Australian news, and some related international items

Brewarrina residents step up campaign against proposed nuclear dump.

22 Feb 18 Brewarrina residents, including Ngemba people with local cultural responsibilities, are stepping up their campaign against the proposal for national nuclear waste dump in the region. 

silent vigil will be held during the Council meeting at 8:30am this Friday February 23, followed with a rally on Saturday morning at 9:30am.

In November 2017 the Brewarrina Council revealed that a delegation had traveled to Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney and subsequently engaged pro-nuclear consultant Robert Parker.

Trish Frail, a Ngemba woman who is coordinating the local campaign to oppose the dump, said the community was shocked by the proposal.

“This nuclear facility will not benefit our town, the community or the environment,” Ms Frail said. 

“Ngemba people are custodians for the Ngunnhu Fish Traps. The site is claimed to be over sixty thousand years old and is heritage listed, being the oldest man-made structure in the world.”

“The Biami Traps were once a great gathering site for all clans to trap fish and to host corroborees, initiation ceremonies, and meetings for trade and barter.”

“A lot of our younger generation are talking about moving away if a nuclear dump is built on our land, they will lose our culture and our lore, this must not happen. The young people have been helping.”

“Brewarrina will not become a nuclear dumping ground for the Australian Government. We say No Nuclear Bundabunda (poison) on Ngemba Land – Bad Poison,” Ms Frail concluded. 

Facebook events

Friday vigil:

Saturday rally:



February 22, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, ACTION, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Australia’s shocking cruelty to Aboriginal people with disabilities: Solitary confinement

‘The abuse of Aboriginal prisoners with disabilities in Australian jails is confronting, and ongoing.

‘In Part 3 of this special series for New Matilda, Michael Brull looks at the use of 
solitary confinement against disabled Aboriginal prisoners,
exposed in a report written by Human Rights Watch

‘Human Rights Watch (HRW) observes that under international law, solitary confinement means
confining a prisoner for 22 hours or more per day “without meaningful human contact”.
Prolonged solitary confinement occurs when solitary confinement is extended past 15 consecutive days.

‘HRW documents in its report that various specialists on international law
from various United Nations human rights organisations have found that under international law,
it is unacceptable to impose solitary confinement on people with disabilities
under any circumstances. … ‘

Read Part 3 of MichaelBrull‘s interesting, thought-provoking, comprehensive, compassionate & concerned article
focusing on the SolitaryConfinement of AboriginalPeopleWithDisabilities:

February 21, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | 1 Comment

Nuclear waste dump? A new abuse for Brewarrina’s Aboriginal people?

Brewarrina, or “Bre” as it is known, is an historic and fascinating town on the Barwon-Darling River. New South Wales.With 68% of the local population identifying as indigenous it is essentially an Aboriginal town. ….
It is hard to underestimate the importance of the Aboriginal stone fish traps which, at 40,000 years old, may be the oldest man-made structures on the planet.

Brewarrina was the scene of a huge massacre of Aboriginals. “They rounded them up like cattle, old and young, on the Quantambone plain, and shot them. It is said that there were about 400 and that was how Hospital Creek got its name”

No Nuclear Bundabunda at Brewarrina – bad poison [SIGN THE PETITION]

It is disappointing that the local Councillors and Council would even consider such an atrocity as a nuclear waste dump at Brewarrina.
If Nuclear waste was so safe why is it taken over 35years to find a site, why are they seeking to build in isolated communities with the majority off the population being Aboriginal?
Brewarrina is known worldwide for the oldest man-made structure in the world with Baiame’s Ngunnhu Fish Traps and we want to keep it that way, not to be known as a nuclear waste facility.
The local Council approached the Federal Government for this proposal without consultation with the community and without negotiation with the Local Land Council or the Ngemba Community Working Party or other local councils.
We believe the health of the community will be at risk. We are being promised 15 jobs, what is 15 jobs compared to the health of the community and the land and water.
There are other options available to boost the economy of the town such as solar power, tourism and the abattoirs.
No Nuclear Bundabunda at Brewarrina – bad poison
(please note; 7 out of 9 Councillors have supported this proposal)
Council released their survey for the proposal to go ahead.
The Greens will table our petition in Federal Parliament.

February 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Wangan Jagalingou oppose Adani coal mine expansion – NO EXTINGUISHMENT OF NATIVE TITLE

Letter to the QLD Premier – there should be no extinguishment of Native Title, by Wangan Jagalingou

There should be no extinguishment of Native Title without our consent

‘The W&J Council received its most recent mandate at a meeting of the W&J claim group on 2 December 2017.
The letter informed the Government that the W&J claim group opposes the Adani Mining Pty Ltd project because of the damage that it will cause to the culture, and the lands and waters,
of the Wangan and Jagalingou People.

W&J council also oppose the registered Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani Mining Pty Ltd
purported to be authorised by the Wangan and Jagalingou People
in controversial circumstances (“the Adani ILUA”).

W&J council uphold the decisions of the claim group who,
on four separate occasions (the last being at the authorisation meeting of 2 December 2017),
have rejected the Adani ILUA. …

February 14, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Close the Gap and Apology are band-aid measures – a far cry from treaties & decolonisation

Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia, Asserting Australia’s First Nations Sovereignty into Governance,, 12 February 2018, 

Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and Leader of the Euahlayi Nation said from Goodooga today:

“I don’t believe a modern treaty process will get any further than the National Aboriginal Conference (NAC) did, unless Sovereign First Nations declare sovereign independence through UDIs and force decolonisation through a united front. Understandably, First Nations’ assertions of sovereignty have been honed in the intervening 30 plus years. I constantly remind our people that our reality is we hold the continental Common Law, but are occupied by a foreign power ruling in right of the British Crown. Until this changes through decolonisation, Close the Gap, Apology and other government policies remain as band aid measures.”

Statement in full:

“So long as a Rhodes Scholar is running this country the vested interests of the British Crown are paramount and remain in line with mining magnate Cecil Rhodes’ legacy of educating scholars to run and exploit a country for Britain’s benefit. PM Malcolm Turnbull, a Rhodes Scholar with a Bachelor of Civil Law from Brasenose College, Oxford is the latest agent of the coloniser to ensure First Nations’ inherent sovereign rights to lands, waters and natural resources are quashed.

This is consistent with Turnbull’s continuing fiasco of the Closing the Gap agenda, which has clearly failed, despite minor improvements announced today. In reality, the Turnbull government wants to either abandon the Close the Gap program, or water down the targets, despite recent recommendations from the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), to do otherwise and properly engage with ‘Indigenous people’. [ ] & [ ]

Turnbull may talk about ‘refreshing’ Close the Gap to appear in line with the CERD recommendations of 2017, but fails to provide the requested ‘disaggregated data’ for a proper evaluation. In fact, the Turnbull government is belligerently ignoring the CERD’s 2017 findings, which were strategically released on Boxing Day, 26 December 2017. CERD was highly critical of Australia’s treatment of First Nations and Peoples and failure to address remedies.

At para 19 the CERD states:

  1. … despite statements by the State Party that it rejects the principle ofterra nulliusgrounded in the “discovery discourse”, the State party continues to conduct its relations with indigenous peoples, in a manner that is not reconcilable with their rights to self-determination and to own and control their lands and natural resources.

Once again the CERD recommends Australia ‘enter into good faith treaty negotiations’ [para20]. This is, in fact, a recognition of First Nations’ pre-existing and continuing sovereignty because the only meaning of treaty in modern international law is an agreement between sovereign Nations.

The CERD also recommends ‘that the State party move urgently to effectively protect the land rights of indigenous peoples, including by amending the Native Title Act 1993, with a view to lowering the standard of proof required and simplifying the applicable procedures. It also urges the State party to ensure that the principle of free, prior and informed consent is incorporated into the Native Title Act 1993 and into other legislation, as appropriate, and fully implemented in practice.’ [ CERD/C/AUS/CO/18-20 ] (emphasis added)

Read more of this Statement by Ghillar when it becomes available

February 14, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

I will say NO to the waste dump

Regina McKenzie Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, February 3, 2017  Back home on the Range, seeing it made a lump come into my throat, how can any one even think of putting a waste dump in such a beautiful ancient land?

We the people of this land comes from a group of nations, that were hunted in the past, the Government of them days actually supported the activity of early settlers, a five pound bounty, which was a lot of money in those days, was paid per scalp of Aboriginals, blankets that was exposed to small pox given out to unsuspecting yura’s, who then shared these gifts to the wider Aboriginal people, hence spreading the disease to people who had no immunity to it and can’t forget the water hole being poisoned, what I am getting at is back then, when we were hunted, this land was our sanctuary all the decimated nations fled into the hills, thus forming the Adnyamathanha people, adnya meaning rock and mathanaha meaning groups, it was the hills of this beautiful land that saved us,

I hear many say oh thank goodness for the missionaries they helped us ….. NO they only contained us on missions, taking control of our lives, banning the people to practice culture and making public enemies of the ones who stood strong, it was the land that gave us places to hide and why we are still here, so why do Yura’s take it for granted? why do they turn their back? why do they so cowardly bend their knee?

I will stand for the land, I will fight with every ounce of my strength, I live and breath this land, it is my solace, my love, the place where I am whole, I will say NO to the waste dump, I stand proud and I will protect my Mudah, my past, present and future

February 5, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference, South Australia | Leave a comment

Native Title, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, and Adani Coal Mine Project

Killing Country (Part 5): Native Title Colonialism, Racism And Mining For Manufactured Consent, New Matilda By Morgan Brigg on

In the final of a five-part series on the battle by the Wangan and Jagalingou people of Central Queensland to halt the construction of the Carmichael coal mine by Indian mining giant Adani, Dr Morgan Brigg explains the problems with a native title system that continues to dispossess and disempower Australia’s First Peoples.

Wangan and Jagalingou people are the traditional owners of a vast swathe of Central-Western Queensland that is critical for the proposed Adani Carmichael mine, including a 2,750-hectare area over which native title rights must be extinguished for Adani to convert the land to freehold tenure for the infrastructure for mine operations.

The Wangan and Jagalingou are native title applicants with a prima facie claim to their lands, but the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council (W&J) are not following the establishment script of playing along with mining interests. Instead, they are vehemently resisting the proposed Adani Carmichael mine, including through native title law.

The fact that their rejection of Adani through four claim group meetings is not an open-and-shut case which sends the miners packing goes to the heart of what native title is and how it works in Australia

……… At the heart of the matter is that the native title regime is not a strong vehicle for the pursuit of Indigenous rights, including because it does not enable a veto, the possibility of which is the only true test of whether it can be said that free, prior and informed consent has been given. As W&J say, ‘no means no’.

Instead, native title facilitates the interests of state and capital by manufacturing consent through processes stacked against Indigenous people and backed up by the option of compulsory state acquisition of land.

The Australian establishment is accustomed to a highly inequitable approach to race politics. But the immorality of such legal deprivation is readily recognised on the world stage. The racially discriminatory nature of native title has previously been called out by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and as the W&J’s recent submission to the CERD states, “a consultation process that conforms to international law is almost impossible under Australian law”.

Despite having the odds stacked against them, W&J are challenging Australia’s native title system and the notion that compliance with colonial-derived law and the imperatives of industrial projects is the way forward for Indigenous people……..

Manufacturing Consent, Denying Traditional Owners

Wangan and Jagalingou people rejected Adani’s proposals in December 2012 and October 2014. However, Adani went to the NNTT in 2013 and 2015, the Tribunal allowed the mining leases to be granted over the rejections of the claim group, and the Queensland Government duly complied. This is the most direct way in which native title facilitates the denial rather than the protection of Aboriginal rights.

There was no consent, and no requirement on Adani to continue to negotiate, or to accept a refusal.

In addition, and against Wangan and Jagalingou decisions in 2012 and 2014, QSNTS has continued to facilitate Adani’s ongoing efforts to seek agreement, through an ILUA, to the surrender of native title rights in up to 2,750 hectares of land that are necessary for infrastructure critical to the mine. QSNTS declined to in any way facilitate a ‘self-determined’ meeting of the claim group that was run in March 2016 – a meeting that once again rejected an ILUA with Adani, as well as any further dealings with them. They also refused to attend, or share the notice of the most recent claim group meetings in December 2017 – meetings to address the progress of the native title claim. These meetings also revisited, and as it turned out, de-authorised the ILUA that Adani was seeking to have registered………..

Meanwhile, the Queensland Government has remained silent in public while consistently joining court actions on the side of Adani, and actively facilitating the mine through the actions of the Coordinator-General. In this way, they prosecute an out-dated resource-intensive developmentalism at the expense of Indigenous rights, without publically saying that they oppose Indigenous rights.

As noted in a previous article in this series, “The ILUA process, in effect, enables the State Government to abrogate its responsibilities to mining companies in negotiations with Traditional Owners, despite the obvious unequal access to power and information that shapes both negotiation processes and their outcomes”.

However, depending on the outcome of the upcoming court case, the Queensland Government may be called upon to more explicitly deny the rights of Indigenous people as enabled by the native title regime.

Compulsory Acquisition and the Continuation of Colonial Violence

Should the objections of the W&J to the Adani ILUA process be upheld in the March 2018 court case, and if potential further Adani efforts to seek an ILUA are unsuccessful, the Queensland Government can compulsorily acquire the 2,750 hectares that Adani seeks. This action, which would be initiated through the Coordinator-General and require a decision of the Governor in Council, would see the state extinguish the native title rights of Wangan and Jagalingou people.

………W&J stand on the conflict-ridden frontier of these issues in real time where powerful forces – the state, miners, big money, and the established media – seek to overcome Aboriginal resistance that operates through the ‘right to say no’ that inspires older and rising generations of Aboriginal rights leaders.The W&J are pushing the limits of native title to prosecute their rights while opposing Adani’s proposed mine and making claims through Aboriginal law on their own terms. In doing so they are helping to show how native title is manifestly inadequate.

They are also helping all of us to ask questions of native title, and requiring us to ask what might be an alternative meaningful step in advancing Indigenous rights in Australia.

January 31, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Nuclear Racism in Australia

Jim Green, Anti-nuclear & Clean Energy (ACE) Campaign, Friends of the Earth, Australia,  January 2018 

The British government conducted 12 nuclear bomb tests in Australia in the 1950s, most of them at Maralinga in South Australia. Permission was not sought from affected Aboriginal groups such as the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Tjarutja and Kokatha. Thousands of people were adversely affected and the impact on Aboriginal people was particularly profound.

The 1985 Royal Commission found that regard for Aboriginal safety was characterised by “ignorance, incompetence and cynicism”. Many Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their homelands and taken to places such as the Yalata mission in South Australia, which was effectively a prison camp.

In the late-1990s, the Australian government carried out a clean-up of the Maralinga nuclear test site. It was done on the cheap and many tonnes of debris contaminated with kilograms of plutonium remain buried in shallow, unlined pits in totally unsuitable geology. As nuclear engineer and whistleblower Alan Parkinson said of the ‘clean-up’ on ABC radio in August 2002: “What was done at Maralinga was a cheap and nasty solution that wouldn’t be adopted on white-fellas land.”

Barely a decade after the ‘clean-up’, a survey revealed that 19 of the 85 contaminated debris pits had been subject to erosion or subsidence. The half-life of plutonium-239 is 24,100 years.

Radioactive ransom − dumping on the NT

From 2005−2014 successive federal governments attempted to impose a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty, 110 km north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. A toxic trade-off of basic services for a radioactive waste dump was part of this story from the start. The nomination of the Muckaty site was made with the promise of $12 million compensation package comprising roads, houses and scholarships. Muckaty Traditional Owner Kylie Sambo objected to this radioactive ransom: “I think that is a very, very stupid idea for us to sell our land to get better education and scholarships. As an Australian we should be already entitled to that.”

The Liberal/National Coalition government led by John Howard passed legislation − the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005 − overriding the Aboriginal Heritage Act, undermining the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, and allowing the imposition of a nuclear dump with no Aboriginal consultation or consent.

The Australian Labor Party voted against the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act, with Labor parliamentarians describing it as “extreme”, “arrogant”, “draconian”, “sorry”, “sordid”, and “profoundly shameful”. At its 2007 national conference, Labor voted unanimously to repeal the legislation. Yet after the 2007 election, the Labor government passed legislation − the National Radioactive Waste Management Act (NRWMA) − which was almost as draconian and still permitted the imposition of a nuclear dump with no Aboriginal consultation or consent.

In February 2008, Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd highlighted the life-story of Lorna Fejo − a member of the stolen generation − in the National Apology in Parliament House. At the same time, the Rudd government was stealing her land for a nuclear dump. Fejo said: “I’m very, very disappointed and downhearted about that [NRWMA legislation]. I’m really sad. The thing is − when are we going to have a fair go? Australia is supposed to be the land of the fair go. When are we going to have fair go? I’ve been stolen from my mother and now they’re stealing my land off me.”

Shamefully, the NLC supported legislation disempowering the people it is meant to represent.

The Federal Court trial finally began in June 2014. After two weeks of evidence, the NLC gave up and agreed to recommend to the federal government the withdrawal of the nomination of Muckaty for a nuclear dump. The Coalition government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott accepted the NLC’s recommendation.

Lorna Fejo said: “I feel ecstatic. I feel free because it was a long struggle to protect my land.”

Owners have won a significant battle for country and culture, but the problems and patterns of radioactive racism persist. Racism in the uranium mining industry involves ignoring the concerns of Traditional Owners; divide-and-rule tactics; radioactive ransom; ‘humbugging’ Traditional Owners (exerting persistent, unwanted pressure); providing Traditional Owners with false information; and threats, including legal threats.

In 1998, the Howard government announced its intention to build a nuclear waste dump near Woomera in South Australia. Leading the battle against the dump were the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, a council of senior Aboriginal women from northern SA. Many of the Kungkas personally suffered the impacts of the British nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga and Emu in the 1950s.

The proposed dump generated such controversy in SA that the federal government hired a public relations company. Correspondence between the company and the government was released under Freedom of Information laws. In one exchange, a government official asked the PR company to remove sand-dunes from a photo to be used in a brochure. The explanation provided by the government official was that: “Dunes are a sensitive area with respect to Aboriginal Heritage”. The sand-dunes were removed from the photo, only for the government official to ask if the horizon could be straightened up as well. Terra nullius.

In 2003, the federal government used the Lands Acquisition Act 1989 to seize land for the dump. Native Title rights and interests were extinguished with the stroke of a pen. This took place with no forewarning and no consultation with Aboriginal people.

The Kungkas continued to implore the federal government to ‘get their ears out of their pockets’, and after six years the government did just that. In the lead-up to the 2004 federal election − after a Federal Court ruling that the federal government had acted illegally in stripping Traditional Owners of their native title rights, and with the dump issue biting politically in SA − the Howard government decided to cut its losses and abandon the dump plan.

The Kungkas wrote in an open letter: “People said that you can’t win against the Government. Just a few women. We just kept talking and telling them to get their ears out of their pockets and listen. We never said we were going to give up. Government has big money to buy their way out but we never gave up.”

Nuclear War
One example concerns the 1982 South Australian Roxby Downs Indenture Act, which sets the legal framework for the operation of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine in SA. The Act was amended in 2011 but it retains exemptions from the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act. Traditional Owners were not even consulted. The SA government’s spokesperson in Parliament said: “BHP were satisfied with the current arrangements and insisted on the continuation of these arrangements, and the government did not consult further than that.”

That disgraceful performance illustrates a broader pattern. Aboriginal land rights and heritage protections are feeble at the best of times. But the legal rights and protections are repeatedly stripped away whenever they get in the way of nuclear or mining interests.

Thus the Olympic Dam mine is largely exempt from the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act. Sub-section 40(6) of the Commonwealth’s Aboriginal Land Rights Act exempts the Ranger uranium mine in the NT from the Act and thus removed the right of veto that Mirarr Traditional Owners would otherwise have enjoyed. New South Wales legislation exempts uranium mines from provisions of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act. The Western Australian government is in the process of gutting the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 at the behest of the mining industry. Native Title rights were extinguished with the stroke of a pen to seize land for a radioactive waste dump in SA, and Aboriginal heritage laws and land rights were repeatedly overridden with the push to dump nuclear waste in the NT.

While a small group of Traditional Owners supported the dump, a large majority were opposed and some initiated legal action in the Federal Court challenging the nomination of the Muckaty site by the federal government and the Northern Land Council (NLC).

Muckaty Traditional Owners have won a famous victory, but the nuclear war against Aboriginal people continues − and it will continue to be resisted, with the Aboriginal-led Australian Nuclear Free Alliance playing a leading role.

More information:  • Australian Nuclear Free Alliance Friends of the Earth 
The greatest minds in the nuclear establishment have been searching for an answer to the radioactive waste problem for fifty years, and they’ve finally got one: haul it down a dirt road and dump it on an Indian reservation.” −− Winona LaDuke, Indigenous World Uranium Summit, 2006

January 29, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference | Leave a comment

Treaty Yeh, Treaty Now! Long March for ‘Justice through Treaty’

‘In Commemoration of the 1988 Long March for Peace Justice and Hope,
where 40,000 people showed their support for Aboriginal rights’

‘And also commemorating 80 years since the 1938 Day of Mourning’

Indigenous Peoples Organisation

‘Aboriginal people across this country are calling for a Treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
that recognises Aboriginal sovereignty as the First Peoples was never ceded,
address the stark disparity in economic social conditions of Aboriginal communities poverty
and the structural racism that continues to repress Aboriginal people.

‘The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
now endorsed by the Australian Government, asserts in Article 3:
Indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination.

‘Yet Australia remains the only commonwealth colonised country
without a Treaty with its Indigenous peoples.

‘Calls for a Treaty were repeatedly raised by Aboriginal communities
during the recent Constitutional Recognition consultations
as a practical means to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
as the First Nation Peoples and to implement the structural changes
required to establish self-determination.

‘A Treaty builds on the Statement from the Heart’s call for a ‘Makarrata’,
a Yolgnu word for coming together after a conflict, to move forward together.
It also builds on several State based Treaties currently being developed.

‘A Treaty sets a process to legitimately move forward in partnership
between Aboriginal people and the Australian State.’

Read more from IPO’s comprehensive, informative & interesting website:

January 6, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Wangan & Jagalingou Aboriginal people expected to lose their rights for economically unviable Adani Carmichael coal mine?

The Numbers Don’t Stack Up: W&J’s Rights on the Chopping Block for Adani’s ‘Non Viable’ Project, New Matilda By John Quiggin on In the fourth in a five part series on the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine, John Quiggin looks at the numbers for the project, and like virtually all other parts of the planned project, they don’t survive closer examination. John Quiggin explains.

In what was lauded as a landmark moment for the Adani Group, in June 2017, its chairman Gautam Adani announced his board had given final investment approval for the $5.3 billion first stage of its Carmichael mine project in the Galilee Basin, as well as approval for the associated rail line project, to be constructed from the Basin to the Abbot Point coal terminal.

At the same time, however, Adani asserted its project’s future would remain contingent on finance. Given the projects’ outstanding financial issues, exposed in detail here, alongside Adani’s sustained failure to reach agreement with Traditional Owners, which undercuts the legal basis and legitimacy for this mine to proceed on W&J Country, its future remains uncertain.

Seven years since Adani Mining Pty Ltd. – Adani’s Australian arm – moved into Australia when it secured coal tenements, it has neither financial nor legal close for its proposed Carmichael mine.

These are the shaky grounds on which W&J are expected to forego their rights, assume the destruction of their country, and be grateful for a tiny sliver of the pie.

Yet the rhetoric of 10,000 jobs and great social advancement that would flow from the supposed benefits of the project to Traditional Owners along its corridor, and especially the W&J on whose country the mega mine will operate, is a far cry from that which Adani has actually put on the table.

preliminary analysis commissioned by the W&J Traditional Owners and presented to the claim group meeting on 2 December shows what a miserable proposition Adani’s proposed deal is for Traditional Owners.

Adani is offering Traditional Owners just 0.2 percent of its total revenue; far below industry benchmarks that indigenous groups should get 0.35 – 0.75 percent.

To put this in perspective, even if Adani doubled what was on offer, it would still only be equivalent to some of the lowest Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) deals in Australia.

The deal on offer is also out of balance in terms of the kinds of economic opportunities it will afford Indigenous communities; with primary focus on highly speculative job opportunities. Seventy-five per cent of Adani’s benefits package is wrapped up in jobs; and yet if the jobs don’t come, the purported benefits will simply not be realised.

While the economics of the mine represent a very poor deal for Traditional Owners, they are at the same time expected to cop the brunt of the costs – including destruction of country – for the mines go ahead………

Even with financial breaks from government, the evidence – drawing from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and other recent figures – demonstrates the Adani mine-rail project is highly unlikely to be economically viable. On this basis, any public money lent to the project, whether through the NAIF, or through a deferral of royalties, is unlikely to be recovered……

Adani has proposed a package to support Traditional Owners – a kind of quasi compensation for destruction of Country – including a $250 million Indigenous Participation Plan for the Traditional Owner groups along it’s project corridor, and the wider Aboriginal community of Central Queensland.

The details of this, however, have been described by W&J as a parlous deal. Demonstrating this, W&J draw attention to the very limited job creation. And on the basis of figures provided by Adani, Traditional Owners employed by the mine would be paid just $35,000.00 per year, a figure that barely meets Australia’s minimum wage.

This plan on offer is no exchange for the losses of land and waters, cultural and self-determination that W&J would incur; which is why they remain resolute in their opposition to the proposed mine. They alone are expected to give up their ancient legacy and birth rights so that others can benefit.

W&J has every right to object to the mine and refuse consent………..

December 29, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Let’s make Australia Day one we can all share

By Tammy Solonec, Amnesty International Australia’s Indigenous Rights Manager, 21 December 2017

‘Over the past couple of years,  Amnesty has supported #ChangetheDate by giving people a platform
to speak on why they choose not to celebrate on 26 January.

‘Now we are taking a step further, and asking you stand with us in solidarity  with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across this country.’

‘Australia Day should be for all Australians, but for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
who mark the day as one of invasion, survival and mourning,
26 January is not a day for celebrations.  ‘We need to move to a date that is inclusive of all Australians.

‘Although Australia Day has only been officially nationally celebrated since 1984,
protesting on 26 January is not new for Aboriginal people.

‘Protests about the celebration of Australia Day on 26 January date all the way back to the 1800s.

‘In 2018, Amnesty will be calling on our leaders to acknowledge this plight
and start a consultation process to change the date of Australia Day
so it can be celebrated by all Australians.

‘Over recent years, momentum to change the date has grown.

‘Some local councils in Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria have amended their celebrations,
and there has been extensive debate in the media..

‘This year on 26 January there were large public protests across the country. … ‘
Read more of Tammy Solonec’s informative, action-oriented & comprehensive article:

December 29, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

2018 The very last January 26th Australia Day?

Will January 26th 2018 be the last Australia Day ever?  September 13, 2017 There are now almost 20 different councils across 7 different states and territories who are considering or have already made arrangements to move Australia Day to a more respectable date.

Many of the councils that have already made changes to January 26th have done so out of pressure and advice from their local Indigenous communities. Now that we sense our voices are finally being heard; 2018 is shaping up to be the year that we deliver the knockout blow to Australia Day. You can be certain that come January 26th next year, you will see the largest nation wide Invasion day protests.

Calls for protests are not a new thing either. Way back in 1938, Indigenous protests were held by marking the day as a day of mourning, not a day of celebration. Recently a Queensland Mayor compared celebrating January 26th with celebrating the Jewish Holocaust, however news of this has been suppressed by the Australian media.

Welcome to Country is an independent Indigenous news/media website. If you would like to have your voice heard with your very own published article, contact us via our Facebook page or Contact page.


December 27, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners Want To Delay The Government Removing Their Rights Over Land  Adani Wants To Mine 

‘The WandJ Traditional Owner’s Council is one of the final barriers to one of the world’s largest coal mines. 
And it is now scared its native title will be extinguished before its day in court.’

Amy McQuire, Indigenous Affairs Reporter December 15, 2017

W&J spokesperson Murrawah Johnson told BuzzFeed News  that there are concerns the Queensland government could move “at any time” to extinguish native title over the site, before a Federal Court hearing in March that will challenge the validity of the ILUA. That’s the reason W&J are seeking an injunction.

‘”We have a court case, challenging the legitimacy of this agreement,  and they seem to be willing to go and extinguish our native title in the face of all of that,  despite the agreement being illegitimate,” Johnson told BuzzFeed News. … ‘

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

 Traditional Owners fighting Adani make demands of new Labor Govt

New Queensland polling released showing support for mine delay  ‘Brisbane, 8 December 2017. 

‘With the announcement of a new majority Qld Labor government, and
with the National Native Title Tribunal set to decide today whether to register Adani’s sham Indigenous Land Use Agreement,
the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council have presented a clear set of demands.

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council Spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said,

‘“Our fight to protect our country and heritage will continue until Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk acknowledges
that we are the people from that land, and Adani does not have the consent it requires from us for this destructive mine.

‘“We call on the Palaszczuk Government to stand up for our rights and not the interests of Adani.
We have written to our more than 100,000 supporters in the wider community this morning,
asking them to press the Premier and Deputy Premier to demand that the returned Palaszczuk Government –

‘acknowledge that Adani and the Queensland Government do not have the consent of W&J Traditional Owners for the Carmichael mine
remove Queensland’s ‘signature’ from Adani’s contested Indigenous Land Use Agreement
rule out extinguishing Native Title to allow Adani to proceed, even if the ILUA is registered by the NNTT
stop opposing the rightful W&J Traditional Owners in court and wait for all our cases to be heard, and
end Adani’s special treatment – which will enable the destruction of W&J country and heritage – including keeping the Premier’s election promise to veto Adani’s $1BN taxpayer-funded loan”’

‘“This follows an an authorisation meeting of our Claim Group on 2 December at which,
for the fourth time since 2012, our people voted unanimously to reject an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani. … ‘

December 11, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment


‘International Human Rights Day and the International Declaration of Human Rights

‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
Whenever and wherever humanity’s values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
We need to stand up for our rights and those of others. …

‘In the coming year IRAG Alice Springs will be calling on people all around the country and overseas
to support us in our stand to have people’s human rights upheld, and
their rights under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

‘This will be a campaign to have the Stronger Futures laws repealed as this is destroying people and our culture.

‘We are working on strategies to call on all politicians to listen to what we are saying.
Governments need to work with us instead of treating people like children.

‘IRAG is grateful for all your support in the past
and we look forward to working with you in the future.


‘IRAG group is meeting regularly to plan a strong campaign for the next year.
We need more people to join us as there is much work to be done.
Please send us a message via our Facebook page if you are interested in joining us.’

December 11, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment