Caught Green-Handed: Anti-nuclear activists called out by Aboriginal Traditional Owners

The Conservation Council of Western Australia has blatantly misrepresented the Tjiwarl native title holders in relation to a proposed uranium mine on their land. 


In statement dated today (4 August) the CCWA object to the mine with the following references to the traditional owners:

Traditional Owners have opposed the mining of the Yeelirrie uranium deposit for more than forty years, as the mining plan threatens important cultural heritage sites that are part of the Seven Sisters Dreaming songline. „Yeelirrie‟ in the local language translates to „place of death‟.
“The Conservation Council of WA will continue to support Traditional Owners in defending their country and culture from the destructive uranium industry.

Yet just two weeks previously the Tjiwarl native title holders released their own statement, saying

The Tjiwarl native title holders are yet to discuss or formalise a position on Uranium mining on our country. Any decision about this project needs to be made by Tjiwarl (Aboriginal Corporation) in accordance with our traditional laws and customs and until such time we ask that media outlets and the Conservation Council of WA refrain from referring to Tjiwarl (Aboriginal Corporation) as supporting this legal proceeding.

The CCWA denies any wrong doing, saying "We haven't linked them to the case, there's certain members of that claim group that are part of the case, but we haven't linked the body corporate to the case and I'm not sure where they're getting that information from".

This is another one of those times to call these anti-nuclear activists out for what they are and what they do. 

It is disingenuous in the extreme to suggest that the wording of their statement is not linking the Tjiwarl native title holders to this case and to the position of the CCWA.

The CCWA only makes such an absurd contention because they are used to never being held to account for their behaviour, because they are 'the good guys'.

They engage in conduct other organisations would be slammed for, safe in the assumption that they can mount a ridiculous defence like the above and get away with it, on the assumption that they are either stupid or just a little misguided.

They are neither. The anti-nuclear movement knows what it is doing. It does these things as a calculated risk that they will benefit more than they loose. They are not stupid, they are cunning. They are not misguided, they are immoral. Believing otherwise is exactly the naivete they trade on.

This organisation has directly gone against the stated wishes of the native title group and wilfully misrepresented them in this matter.

This is abhorrent , dishonest and disrespectful behaviour. It shows yet again how anti-nuclear activists are so consumed by their righteousness that they believe the rules of engagement do not apply to them.

The interface between mining developments, other developments and Aboriginal traditional owners is complex, multifaceted and heterogeneous. This is not limited to matters concerning uranium. There is no simple, generalisable position that represents all Aboriginal people in all circumstances.

But there are a couple of simple rules.

Be respectful. Don't lie.

The Conservation Council of Western Australia broke them both.

Like what you read? Please, support Bright New World, the ENGO that will never lie to you about these things.

Ben Heard1 Comment