MAC/20: Mines and Communities

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Published by MAC on 2002-04-11

 

Statement by Ms. Yvonne Margarula, Senior Traditional Owner of the Mirrar People of Kakadu (Gundjemi Aboriginal Corporation)

11 April 2002

The Mirrar People still say no to Jabiluka mine! All the Mirrar are together; we are united against any more uranium mining on Mirrar country. No amount of money, no amount of political pressure, no backroom deals, no bribery or blackmail will make us change our mind. We cannot change the law and the law is that we protect our sacred sites.

Since 1996, the Mirrar have fought against Jabiluka across Australia and overseas. We have won many friends and our supporters are strong and stand with us. We have travelled a long road. We have been to many meetings in many different places. We will continue to resist more mining on Mirrar country. We have no choice - this is our land and our life, we can never leave, we must protect it.

Rio Tinto talks about "responsibly building long-term" but right now its uranium operations in Kakadu directly threaten the future of Mirrar culture. Rio should immediately rehabilitate the Jabiluka mine site and incorporate the lease into Kakadu National Park. Future generations of the Mirrar and the preservation of the World Heritage values of Kakadu depend on action being taken now.

Yvonne Margarula
Mirrar Senior Traditional Owner
Chairperson, Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation

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