Adnyamantha Aboriginal elder considering legal action against federal government’s proposed nuclear waste dump
Aboriginal Elder Tony Clark concerned with nuclear waste facility, Transcontinental, 23 Mar 2017, Adnyamantha and Kujani Traditional Elder Tony Clark says if the federal government’s proposed nuclear waste facility at Barndioota continues to the next stage, a federal court legal intervention may take place.
Mr Clark has previously led the charge of the Kujani people’s Federal Court win against the federal government’s proposed nuclear waste facility for Woomera in 2004.
The potential intervention would come from a group of Adnyamantha and Kujani people who are concerned the proposed facility holds a significant risk to the survival of the Pungu Purrungha song line.
The songline travels across a body of water more than 70 kilometres in length from Hawker to Lake Torrens, and is an important piece of local Aboriginal history.
It’s also believed to be at least 85,000 years old.
Mr Clark said he’s opposed to the facility and that he and others are not afraid of taking potential legal action. “If they proceed to the next step on our country … then we would look towards seeking legal intervention in the federal courts,” he said.
The proposed site,130 kilometres north of Port Augusta, will store low-level and some intermediate-level nuclear waste. The low level purpose-built repository would be about the size of four Olympic size swimming pools with a 100 hectare buffer on the 25,000 hectare property.
Designs have not been prepared for the national repository but it will be modelled on above-ground storage and disposal facilities overseas……
Mr Clark said the ‘cultural and spiritual well-being’ of the Adnyamantha people is at risk if the facility proceeds, and he believes section 47 of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act (1989) plays an important role in the facility’s future.
The act states an Aboriginal person may enter, travel across or stay on pastoral land for the purpose of following the traditional pursuits of the Aboriginal people.
Mr Clark said the Adnyamantha people’s cultural and spiritual well-being may be at risk if they can’t access the Pungu Purrungha song line and that this section shows no Pastoralist can stop Aboriginal people accessing a traditional site like the Pungu Purrungha song line.
“Our cultural and spiritual well-being is at risk, along with our physical contact to the land under various acts of parliament, including section 47 of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act (1989).”
A Spokesperson for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science said the (federal) government has said it will deliver a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in a centralised, purpose-built repository.
“The government has not formed a view that it should be located in Barndioota,” the spokesperson said…..http://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/4547617/nuclear-proposal-may-go-to-courts/
http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/senate-inquiry-report-tabled-labor-support-for-native-title-bill-profoundly-disappointing/ 21 March 2017:
“Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s Carmichael mine are profoundly disappointed that Labor senators have today backed in the Government’s rushed and ill-considered amendments to the Native Title Act, giving a free kick to Indian billionaire Gautam Adani and plans for a Qld coal mine.
“The Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017 is designed to overturn the recent McGlade decision that upheld the Native Title Act requirement that all applicants are needed to sign a land use agreement. The bill is expected to be debated in the Senate today.
“Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council Mr Adrian Burragubba said, “Labor has lined up with the Government to wind back our rights – and their own commitment to land rights. They have swallowed the arguments of the mining and agricultural lobby that there is a crisis that needs an urgent response. …
“Youth spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council Ms Murrawah Johnson said, “The major parties have given Adani and their dirty mine a free kick today.
““Politicians at the Federal and State level are falling over themselves to push this controversial proposed mine through, denying us our rights to self-determination. …
“Mr Colin Hardie, Lawyer for the W&J native title claimants objecting to Adani’s purported ILUA said, “The risk involved in this legislation is so great it should not be proceeding.
It is a case where the cure is worse than the complaint. My clients will retain their objection to the purported Adani ILUA in the court, and consider grounds for challenging the legislation”. … “
Bronwyn Lucas Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 20 Mar 17,
Do we believe what the Feds say? It’s propaganda +++ and poor Kimba, about to have a three-month intensive ‘community consultation’ roadshow …
Whereas high energy prices often drive Indigenous people off their traditional lands, lower-cost renewables can help communities to thrive no matter how remote.
“We can build a power station where the community exists,” .. “so people are able to successfully live in the environment the way they want to live and have access to power which enables them to better determine their economic future.”
How an Indigenous renewable energy alliance aims to cut power costs and disadvantage
First Nations lobby group will support remote communities looking to make transition – and tackle climate change, Guardian, Dyani Lewis, 17 Mar 17
Like so many of the Indigenous communities dotted across the Australian continent, the remote communities in north-west New South Wales are struggling. “These are not happy places,” says the Euahlayi elder Ghillar Michael Anderson.
Many of the 300 or so residents of Anderson’s hometown of Goodooga rely on welfare, he says. Exorbitant electricity bills – up to $3,000 a quarter for some households – further exacerbate the poverty. “We’re always at the end of the power line, so the service that is there is quite extraordinary in terms of cost.”
Many other communities rely on expensive, emissions-intensive diesel-powered generators to meet their electricity demands. “It’s a real problem and we need to make sure that we fix this,” Anderson says.
To that end, Anderson and 24 other Indigenous leaders have formed the First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance, which aims to tackle high power costs and entrenched disadvantage – along with climate change – by pushing for renewable energy in Indigenous communities. Continue reading
“Dear Mr Adani,
“We are writing to respectfully ask you to abandon the Adani Group’s proposal to dig the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
“We would like to put to you three reasons why this mine should never go ahead.
Once its coal is burnt, it will contribute more climate-changing pollution to the atmosphere
than the entire country of New Zealand does every year. …
“Two, coal is a killer.
Coal is the biggest single cause of air pollution in Australia. …
Last month The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, published a report that described your company’s Carmichael mine proposal as a
“public health disaster”. …
“Three, this mine proposal does not have wide public support in Australia
and does not have the support of the Traditional Owners of the land where the mine would be dug.
There are concerns about the impact the mine will have on groundwater resources and on nearby farmers who rely on this water for their livelihoods. …
“We the undersigned – and we believe all Australians – would support and welcome moves by your company to invest further in renewable energy in Australia. … “
Clinton Pryor’s Walk for Justice comes through Port Augusta http://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/4516323/big-crowd-for-justice-walk/ 8 Mar 2017 The Joy Baluch Bridge and parts of Port Augusta were shaking under the loud voice of Clinton Pryor’s Walk for Justice on Wednesday March 8. Starting outside the Standpipe Motel at 10am, the walk went up the Augusta Highway and across the Joy Baluch Bridge. The group then travelled down Mackay and Young Street, before finalising with speeches and a community barbecue on the Port Augusta foreshore.
The crowd included kids under 10 to retirees, all of whom were supportive of achieving justice for Aboriginal people. Chants heard during the walk included, ‘When your rights are under attack, stand up, fight back!’ and ‘Always was, and always will be Aboriginal land!’.
It left Clinton speechless, and thankful for all the help and support he’s received from Port August
It was amazing to see the community backing me up in this walk I did over the bridge“It was unbelievable and I’m really proud of Port Augusta and seeing everyone together in one group is really good,” he said.
In September 2016, Clinton left from Matargarup, near Perth, to Uluru, Coober Pedy, on his way to Canberra.Along the way he’s spent time in Aboriginal communities; meeting with elders, hearing their stories, talking with school kids and community groups.
The walk centres around holding governments to account over their treatment of Aboriginal communities around Australia and bringing justice for non-Aboriginal Australians too. Port Augusta Barngarla man Stephen Atkinson was part of the walk across the bridge and said he, and many others in Port Augusta, are proud of Clinton’s efforts. “Hopefully we’re all equally proud of walking across the bridge with Clinton as you should be, we should be really proud of ourselves,” he said. “Port Augusta, we all know is the crossroads of the country, we got that many different mobs here, and 30 odd different languages spoken in this town.
“We’re all different tribes, we’re all different language groups, we’re from all different parts of the country, but when something like this is on we all come together and we’re one people.”
For more information and photos taken during Clinton’s Walk for Justice, make sure to visit his website, www.clintonswalkforjustice.org.
Traditional Owners v Adani in Federal Court today, then to Canberra to discuss Native Title Amendments
Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council 27 February 2017:
“Traditional owners fighting the Carmichael megamine are on the front foot this week,
challenging in court the native title process which allowed the Qld Government to issue a mining lease without their consent, and meeting with Federal MPs to present arguments why the Government’s amendments to the Native Title Act threaten the rights of Traditional Owners and fail to deal with the real issues arising from the recent McGlade decision.
“Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council, Mr Adrian Burragubba, says, “The W&J Family Council have voted three times since 2012 to reject Adani’s sham deal, while the National Native Title Tribunal gave the green light to the Qld Government to issue Adani with a mining lease, after the mining company applied to have our decision overridden. This is the crux of our appeal before the full bench of the Federal Court on Monday”.
“Spokespeople for W&J, Mr Burragubba and Ms Murrawah Johnson, will also visit Canberra this week to meet with key Federal MPs about the Government’s Native Title Act Amendment Bill and explin the failures of the native title process.
Labor and The Greens voted against rushing the Bill through the House of Representatives last week. The Bill is now being scrutinised by a Senate committee which is due to report on 17 March 2017. … “
W&J Traditional Owners Council submission on the Native Title amendment bill
“The integrity of our decision making, especially regarding our laws and customs, and our rights to self-determination and to withhold our consent to the destruction of our country and heritage, are central to our issues with the bill.
“The bill would alter the fundamentals of our traditional decision processes. The integrity of Traditional Owner decision making and rights to speak for country must be protected.
“Checks and balances are required, as is respect for property rights associated with customary tenure
and the right to speak for country. The inalienability of our rights in land must be respected. It is the ground on which we seek to protect our country and heritage from the mass destruction that would ensue from the Carmichael mine.”
To read the submission in full download this document
Wangan Jagalingou http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/senate-inquiry-told-native-title-amendments-will-disenfranchise-traditional-owners/
13 March 2017
“Brandis’ changes support ‘divide and conquer’ tactics of unscrupulous companies like Adani
“Brisbane. Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s Carmichael mine will today tell a Senate Inquiry into the Federal Native Title Bill that the kind of dubious tactics Adani has used to try secure a land use agreement with Traditional Owners will become even more prevalent if the Bill becomes law.
“The Turnbull Government is attempting to rush the Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017 through Federal Parliament. The bill is designed to overturn the recent McGlade decision that upheld the Native Title Act requirement that all applicants are needed to sign a land use agreement, after members of the Noongar peoples went to the Federal Court over failures
in the process involving a $1.3B land use agreement with the WA government.
“The delegation are calling for the Inquiry to be extended to allow proper negotiation with Aboriginal communities around Australia. They will tell the Inquiry that the the motives for the Bill are ill-founded,
and that the mining lobby and the Attorney General have presented no evidence or argument for such hurried and destabilising changes. … “
Minister-turned-lobbyist Ian Macfarlane says mines need protection from native title
Macfarlane urges MPs to pass legislation to protect land use agreements as Indigenous leaders call for consultation, Guardian, Gabrielle Chan, 13 Mar 17, The former federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane has said the majority of 126 mining projects under Indigenous land use agreements could be shut down pending renegotiations following a federal court ruling on native title.
His comments come after a federal court ruling in the McGlade native title case found that an Indigenous land use agreement (Ilua) was invalid because not all Indigenous representatives had signed it.
Macfarlane, who heads the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), said the ruling jeopardised mining projects already in operation under Indigenous land use agreements (Iluas) which had been signed by a majority of Indigenous owners but not every owner. This meant those projects – a majority of which are in Queensland – could be shut down pending new agreements.
The ruling could also affect the controversial Adani Carmichael coalmine.
Macfarlane said the implication of the ruling was that mining companies would need to seek the signatures of all Indigenous owners, including deceased people. …….
The legal and constitutional affairs legislation committee is examining a government bill that would amend the native title legislation to confirm the legal status of registered Iluas with a majority but not all the signatures of all claimants. Macfarlane urged the parliament to pass the bill.
But Labor and the Greens have argued that the Coalition is rushing the bill through without proper consultation with Indigenous communities.
Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners opposed to Adani’s Carmichael mine want the inquiry to be extended to allow proper consultation with Aboriginal communities.
“We are dealing with mining proponents who wish to destroy our country and disrespect our protocols on how we make decisions,” spokesman Adrian Burragubba told the committee.
“If the federal government intends to override the McGlade decision, the federal government would further disenfranchise the Wangan and Jagalingou people and further eliminate the voice of the true rightful traditional owners.”
The Cape York land council has objected to the legislation because it provides blanket validation for all agreements but it did not dispute certainty was required over Iluas……..https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/13/minister-turned-lobbyist-ian-macfarlane-says-mines-need-protection-from-native-title
Friends of the Earth Australia is today releasing a detailed report on the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 (NRWMA). The report ‒ written by Monash University fifth-year law student Amanda Ngo ‒ comes against the backdrop of the federal government’s targeting of a site near Hawker in SA’s Flinders Ranges for a national radioactive waste store and repository.
The NRWMA is heavy-handed, undemocratic legislation that gives the federal government the power to extinguish rights and interests in land targeted for a radioactive waste facility. In so doing the Minister must “take into account any relevant comments by persons with a right or interest in the land” but there is no requirement to secure consent. Traditional Owners, local communities, pastoralists, business owners, local councils and State/Territory Governments are all disadvantaged and disempowered by the NRWMA.
The NRWMA disempowers Traditional Owners ‒ in this case Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners ‒ in multiple ways, including:
- The nomination of a site for a radioactive waste facility is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent.
- The NRWMA has sections which nullify State or Territory laws that protect the archaeological or heritage values of land or objects, including those which relate to Indigenous traditions.
- The NRWMA curtails the application of Commonwealth laws including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 and the Native Title Act 1993 in the important site-selection stage.
- The Native Title Act 1993 is expressly overridden in relation to land acquisition for a radioactive waste facility.
Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners have been clear in their opposition to the planned radioactive waste facility in the Flinders Ranges. “I call upon the Federal and State Governments to put an end to this volatile position that the Adnyamathanha people are facing,” said Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner Enice Marsh. “Native Title and the Aboriginal Heritage Act are not protecting our land. This needs a complete review or a Royal Commission. The Barndioota site in the Flinders Ranges must be struck off as a potential radioactive waste dump site and the National Radioactive Waste Management Act needs to be amended to give us the right to say ‘no’.”
Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner Regina McKenzie, who lives on Yappala Station near the proposed dump site, said: “The NRWMA is a political attack on Adnyamathanha women’s spiritual beliefs. The destruction of our culture and significant woman’s sites is a form of assimilation and thus breaches Article 8.1 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The NRWMA also breaches Article 25 of the UN Declaration which refers to our spiritual relationship with the land and the right to maintain and strengthen our culture. This is a breach of our Aboriginal human rights and our people and amounts to cultural genocide.”
The NRWMA has been criticised in both Senate Inquiries and a Federal Court challenge to an earlier federal government attempt to impose a national radioactive waste facility at Muckaty in the Northern Territory.
The NRWMA also puts the federal government’s radioactive waste agenda above environmental protection as it seeks to curtail the application of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia, said: “A senior government official claims the NRWMA is based on ‘world’s best practice’. In fact, the legislation systematically disempowers local communities and Traditional Owners and weakens environmental protections. It needs to be radically amended or replaced with legislation that protects the environment and gives local communities and Traditional Owners the right to say no to nuclear waste dumps.”
Amanda Ngo’s paper, ‘National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012′, is posted at http://tinyurl.com/nrwma-2017
“Members from First Nations across the continent successfully participated in the Coalition for Community Energy held in Melbourne Town Hall on 27 – 28 February 2017 …
This Alliance initiative is directed at ensuring remote and isolated communities are sufficiently catered for in respect to their energy needs …
“Grassroots energy enterprises, which numbered more than 80 people nation-wide formed an alliance to harness the power of communities to increase local energy security, bolster regional development partnerships, enhance community cohesion, reduce carbon emissions and
work towards a just energy transition. … ”
First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance
“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 said from Melbourne:
““Members from First Nations across the continent successfully participated in the Coalition for Community Energy held in Melbourne Town Hall on 27 – 28 February 2017 …
““This Alliance initiative is directed at ensuring remote and isolated communities are sufficiently catered for in respect to their energy needs. The current Australian corrupt system of energy delivery is controlled at the top level by government officials and politicians, who gain a lot of private funding for their political campaigns, in other words:
‘You scratch our backs and we’ll scratch yours.’ The level of corruption in Australian politics is so entrenched that the equity in engagement in respect of sustainable energy strategies is not possible under the current regime.
“We will direct our energies now and in the future to ensure that this corruption does not continue
and thereby give direction to secure certainly for those who seek to partner with us to provide for the development of sustainable communities.” … ”
The Text of the
First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance media release http://www.sovereignunion.mobi/content/formation-first-nations-renewable-energy-alliance#renewable Continue reading
Traditional Owners v Adani in Federal Court today then to Canberra to discuss Native Title Amendments
http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-v-adani-in-federal-court-today-then-to-canberra-to-discuss-native-title-amendments/ Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council 27 February 2017:
“Traditional owners fighting the Carmichael megamine are on the front foot this week, challenging in court the native title process which allowed the Qld Government to issue a mining lease without their consent, and meeting with Federal MPs to present arguments why the Government’s amendments to the Native Title Act threaten the rights of Traditional Owners and fail to deal with the real issues arising from the recent McGlade decision.
“Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J)
Traditional Owners Council, Mr Adrian Burragubba, says,
“The W&J Family Council have voted three times since 2012 to reject Adani’s sham deal, while the National Native Title Tribunal gave the green light to the Qld Government to issue Adani with a mining lease, after the mining company applied to have our decision overridden.
This is the crux of our appeal before the full bench of the Federal Court on Monday”.
“Spokespeople for W&J, Mr Burragubba and Ms Murrawah Johnson, will also visit Canberra this week to meet with key Federal MPs about the Government’s Native Title Act Amendment Bill and explain the failures of the native title process.
Labor and The Greens voted against rushing the Bill through the House of Representatives last week. The Bill is now being scrutinised by a Senate committee which is due to report on 17 March 2017. … “
Grassroots Aboriginal movement in NSW
squashes ‘Recognise’ Sovereign Union http://www.sovereignunion.mobi/ 24 February 2017:
“Grassroots Aboriginal people from New South Wales have rejected recognition in the Australian Constitution in favour of Aboriginal Sovereignty, the need for Treaties and for government to enter discussions with First Nations.
“‘It is heartening to know that the Recognise Regional Meeting, organised by the Referendum Council and the New South Wales State Land Council, held in Dubbo on 17 and 18 February 2017 voted to reject First Nation Peoples’ recognition in the colonial constitution from Britain and instead asserted Sovereignty and the need for Treaties and for the government to talk with First Nations,’
Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, said. …
“Lynda Coe, a Wiradjuri representative at the Dubbo meeting, said:
“‘Proud to say the agenda in Dubbo this weekend was Sovereignty/Treaty … the dialogue around constitutional reform and recognise squashed by the grassroots movement!
The consensus from those who attended agreed that the process of invite only meetings did not provide clear representation of nations in New South Wales nor did the process give authority of those attending to speak on behalf of their nations as per our procedures.
The majority of those attending raised … the issue of Sovereignty/Treaty be addressed by Governments rather than the ‘yes vote’ for constitutional reform and/or recognise.'”
Ghillar said:“‘Whilst we may wonder why the Commonwealth government is now spending
millions and millions of dollars on a brain-washing campaign, the answers for this can be found in Commonwealth and State legislation everywhere, for example in the Native Title Act, Amendments to the Western Australian Heritage Act, the New South Wales Crown Lands Act, the New South Wales Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, and the list goes on. …
“‘The recent meeting in Dubbo made it very clear that we are independent sovereign Nations and continue to be such in the present and to this extent call for negotiated Treaties as opposed to constitutional recognition. Continue reading
Treaty: South Australian Government enters historic discussions with Aboriginal nations, The World Today By Caroline Winter South Australia is making history, with the State Government entering treaty discussions with Aboriginal nations to help address past injustices.
The Government has set aside $4.4 million over five years to support the treaty process and the appointment of an independent commissioner for treaty. At this stage it is unclear what the treaties will cover or whether compensation will be included, but South Australian Indigenous leaders said the process would set a positive course for the future.
Major Sumner, a Ngarrindjeri man at the Murray mouth, said the word treaty alone has important meaning. “Even just with a mention of treaty, that opens up a different world for us to talk and put things in place, do all sorts of negotiations around how we structure our lives,” he said.
Mr Sumner joined other Aboriginal elders at the start of historic negotiations between the State Government and Indigenous communities. The chairman of Narungga nations on the Yorke Peninsula, Tauto Sansbury, wants an open, transparent process about everything that has affected Aboriginal people. “I think it’s going to mean the satisfaction of acknowledging that Australia was basically invaded,” he said.
“And that the process of sitting down and negotiating a final outcome for us — because we’ve been totally dispossessed of everything — and coming up with a good solution that could move our community, children and families forward.”
The South Australia Government said negotiations would be open-ended, but what form any treaty would take or whether compensation would be included, is not yet clear.
The State’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Kyam Maher, said it was hoped a treaty would be signed off on by the end of next year. Continue reading