Wednesday, 22 July 2009

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST OPEN-PIT MINING - WEDNESDAY 22 JULY 09: Uncle Chappie's Busy Day in Canberra

Uncle Chappy has had a very busy day

Uncle Chappy presented the following letter to the
Canadian Deputy High Commissioner (pictured below):

His Excellency Mr Michael Leir

High Commissioner

Canadian High Commission

Commonwealth Avenue

Canberra ACT 2600 22 July 2009

Fax: (02) 6273 3285

Email: cnbra@international.gc.ca.

Your Excellency,

Re: Global Day of Action Against Open-Pit Mining & Lake Cowal Goldmine

Today I am participating in the Global Day of Action against open-cut mining on behalf of our People, who are opposing the desecration of our sacred lands and waters of Lake Cowal in central west New South Wales.

We understand that Canadian mining corporations are responsible more than 51% of global mining capital and we are calling on your government to reign in the destructive actions of these mining companies. Our struggle at Lake Cowal is a good example of a Canadian mining company’s irresponsible actions - Barrick Gold, the gold mining company based in Toronto.

As a Traditional Owner of Lake Cowal and I have fought many court cases against mining at Lake Cowal.

It is my sacred duty to protect Lake Cowal and our ancient cultural heritage. We will never give up. I will fight to the bitter end. Currently, we have halted the proposed expansion of the gold mine in Barrick v Williams in the NSW Court of Appeal.

The Lake Cowal gold mine operated by Barrick Gold is desecrating our sacred heartland of the Wiradjuri, between the Kalara/Lachlan and the Murrumbidgee rivers.

Lake Cowal is an ephemeral lake and also a wetland of international significance – home and breeding ground to thousands of water birds when full, including numerous threatened species. [see http://savelakecowal.org/?page_id=296]

The open-pit cuts into our ancient lake bed and already there have been at least twenty landslides as the pitwall collapses, at times covering blast holes full of explosives and endangering workers’ lives.

Barrick is importing 6090 tonnes of sodium cyanide into the floodplain of Lake Cowal and the Kalara/Lachlan river, which becomes an inland sea during major flooding.

We have even been to Barrick’s AGMs and to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to stop this madness. But the governments seem hand in glove with the mining company.

For your government’s information I am enclosing the Manila Declaration of the International Conference on Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples and we trust your government will begin to action the aspirations of this document.

We also call on your government to endorse and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is a framework for the continuing survival and well-being of Indigenous Peoples globally.

We are fighting for our cultural survival and our religious freedoms.

Sincerely

Neville Williams

PO Box 70

Cowra NSW 2794

Ph: 0447 841 560

savelakecowal.org

Attached are the following:

    • My speeches to UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2008
    • The Manila Declaration of the International Conference on Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples
    • Global Day of Action Call Out – 22 July 2009

And then it was off to beard the lions in their den at

Mitchell Hooke, Chief Executive Office

Minerals Council of Australia

Walter Turnbull Building

44 Sydney Ave.,

Forrest

ACT 2603 22 July 2009

Dear Mr Hooke

Re: Global Day of Action Against Open-Pit Mining & Lake Cowal Goldmine

Today I am participating in the Global Day of Action against open-cut mining on behalf of our People, who are opposing the desecration of our sacred lands and waters of Lake Cowal in central west New South Wales.

We are calling on the Minerals Council of Australia to operate with in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which the Australian Government endorsed this year.

We are enclosing the Manila Declaration of the International Conference on Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples and we trust your organisation will circulate it amongst your members and will begin to action the aspirations of this document.

Our struggle at Lake Cowal is a good example of a Canadian mining company’s irresponsible actions - Barrick Gold, the gold mining company based in Toronto.

As a Traditional Owner of Lake Cowal and I have fought many court cases against mining at Lake Cowal.

It is my sacred duty to protect Lake Cowal and our ancient cultural heritage. We will never give up. I will fight to the bitter end. Currently, we have halted the proposed expansion of the gold mine in Barrick v Williams in the NSW Court of Appeal.

The Lake Cowal gold mine operated by Barrick Gold is desecrating our sacred heartland of the Wiradjuri, between the Kalara/Lachlan and the Murrumbidgee rivers.

Lake Cowal is an ephemeral lake and also a wetland of international significance – home and breeding ground to thousands of water birds when full, including numerous threatened species. [see http://savelakecowal.org/?page_id=296]

The open-pit cuts into our ancient lake bed and already there have been at least twenty landslides as the pitwall collapses, at times covering blast holes full of explosives and endangering workers’ lives.

Barrick is importing 6090 tonnes of sodium cyanide into the floodplain of Lake Cowal and the Kalara/Lachlan river, which becomes an inland sea during major flooding.

We have even been to Barrick’s AGMs and to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to stop this madness. But the governments seem hand in glove with the mining company.

We are fighting for our cultural survival and our religious freedoms.

Sincerely

Neville Williams

PO Box 70

Cowra NSW 2794

Ph: 0447 841 560 savelakecowal.org

Attached are the following:

o My speeches to UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2008

o The Manila Declaration of the International Conference on Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples

o Global Day of Action Call Out – 22 July 2009

Please click on pictures to enlarge.
MissEagle
racism-free

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