120406 – Aboriginal elder challenges expansion of Olympic Dam mine

* Aboriginal elder challenges expansion of Olympic Dam mine
* Tracker: Fight for Muckaty: TOs vow it’s not over
* Moree Champion: Tent Embassy set up in Moree
* Interview with Damien Curtis of Stand for Freedom
* Jeff McMullen: Aussies should stand strong for freedom
* CRA: Call for consultation not legislation
* UTS: Listening but not hearing
* Amnesty: Ask your local MP to speak up on homelands
* More ‘Stronger Futures’ Legislation related articles
* Background to ‘Stronger Futures’ new NT Intervention laws
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Other articles


– Audio Interview

The Wire:
Aboriginal elder challenges Olymic Dam mining expansion
Produced by Chris Brunner
4 Apr 12: “Aboriginal elder, Kevin Buzzacott of the
Arabunna Nation in South Australia’s north, today
challenged the Environment Minister, Tony Burke’s decision
to approve the expansion of Olympic Dam. Mr Buzzacott took
his challenge to the federal court on the grounds that Mr
Burke’s approval didn’t meet the standards set out in the
Environment Act. As the court adjourned Mr Buzzacott told
the media why he’d targeted the Federal Minister over the
State Government or BHP Billiton.
Featured in story:
* Kevin Buzzacott – Aboriginal Elder, Arabunna Nation
* Buzzacott supporters”

– Audio

ABC AM: Aboriginal elder takes on BHP over Olympic Dam
3 Apr 12: “The Federal Court in Adelaide will today become
the setting for a David and Goliath style battle. An
Aboriginal Arrabunna elder Kevin Buzzacott, has launched
court action against BHP Billiton and the creation of what
is set to be the world’s biggest open-cut mine. The mining
giant has been given State and Federal Government approval
to expand its copper, gold and uranium Olympic Dam mine
near Roxby Downs.
Kevin Buzzacott: I don’t think these people- I don’t think
they’ve done proper consultation, not only with all us –
our mob – but also with the people of South Australia.”
Nicola Gage reports

– News

ABC Indigenous:
Elder takes on mining giant in legal challenge
3 Apr 12: “Mr Buzzacott argues the mining giant did not
properly consider a number of environmental issues. Mr
Buzzacott, known as Uncle Kevin, is an elder of the
Arabunna Nation in South Australia’s north. Environment
Minister Tony Burke gave the $20 billion expansion of the
state’s Olympic Dam Mine a tick of approval in October last
year. But Mr Buzzacott claims environmental impacts such as
the effect on groundwater resources, including the Great
Artesian Basin, were not properly considered.” Nicola Gage

Adelaide Now:
Aboriginal elder Kevin Buzzacott challenges decision to
expand Olympic Dam
3 Apr 12: “WASTE from the expanded Olympic Dam mine will
remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years and
the risks weren’t properly considered by the Federal
Government, the Federal Court has heard. Aboriginal elder
Kevin Buzzacott is challenging the government’s approval of
the uranium and copper project in South Australia, which is
destined to become the world’s largest open cut mine. He
argues the approval by Environment Minister Tony Burke last
year was too uncertain because … ”

Adelaide Now: Olympic Dam accord ‘is flawed’
3 Apr 12: “FEDERAL Government approval of BHP’s Olympic Dam
expansion did not consider full radioactive impact, the
Federal Court has heard. Aboriginal elder and anti-nuclear
campaigner Kevin Buzzacott is challenging the Government’s
approval of the $30 billion project, arguing its
environmental assessment was too shortsighted and too small
in scope. Representing Mr Buzzacott, Geoffrey Kennett SC
said BHP was only asked to assess the impact of nuclear
waste over the course of 10,000 years.”

Eco News: Court told uranium mine waste ‘danger for years’
4 Apr 12: “The Federal Court in the South Australian
capital, Adelaide, has been told that waste from the
expanded Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine will remain
radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years and the
risks weren’t properly considered by the Australian
government. Aboriginal elder Kevin Buzzacott is challenging
the minority Labor government’s approval of the uranium and
copper project in South Australia, which is destined to
become the world’s largest open cut mine.” David Twomey

– Photo

ABC: Protesters showed support for Kevin Buzzacott outside
the Federal Court


WGAR News: The Lizard’s Revenge over uranium mine
– Festival protest against Olympic Dam expansion (31 Mar 12)


– News

newsTracker: Fight for Muckaty: TOs vow it’s not over
3 Apr 12: “Northern Territory: The Gillard government’s
plans to put a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the
Northern Territory have been labelled “disgraceful” and a
case of “radioactive racism” by opponents. … Dave Sweeney
from the Australian Conservation Foundation told Tracker
the government’s actions had been very disappointing. “This
legislation is in two parts. The first part specifically
and solely names Muckaty as the only site under active
consideration for a waste dump. It’s the only place named
and yet it’s the focus of a current federal court case,” Mr
Sweeny told Tracker.” Amy McQuire, a Darumbal and South Sea
Islander woman and editor of Tracker


WGAR News: Interviews re Federal Court challenge over
Muckaty (31 Mar 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/31/wgar-news-the-lizards-revenge-over-uranium-mine-festival-protest-against-olympic-dam-expa

YouTube: Muckaty Voices-Australia’s nuclear waste dump story

Proposed Radioactive Waste Dump at Muckaty, NT
Briefing Paper – February 2011
Jim Green B.Med.Sci.(Hons.), PhD
National nuclear campaigner – Friends of the Earth, Australia
Friends of the Earth: http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/nontdump/Dump%20briefing%20Feb%202011.pdf

Beyond Nuclear Initiative:

Vimeo: Nuclear Medicine & the need for a Waste Dump?

Australian Conservation Foundation: Muckaty radioactive dump:

Nuclear Territory News: Waste Dump News


– News

Moree Champion: Tent Embassy set up in Moree
5 Apr 12: “About 15 people have taken up camp on the bank
of the Mehi River near the skate park. Bronwyn Speraim said
this establishment was a branch of the original Tent
Embassy in Canberra. “We feel it’s time to make our
movement and to honour and respect our history,” Ms Speraim
said. The group are fighting for sovereignty. They want
self-governance, better law and order, health and
education, and change – “right here, right now”.” Greg Hoy
said.” Cady Anderson


– Audio Interview

Radio Adelaide Breakfast with Tim Brunero:
Stronger futures, weaker legislation
3 Apr 12: “Could you face 6 months in prison for the possession of a can of beer? Could your home be searched by police without a warrant? Could your welfare benefits be cut due to your child missing school? The Northern Territory Intervention will expire come August and the Stronger Futures Legislation is set to take its place, but has the government missed the fine line between helpful and harmful? The new bill has attracted attention from Amnesty International and the UN over concerns of racial discrimination.
Stand for Freedom is a platform for people to speak against
the Stronger Futures Legislation and the National Director,
Damien Curtis, spoke to us this morning.”
Producer: Kristin Theologou


Stand for Freedom:
There can be no reconciliation without justice:


– Analysis / Opinion

The Way Ahead: Aussies should stand strong for freedom
4 Apr 12: “NATIONAL: The Stronger Futures legislation,
which will expand the NT intervention, has not yet passed
the Senate. JEFF MCMULLEN* believes Australia should stand
against the discriminatory bills. The shadow of the great
white Protector once more falls across Aboriginal people as
government and coalition politicians agree to bury genuine
self-determination and land rights in the Northern
Territory. “Should we call Jenny…’Protector Macklin’? I
think perhaps she fits that role at the moment all too well
and it’s a tragedy,” said former Prime Minister Malcolm
Fraser … ” Jeff McMullen, a prominent Australian
journalist and a winner of the UN Media Peace Prize


Stand for Freedom:
There can be no reconciliation without justice:


– Analysis / Opinion

Catholic Religious Australia:
Call for consultation not legislation
“CRA’s Justice Network urges the Federal Government to
abandon the ‘Stronger Futures Northern Territory 2011
Bill’, and move towards developing strategies, based on
trust and respect with the Aboriginal people of the
Northern Territory. We join with the many Indigenous and
other Australians who have already spoken about the need to
consult Aboriginal people and their Elders in the planning
of actions and recommendations that will affect their lives
for years to come.”


– News

UTS News Room: Listening but not hearing
2 Apr 12: “In summary:
* Three UTS experts in Indigenous law reform will trace the
history of the Northern Territory Intervention and consider
its successes and failures in this month’s UTSpeaks public
* The speakers will discuss the latest round of government
consultations with Indigenous communities and question the
degree to which consultation truly took place”

– Upcoming Event

Event: Tue 24 April 2012: UTS, Ultimo, Sydney, NSW
Public Lecture: UTSpeaks: More Intervention
“Will the Government’s Stronger Futures law
reforms aid indigenous communities or
further divide Australia’s people?”
Lecture by three UTS experts in Indigenous law reform:
* Nicole Watson
* Alison Vivian
* Craig Longman
All are senior researchers with the UTS
Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning
Event details: http://newsroom.uts.edu.au/events/2012/04/more-intervention
Event details: http://indymedia.org.au/utspeaks-more-intervention
Event details: http://newsroom.uts.edu.au/sites/all/files/pdfs/event/utspeaks_more_intervention.pdf


WGAR News: New report into ‘Stronger Futures’ consultations
by Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS (9 Mar 12)
[New university report entitled ‘Listening but not Hearing’]

WGAR News: “Listening But Not Hearing”
– Audio recordings from the launch of the report (3 Apr 12)


– Action

Amnesty International Australia:
Ask your local MP to speak up on homelands
“The Federal and Northern Territory governments have just
announced a $221 million, long-term funding commitment to
Aboriginal homelands. This is thanks to the pressure that
Amnesty supporters like you have put on the government. But
it isn’t time to break out the champagne quite yet. Now we
need to build on this funding promise and ensure homelands
are included in policy and programs beyond Indigenous
portfolios – including health, education and infrastructure.
It’s your MP’s job to make sure your voice is heard inside
Parliament. Open up a dialogue … ”

– Background

WGAR News: Responses to Ten-Year Funding of NT Aboriginal
Communities (1 Apr 12)


– News

National Indigenous Radio Service:
Family advocacy group pleased by funding, but planning is needed
5 Apr 12: “Community service organisations in the Northern
Territory continue to praise the long-term funding
commitments by the Federal Government announced recently.
Josie Crawshaw, CEO of Stronger Aboriginal Families,
Together, a peak body for Aboriginal youth and families,
says the funding pledge of over half-a-million dollars will
help but more needs to be done in terms of planning. The
Federal Goverment says the money will go towards health and
education in NT Indigenous communities, but it’s the
10-year committment of funding that has pleased many
community groups.”

Australian: ALP 10-year plan for Aborigines ‘a joke’
5 Apr 12: “THE Coalition has declared the radical Northern
Territory intervention, extended by Labor for a further 10
years, should be moving to a “normalisation stage” where
Aborigines are leading the reforms and funding is over a
shorter period.”

Macklin stands by ten-year NT intervention commitment
5 Apr 12: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has
hit back at the Coalition’s claim that a ten-year funding
commitment to the Northern Territory intervention was a

Katherine Times: $221 million homelands funding sparks debate
4 Apr 12: “More than $220 million in funding will be
invested in outstations and homelandsacross the Northern
Territory. The investment – which is part of the Federal
Government’s Stronger Future package – aims at improving
basic essential and municipal services in Aboriginal
communities across the NT. … Northern Land Council Chief
Executive Kim Hill has welcomed this morning’s announcement
by Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin that
will see a $221 million investment in Northern Territory
outstations and homelands over the next ten years.”

Koori Mail: Macklin’s millions
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php?page=Current+Edition
4 Apr 12: “THE Federal Governement has announced more than
a billion dollars in funding to support its planned
continuation of the Northern Territory intervention for
another 10 years. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin last week announced $719 million in funding for
health services, $619 million for community safety, and
another $443 million for family and children services. She
said another $443 million would be used to fund programs
for children, parents and youth, and $221 million would be
used to support homelands and outstations.”

newsTracker: Bankstown wary of ‘Stronger Futures’
3 Apr 12: “NATIONAL: Compulsory income management is being
extended into five disadvantaged centres around the
country, who are ill-prepared to deal with it, writes AMY
McQUIRE*. … “I said to the old girls, you know what this
means?,” Aunty Noelene told Tracker. “That’s going back to
those mission days. Rations are being served. It really
upset me when it was mentioned. “… Even when I first heard
of what was happening in the NT (under the intervention), I
said to one of my kids ‘You know, they’re going through the
same thing that happened to us when we were on those
missions.'” Amy McQuire, Darumbal and South Sea Islander
woman and editor of Tracker


Human Rights Petition:
Australian Government: Stop Stronger Futures and
support Aboriginal self-determination in the NT

Stand for Freedom:
There can be no reconciliation without justice:

Stop the Intervention: Stronger Futures Legislation

WGAR News: “Listening But Not Hearing”
– Audio recordings from the launch of the report (3 Apr 12)

WGAR News: Responses to Ten-Year Funding of NT Aboriginal
Communities (1 Apr 12)

WGAR News: STICS: Aunty of deaths in custody victim
speaks out against ‘Stronger Futures’ (24 Mar 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/24/wgar-news-call-for-delegates-to-interim-aboriginal-unity-government-assembly

WGAR News: Photograph your feet and ‘Stand For Freedom’
(24 Mar 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/24/wgar-news-call-for-delegates-to-interim-aboriginal-unity-government-assembly

WGAR News: Stand For Freedom campaign delivers a petition
to the Senate signed by 33,000 people (22 Mar 12)

WGAR News: Responses to Senate Committee report on
‘Stronger Futures’ New NT Intervention laws (18 Mar 12)

WGAR News: Greens Senator Rachel Siewert provides an overview:
“Ending the NT Intervention” (15 Mar 12)

WGAR News: Senate Inquiry into Stronger Futures releases
it’s report (15 Mar 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/15/wgar-news-greens-senator-rachel-siewert-provides-an-overview-ending-the-nt-intervention

WGAR News: 28 Leading Australians call on Government
to abandon the Stronger Futures legislation (14 Mar 12)

WGAR News: “Hear the Voice of the People!”:
Video of Senate Hearing at Maningrida 22 February 2012 (13 Mar 12)

WGAR News: New report into ‘Stronger Futures’ consultations
by Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS (9 Mar 12)
[New university report entitled ‘Listening but not Hearing’]

WGAR News: Former PM Malcolm Fraser launches
new report into consultations (9 Mar 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/09/wgar-news-new-report-into-stronger-futures-consultations-by-jumbunna-indigenous-house-of-

WGAR News: Our Generation and ANTaR have launched
a new video and campaign (8 Mar 12)

WGAR News: NITV Current Affairs present the Stronger Futures
Forum shot on location in Maningrida (3 Mar 12)

WGAR News: Press Conference on Stronger Futures legislation
by Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC (1 Mar 12)

WGAR News: “NT Aboriginal leaders reject Stronger Futures”
Tracker (23 Feb 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/02/23/wgar-news-nyoongar-tent-embassy-marches-to-government-house-in-protest

WGAR News: New Website for Stronger Futures
info and submissions (21 Feb 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/02/21/wgar-news-news-of-the-nyoongar-tent-embassy-on-heirisson-island-in-perth

WGAR News: Book report launched:
“NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations” (19 Feb 12)
[Includes link to transcripts of consultations and book of quotations: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/ ]

WGAR News: More on the Stronger Futures in the
Northern Territory Bill (9 Feb 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/02/09/wgar-news-tent-embassy-protest-interviews-with-michael-anderson-jeff-mcmullen-chris-graha

WGAR News: Submissions received on Stronger Futures in the
Northern Territory Bill (8 Feb 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/02/08/wgar-news-four-actions-to-help-stop-the-proposed-nt-nuclear-dump-beyond-nuclear-initiativ

Stop the Intervention: Stronger Futures:
New compilation weblink -Petition -NITV Forum

Click to access Stronger-Futures-update-11-3-12.pdf

Stop the Intervention: Stronger Futures Media Coverage

Main Government page for Stronger Futures in the
Northern Territory Bill 2011 and two related bills:

Direct Government link to view all uploaded submissions

Direct Government link to view all uploaded hearing info


Creative Spirits:
Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER)
– “The Intervention”:

Stand for Freedom:
There can be no reconciliation without justice:

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney):

The Greens: Rachel Siewert: Ending the NT Intervention:

Tracker – NT Intervention:

Crikey – NT Intervention:

CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association)
– NT Intervention:

Our Generation:

‘concerned Australians’:
Without Justice there can be no Reconciliation:

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group):
Mparntwe – Alice Springs:

Treaty Republic – NT Intervention:

New Matilda – northern territory intervention:

Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition:

Equality Rights Alliance:
Women’s Experience of Income Management in the Northern Territory:

ANTaR (Justice, Rights and Respect for Australia’s First Peoples)
– NT intervention:

MAIC (Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective):

The Conversation – After the Intervention:

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Northern Territory ‘Emergency Response’ intervention:

Jobs with Justice:

Amnesty International Australia:
Looking back at the Northern Territory Intervention:

Students For Indigenous Rights – UQ:
The Northern Territory Intervention:

Click to access stir-uq-intervention-intro-factsheet-new1.pdf

Defending Indigenous Rights:

Intervention walk-off’s Blog:

FAIRA; Human Rights Law Resource Centre; NACLC:
Australia’s compliance with CERD – Fact Sheet 2:
Northern Territory Intervention:

Click to access Fact-Sheet-2-NT-Intervention.pdf

Green Left: Northern Territory intervention: myths and facts:

Adelaide Stop the Intervention:

Central Land Council:
The Australian Government Intervention 2007:

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights):


– Audio Interviews

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Nyoongar Elder speaks on Perth protest and media coverage
3 Apr 12: “Richard Wilkes – a Nyoongar elder from Western
Australia – is unhappy with the way the mainstream media
has portrayed a protest in Perth. He speaks to Paul Wiles
on CAAMA Radio to share what really happened from his

The Wire:
Brisbane gets a tent embassy as sovereignty campaign heats up
Produced by Tim Roxburgh
3 Apr 12: “A new tent embassy has been established in
Brisbane as indigenous activists rally around a
reinvigorated campaign for recognition and sovereignty. In
addition to the 40 year old aboriginal tent embassy in
Canberra, campaigners say that encampments have also been
created at Portland in Victoria, and at Moree in New South
Wales. In the West of the country indigenous locals
continue to return to an ongoing camp at Heiresson island
near Perth, despite constant pressure from police, who have
made arrests and, confiscated camping equipment.
Participants in the push to establish these sites of
protest say that native title and the reconciliation
process have so far failed to deliver for their people,
and they’re returning to a more basic demand: for
Featured in story:
* Mary Ann McKay – a Whadjuk / Yuet woman involved in the
protest site at Heiresson Island
* Jenny Munro – activist with a life-long association with
the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra”

– News

Koori Mail: Embassy warrior
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php?page=Current+Edition
4 Apr 12: “YOUNG Jandarcan Coolwell joined other dancers to
celebrate the official opening of the Brisbane Sovereign
Embassy at Musgrave Park on 24 March. The event featured a
welcome and smoking ceremony and was followed by a
corroboree, music performances, bush tucker, arts and
crafts and sovereignty workshops.”

Koori Mail: Turtle nests found at WA gas hub site
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php?page=Current+Edition
4 Apr 12: “RESEARCHERS have found a large turtle nesting
area at a proposed $30 billion gas hub site in the
Kimberley, contradicting the results of a West Australian
Government study. The State Government has been locked in
battle with conservationists, local Aborigines and other
Kimberley residents over plans to compulsorily acquire the
James Price Point site, about 60km north of Broome.”

ABC Kimberley:
Aboriginal gas benefits at the mercy of the market
3 Apr 12: “Despite decisions on Kimberley gas dragging out
amidst economic uncertainty, traditional owners are
positioning themselves to distribute the benefits of the
billion dollar plus deal. It was supposed to be the year
where all the speculation, planning and assessments were
going to lead to certainty one way or the other on gas
processing in the Kimberley.”

– Analysis / Opinion

The Contrarian: White myth-making and a State of Denial
4 Apr 12: “NATIONAL: White Australia must first develop a
greater awareness of the issues confronting Aboriginal
Australia before we can advance, writes GARY FOLEY*. White
Australia has a Black History, but it also has a long
history of denial of that fact. It also has an extensive
track record of carefully constructing and reinforcing its
own mythologies that help to maintain its denialism.”
Gary Foley, ‘elderly anarchist agitator’ and a historian
and lecturer at Victoria University

Little Black Duck: As long as we have youth, we still have hope
4 Apr 12: “NATIONAL: NICOLE WATSON* reflects on the
importance of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and why
Australia should revere it. The media’s portrayal of
events at the Aboriginal Embassy on Invasion Day were so
disturbing that it’s taken me some months to process my
thoughts. I felt anger, disillusionment and hurt. Most of
all however, I was stunned. How could a day that was both
a solemn reminder of warriors no longer with us, and a
celebration of our resilience, be treated with such
derision?” Nicole Watson, a Murri lawyer and researcher
with the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning

West Australian: Embrace, don’t fear land rights
3 Apr 12: “I am an 85-year-old senior Noongar elder, one of
the few surviving elders whose personal testimony to the
Federal Court of Australia proved Noongar native title in
the Swan River region and led to the current native title
negotiations between the State Government and the South
West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council. I did not support the
way Aboriginal people protested on Heirisson Island because
they were trouble makers.” Patrick Hume

– – –

Subscription to ‘WGAR News’ is free.

‘WGAR News’ monitors the media, including alternative media,
focusing on the Australian Federal government intervention
into Northern Territory (NT) Aboriginal communities along
with other Aboriginal rights issues.

‘WGAR News’ publishes information and opinions from a wide
range of sources. These opinions expressed are not
necessarily the opinions of WGAR.

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