MAC/20: Mines and Communities

STATEMENT OF ELDER LINDA RILEY FOR THE GOVERNING COMMITTEE OF JJAC, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Published by MAC on 2006-11-23

STATEMENT OF ELDER LINDA RILEY FOR THE GOVERNING COMMITTEE OF JJAC, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation Action

23rd November 2006

We are still battling with the Western Australian State Government and mining companies that refuse to enter into our heritage agreement with us before disturbing our native title Country.

The latest from the State is that despite knowing that the version of heritage agreement they want us to sign is completely negotiable and, more importantly , unworkable, leading to huge problems down the road with any explorers that sign it, they have given us a deadline to take it or leave it and then they will say that if an explorer has signed it, even where Jidi Jidi quite correctly refuses to sign it, the State will give the green light for the explorer to do what they please on our land without even first doing a heritage site survey.

This is madness as there are many sacred sites on our land, and the explorers that go ahead with the State’s support -but without our consent- risk being prosecuted for destroying our Ancestors places.

For the State to encourage such ruthless disregard for our people and our sacred places is unacceptable. And this from a Government that has a proudly stated “platform” of protecting Aboriginal sites and Aboriginal rights on land!

Please support us by writing now to Hon Deputy Premier Eric Ripper at 28th Floor, 197 St. George’s Terrace, Perth, WA 6000.

Tell him what you think of his Government’s disregard of our rights to have our own heritage agreement, rights confirmed in a 2001 agreement made with the State, but that are being ignored and leading us into drawn out battles with explorers that follow the State’s wrong advice that the broken down template agreement is all they need to sign to get onto our Country.

Please post us a copy of your letters to me at Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation, PO Box 128 Meekatharra WA 6642.

Thank you for your help in this time of our need.

Linda Riley
Elder and Chairperson

JIDI JIDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION
ASHBURTON DOWNS ROAD
MEEKATHARRA WA 6642

ABN 14 260 549 105

Country continues to be destroyed without any consultation with its Traditional Owners.

Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation members, particularly Elders with the chief duty to protect their Ancestors Country and sacred sites from harm, are getting very upset at this destruction of their lands and the Western Australia (WA) State Government will do nothing to help them. Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation, representing the Nharnuwangga Wajarri Ngarlawangga People's Native Title, is now aware, that with the knowledge and direct support of the State, various explorers are doing exploration and mining activities, including high impact work such as drilling, without having made the required heritage agreement. The heritage agreement allows for sacred sites to be avoided and so not harmed by such activities.

Two companies that have not signed heritage agreements with the Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation are Gleneagle Gold and Sandfire Resources. Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation have now had to ask Western Australian State Government environmental regulators to get the companies to stop work and make the heritage agreement. This is consistent with the regulators’ policies and procedures, but Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation is worried that the usual bias against, and disinterest in, any issues raised by Indigenous people will see them making excuses for these two companies.

Support Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation to have heritage agreements signed by writing to or emailing Gleneagle Gold and Sandfire Resources.

For further information please feel free to contact the Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation, by emailing Mr Marcus Holmes: mholmes@taylorlinfoot.com.au

Note to Editors:

Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation is created by the Native Title Act 1993, to manage and be trustee of the Native Title of the Nharnuwangga Wajarri Ngarlawangga People in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The Nharnuwangga Wajarri Ngarlawangga People were the first group of native title holders in Western Australia to successfully prove their native title to their Country.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Please support the Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation to secure the signing of heritage agreements with Gleneagle Gold and Sandfire Resources. You can accomplish this by writing to or emailing Gleneagle Gold and Sandfire

Resources on the contact details below. Please send a copy to: mholmes@taylorlinfoot.com.au Marcus Holmes when sending your action to Gleneagle Gold or Sandfire Resources. Remember to include your postal addresses.

WRITE TO GLENEAGLE GOLD:
Managing Director,
Gleneagle Gold
1 Ventnor Avenue,
West Perth,
Western Australia, 6005
AUSTRALIA
Telephone: +61 8 9476 4646
Facsimile: +61 8 9476 4600
Email: ian@gleneaglegold.com.au

Dear Sir,

HERITAGE AGREEMENT WITH JIDI JIDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION We have been informed by Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation that your company is carrying out exploration activity on their members’ Native Title Country without having first made a protective heritage agreement with Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation.

We understand that you have been asked many times to do so, and that the requirement to make such an agreement is actually a binding condition written onto your tenements.

This breach by your company is causing great harm and distress to the Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation. members, particularly the Elders. We/I request that your company enters into a heritage agreement with Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation and you do the right thing on their Country.

Yours faithfully,
(SIGNED)

PLEASE WRITE TO SANDFIRE RESOURCES:
Managing Director,
Sandfire Resources
1 Ventnor Avenue,
West Perth,
Western Australia, 6005
AUSTRALIA
Telephone: +61 8 9226 5833
Facsimile: +61 8 9226 5844
E-mail: admin@sandfire.com.au

Dear Sir,

HERITAGE AGREEMENT WITH JIDI JIDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION We have been informed by Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation that your company is carrying out exploration activity on their members’ Native Title Country without having first made a protective heritage agreement with Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation.

We understand that you have been asked many times to do so, and that the requirement to make such an agreement is actually a binding condition written onto your tenements.

This breach by your company is causing great harm and distress to the Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation. members, particularly the Elders.

We/I request that your company enters into a heritage agreement with Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation and you do the right thing on their Country. Yours faithfully,
(SIGNED)

THE JIDI JIDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION THANKS YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

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