia are caretakers in occupation and govern for the non-Aboriginal people who call themselves Australians. In point of fact federal, state and territory governments govern in right of the crown of Britain. Former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott appear demented when opposing treaties.
http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-fight-on-appeal-carmichael-mine-federal-court-decision/ 8 September 2016
“An appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court of Australia was filed today by -senior Traditional Owner and spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) family council, Mr Adrian Burragubba, challenging a decision of Justice Reeves in relation to the Queensland government’s issuing of mining leases for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, handed down on 19th August 2016.
“Mr Burragubba said: “We said ‘no means no’ and so we will continue to resist this damaging coal mine that will tear the heart out of our Country. The stakes are huge.In the spirit of our ancestors, we will continue to fight for justice until the project falls over.
““The decision of the Native Title Tribunal in April 2015 to allow the issuing of the mining leases by the Queensland government took away our right to free, prior and informed consent.
It effectively allowed the government to override the decision that we made nearly two years ago to reject Adani’s ‘deal’,” Mr Burragubba said. … “
Timber Creek Aboriginal custodians win historic $3.3 million payout for native title rights loss, ABC News, By Avani Dias and Jessicah Mendes 25 Aug 16 “………Extinguishment principle ‘hard to accept’
In a separate decision, the Federal Court has partially recognised the rights of the Mirarr people to one of the longest-running native title claims in the Territory.
The court has recognised the Mirarr’s rights over sections of the township of Jabiru that have been subleased to government entities. But those rights only apply if and when the leases expire — a move described as the “suppression” of native title.
The ruling also rejected or ‘extinguished’ the Mirarr’s rights over areas of the town subleased to private companies such as Energy Resources Australia — the operators of the Ranger uranium mine.
Mr Morrison said the case had been a complicated one.
“I think it was a very difficult case but I think it also sets an important precedent to partially recognise, through suppression, native title in parts of Jabiru,” he said.
But he said the concept of a native title claim being rejected or “extinguished” could be very difficult for Aboriginal people to accept.
“Aboriginal people right around the country have said it’s an abhorrent feature of the Native Title Act, this extinguishment principle.”http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-24/timber-creek-custodians-payout-for-native-titles-rights-loss/7779532
Timber Creek Aboriginal custodians win historic $3.3 million payout for native title rights loss, ABC News, By Avani Dias and Jessicah Mendes 25 Aug 16 More than 20 years after the landmark Mabo decision, the Federal Court has for the first time determined how to award compensation to traditional owners who have lost their native title rights.
- First time court has quantified loss of cultural attachment to land
- Decision expected to trigger new cases
- NLC ‘very happy’ with outcome of decision
Aboriginal custodians of Timber Creek, 600km south-west of Darwin, have been awarded $3.3 million in compensation for the loss of their native title rights. Continue reading