Friday, 10 June 2011

#Yindjibarndi and the #FortescueMetalsGroup #FMG #mining #resources #Aboriginal #Indigenous #land


Yindjibarndi country 
The areas in red are
FMG Tenements on Yindjibarndi country.

Hattip to Denis of The Nature of Robertson 
coz this sort of slipped through my net.

Roebourne, WA
8 June 2011

No faith in procedural fairness of Conflicted Minister and ACMC After admissions last week by WA Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Peter Collier, that he takes great guidance from his close personal friend Andrew Forrest.

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation fears that the procedural fairness and independence of the Minister’s office with regard to heritage decisions have been compromised. The Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee (ACMC), which reports directly to the Minister, is currently considering two Section 18 applications by Andrew Forrests Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) to allow destruction of Yindjibarndi sites within the Solomon Hub project. We try to maintain faith in the process and participate in good faith, but it’s hard to feel like you are getting a fair go when you hear the Minister say he takes advice from the man that wants to bulldoze our sacred sites said Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation CEO, Michael Woodley. Woodley added, No traditional owner can expect unbiased decision- making at the hands of this Minister about sites inside Andrew Forrests tenements, especially when you think that FMG totally dominate the Pilbara, covering an area larger than BHP and Rio combined.”  

Given the clear conflict of interest exposed by the Ministers admissions the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation is calling on the Minister to remove himself from the decision making process.

Grave doubts have also been cast over the administration of the ACMC under the chairmanship of Haydn Lowe. Mr Lowe, a former Liberal Party chief-of-staff, was appointed under a cloud of controversy by previous Indigenous affairs minister Kim Hames in mid-2009.

Mr Lowe was not among those recommended for the post by the previous Registrar of Aboriginal Sites and it was alleged that the Minister improperly intervened in appointing Mr Lowe despite the fact that his name was not on the list of recommended candidates, and that he did not meet the selection criteria.

Last week, on 1 June 2011, Mr Lowe chaired an a meeting of the ACMC regarding FMG's Section 18 applications, which Yindjibarndi consider denied them procedural fairness. Yindjibarndi legal representatives, Slater & Gordon, have written to Mr Lowe and the Minister to put the ACMC on notice that Yindjibarndi consider they were not given an adequate opportunity to be heard in relation to the section 18 applications.

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation has indicated that they are prepared to seek remedy in the courts if the ACMC refuses them the opportunity to be properly heard.

If such legal proceedings become necessary, the Aboriginal heritage process is likely to be brought to a halt, as will FMGs proposed mining activity. Just yesterday, a meeting of the board of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation unanimously voted to reject attempts being made by FMG to control access to sites currently the subject of their Section18 applications.

This is our country, no company, especially one that is trying to get approval to destroy our sacred sites is going to tell us what we can and cant do on our country said Woodley.

Link to interview with Mr Collier broadcast on Monday May 31 2011

Previous posts re this topic on The Network:

#TwiggyForrest tweaks stacked meeting to twubble #nativetitle holders in Roebourne #mining #land #resources #indigenous #Aboriginal

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