25 May 2007

Howard Dumps On Aborigines

So suddenly the arrogant little prick who could not even bring himself to say SORRY is concerned about Aboriginal welfare? NOT!!!
Traditional owners agree to nuke waste dump

The Northern Land Council (NLC) says it is confident a nuclear waste dump will be built at Muckaty Station, north of Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory.

The NLC has nominated the Aboriginal land for the dump and the proposal will now be considered by the Commonwealth.

The nomination allows Commonwealth scientists to test a 1.5 square kilometre area of Muckaty Station. If they then give the go-ahead, the land will host a low-level repository with an above-ground store for intermediate level waste.

The NLC's chairman John Daly says all 70 of the station's Ngapa traditional owners have agreed to give their land over to the Commonwealth for about 200 years.

In return they will get a $12 million package which includes an $11 million charitable trust and a $1 million educational scholarship fund.
Poor fella, my country. But Mr Daly's assurances about complete agreement in the local community may not be all they seem:
Kathleen Martin from Mount Everard, north-west of Alice Springs, says there was some division over the proposal in the community.

"I'm asking, was that in agreeance with everybody on Muckaty?" she said

"Because the message that came down a couple of weeks ago was that the older people - the older men - had told some of the people there, you sell the land, you sell your soul."

Natalie Wasley from the Arid Lands Environment Centre, who has been campaigning against all of the sites proposed, says many of the traditional owners do not support the proposal.

"I've spoken with a Ngapa elder this morning, Bindi Martin from the Muckaty area, and he said he still has strong opposition to the dump proposal," she said.

"I believe this is a view held by other elders as well.

"I think the Science Minister Julie Bishop will have a hard time showing that there is consent within the Ngapa group let alone the whole Muckaty community for this nomination for the waste dump."
The irony is that even while Howard is pushing a nuclear dump deal on these poor Aborigines, he is simultaneously telling their children to learn English if they ever want to join the civilized world:
"Indigenous people have no hope of being part of the mainstream of this country unless they can speak the language of this country... If you require them to go to school they'll have to learn English... Aboriginal children should learn English because they should be required to go to school."
Well, that's just incoherent nonsense on so many levels!

How are these Aboriginals supposed to understand the full implications of a nuclear waste dump agreement, if they are all just ignorant savages? Howard's not saying.

And there's plenty more moral equivalence to go around:
The NLC's chief executive, Norman Fry, says that money is vital for people in an area that he says has been neglected by the Territory Government.
Poverty-stricken Aborigines need to sell out to nuclear industry right now, because otherwise they won't be able to afford food, shelter, health care and education (you know, the things Australian governments used to provide). Over two centuries of genocidal neglect, and it's all the Labour State Governments' fault!

What a bloody farce.
INTERVIEWER: Mr Howard, I wonder if you could explain our policy on mandatory sentencing to me in terms of the criticism we're now getting from the UN on the question of human rights?

JOHN HOWARD: Yes, I can, Bryan. We, the Australian Government, are dedicated to improving the condition of the Aboriginal people of this country by failing to meet the minimum requirement of the UN as laid down in the charter which we helped write.

INTERVIEWER: Hang on, that's not going to work, is it?

JOHN HOWARD: It doesn't sound right, does it?

INTERVIEWER: It's very complicated.

JOHN HOWARD: Here it is. Sorry, here it is. The condition of the Australian Aboriginal people, Bryan, is SO good, so good is it, that the world community has called upon us to stop being one of the worst governments on record.

INTERVIEWER: Sorry, Mr Howard, we might be better off talking about something else.

JOHN HOWARD: Here we go, sorry. Here we go, sorry. Here it is. It's got a circle around it.

INTERVIEWER: Mr Howard, thank you very much for your time.

JOHN HOWARD: We've got the question, Bryan. I refuse to apologise to the Australian Aboriginal people, because what can I do, I'm only the PM of the entire country.

INTERVIEWER: I'm sorry, Mr Howard, it might be better if we talk about something else.

JOHN HOWARD: Maybe it's on a different... Here it is. Here it is. I'm terribly sorry. Just thank me for my time again.

INTERVIEWER: Mr Howard, thanks for your time.
UPDATE: The Age has more here, including at least one disgrunteled Ngapa tribe:
Bindi Jakamarra Martin, a Warlmanpa man from the Ngapa clan, said building the dump on a 1.5-square-kilometre site 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek would "poison our beautiful land" and "change our dreamings".

"Our dreamings cross right into that land where they want to put that dump," he said.
Then there's the thorny issue of transportation from Sydney's Lucas Heights reactor, plus the pending return of waste currently stored overseas. And why wasn't the dump built on one of three Defence Department-owned sites in the Northern Territory?

Peter Garret says the consultation process was a joke.