SA GOVERNMENT THREATEN TO CHANGE OPAL MINING ACT

URGENCY REQUIRED FOR MINTABIE

Recently the Mintabie Miner’s Progress Association (MMPA) forewarned the opal mining industry about impending Amendments to the APY Land Rights Act and the Opal Mining Act that relate to residents, visitors and future miners to Mintabie.

These include a prohibition of alcohol in a Mintabie resident’s home and compulsory police criminal history checks for everyone (except Anangu) who would be in Mintabie for longer than 24 hours. Residents will also need yearly police criminal history checks to continue living in their own homes.

The MMPA has been advised by PIRSA that the impending Legislation has been agreed to by   Mr. Paul Holloway, Minister for Mineral Resources Development and has now to go to the Dept. of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation for final approval.

Any submissions, letters or opinions etc. should now be directed to the Minister responsible for introducing the APY (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 into Parliament.

To : The Hon. Jay Weatherill
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation
178 North Terrace Adelaide  5000.

The MMPA would appreciate a copy and can be contacted:  c/-  P.O. Box 74, Mintabie SA 5724.
Or by email at  mmpa@mintabieopalfield.com

It may be possible, even at this late hour, to instill some compassion, common sense and compromise into negotiations to resolve these contentions.

Kay Marshall
President MMPA

Coober Pedy Regional Times

49 thoughts on “SA GOVERNMENT THREATEN TO CHANGE OPAL MINING ACT

  1. Are Mintabie Miners and APY
    Getting ‘A Snow Job’ over OIL?

    Dear Editor,

    I was reading with interest and dismay the plight of the Mintabie mine folk, having visited the fields in the early eighties. It seems a shame a small community is suddenly under government and police seige. My super-annuated retiree husband and I would like the right to visit the places we toured back then without being subjected to the rigours of a military camp in some communist country. This town is in Australia, isnt it? For impending legislation to have this effect should be of concern to any small community:
    To quote part of the Mintabie letter:

    “These include a prohibition of alcohol in a Mintabie resident’s home and compulsory police criminal history checks for everyone (except Anangu) who would be in Mintabie for longer than 24 hours. Residents will also need yearly police criminal history checks to continue living in their own homes.”

    It’s ironic that a part of Australia handed back to the traditional owners is now targeted with legislation which looks to fly in the face of the federal anti-discrimination act, the same criticism that was pointed toward the NT Intervention policies under Howard and continuing under Rudd. I hope the Minister responsible for protecting the rights of Australians against racist legislation gets a hold of this act and rips it to shreds and gives the irresponsible SA ministers a good kick up the whatsit!

    I found other news references which make the Mulligan enquiry look a bit murky and it appears there are other motives at play beyond the backyards of the Mintabie Miners, who should really be left alone to do their fossicking.

    “Mr Singer insisted in a statement to The Australian that he was innocent. He noted that the police action coincided with publication by The Australian of the APY executive board’s submission to former Supreme Court judge Ted Mullighan, which accused police of being reluctant to pursue sex offenders on the lands. The APY submission, prepared with Mr Singer’s authority, also cited corruption and misappropriation of government funds “by non-Anangu business interests”.

    Mr Mullighan’s report, tabled in the South Australian parliament on Tuesday, documented how the equivalent of one in seven local children had suffered sex abuse amid “Third World” living conditions.”

    It doesnt take Einstein to work out whats going on here. A government enquiry into the welfare of aborigines, seems a bit sudden and far fetched in a state that places gambling and drinking venues plum within reach of the most disadvantaged communities, black and white. No, this is called a ‘snow job’ and as soon as the snow melts it boils down to the minerals in the ground and this government doesnt have the guts to say so, but will manipulate the boards of the communities and play good cop bad cop while the international mining companies tip toe into the APY Lands (Ministerial approval of course), take their bounty and run back to the shareholders to get more cash for the next project. Government? PIRSA? The one stop mining and population control shop of the outback.

    Retirement offers many benefits, one of which is the chance to learn Google to ask questions of the world wide web. In respect of our mining friends at Mintabie Google replied with some interesting information which hasn’t made the press. Pass this on to the miners. If they have a stockbroker in town it would appear there be black gold, texas tea in those hills and at a guess the APY council squabbles are probably over who gets the first new landcruiser and nintendo for the kids…Jenny Macklin never mentioned this. Why? There is so much oil, gold and other minerals on APY lands it’s surprising the APY dont negotiate directly with the explorers, or are there some middle men who want to be paid first?

    The list of explorations and maps is enormous. I will send some diagrams to illustrate but there is enough going on out there I’m surprised this important factor has been neglected in the search results of the news services, or isnt an oil rush on aboriginal land newsworthy enough? The funniest or saddest thing I discovered was that one mining concern had the front to describe the area under exploration as “Landholdings”…hmmmn…isnt that misleading to the shareholders who might be interested in knowing that title of the land is theirs under an Australian Land Rights Agreement way back in 1981. Maybe I’m too old fashioned in these matters of corporate disclosure. Anyway, Rodinia Oil doesnt seem too concerned about Mintabie; they have bigger fish to fry:

    ”With a carefully selected team of experienced international oil & gas explorers and entrepreneurs along with access to massive tracts of land in the Officer Basin and Georgina Basin in central Australia, Rodinia has a defined operational strategy designed to identify and exploit the hydrocarbon potential of these two under-explored areas. These areas have exciting geologic features, analogous to Oman in the Persian Gulf and Siberia in Russia, where billions of barrels of light oil have been discovered”. http://rodiniaoil.com (The content of this website has since been altered)

    There is too much going on out there to mention in a letter, but for the sake of everyone concerned, particularly the residents at Mintabie, maybe it’s a good time for everyone to lay ALL their cards on the table instead of playing the racial game in an inappropriate fashion. I certainly want this mess sorted out soon as we plan to visit Mintabie and any other place we choose on our next visit to South Australia.

    S. Adams
    Noosa Heads, Queensland

  2. MINTABIE OPAL MINERS TOLD TO COP IT SWEET OR LEAVE !

    Warrick a Mintabie resident of 19 years discusses proposed changes to Mintabie’s Lease renewal eg police checks on visitors to Mintabie and annual police checks on Mintabie residents and problems on the APY Lands with Anangu obtaining alcohol.

    Warrick stated that he didn’t agree that Anangu obtaining alcohol was a Mintabie problem at all.

    “In the last thirty years there’s only ever been one conviction in Mintabie for persons selling alcohol to Anangu. Even Blind Freddie knows that they just go up the Highway to Coober Pedy or Alice Springs and legally buy alcohol.”

    If it’s all so true, why haven’t there been more convictions?

    “I would like to see things stay the way they are in Mintabie, but any bad element in town should be dealt with by the police so a community can get away from all this bad publicity because it’s simply not true the way the newspapers have been putting it.

    Personally I’m not a huge drinker at all. It’s a civil right and a civil liberty that is taken away from us that I’m upset about,” concluded Warrick

    Mintabie resident John who’s daughter was having her first birthday said that Mintabie was a great place to bring up a child, with fresh air, fresh water. “It’s just a beautiful place”, said John.

    “The biggest thing that I think about especially with police criminal checks is my mother is 66 and my partner’s mother and the rest of her family would have to get a police criminal record check every time they visit and it really is a bit of a pain you know, four weeks! If they get a spare week off work or something like that; it’s a spur of the moment type of thing and you really want them to be able to come up”..

    Coober Pedy Regional Times
    ABC Radio

  3. Terry O’Gorman, President, Australian Council for Civil Liberties says Mintabie lease proposal “unjustifiable and outrageous”

    In a public statement that shocked South Australians APY Lands General Manager, Ken Newman told Mintabie Opal Miners, residents and service providers that if they didn’t accept the restrictions included in the proposed new government lease agreement for the township of Mintabie, “they should leave”!

    The conditions of the new government lease published in the last edition of the Coober Pedy Regional Times read tougher than visiting inmates in a high security prison facility and was rejected by the Mintabie community during the week. Residents said it had the potential to set a precendent of violating the civil rights of all Australians living anywhere in the country.

    On Thursday 28th August, Terry O’Gorman, President, Australian Council for Civil Liberties spoke to ABC radio regarding State Government mandatory police checks and alcohol bans for residents of Mintabie.

    Terry O’Gorman’s first reaction was that he thought the Mintabie Miners had a major case. “If the situation has been reached in Australia where you can’t drink alcohol in your own home, then I just think that things have got totally out of whack. The State should not interfere in the way that people manage or run their lives unless they are harming others.”

    Terry O’Gorman went on to list illegal acts that were prohibited in your own home, but having a beer wasn’t one of them.

    “To say that these miners can’t drink alcohol in their own home is just over the top and totally contrary to what the rule of law is supposed to be all about” said O’Gorman..

    On the subject of police checks for relatives and friends visiting Mintabie residents, O’Gorman said, “that just seems to be utterly unjustifiable. The role of police in a democratic society is to keep order, within the concept of balancing police powers on the one hand and civil liberties on the other.

    For people to be subject to police checks simply because they’re visiting a particular area is not what the rule of law is supposed to be about. Police should only be exercising police powers if they suspect on reasonable grounds that an offence has been committed or is about to be committed. For people to be subject to police checks simply because they’re visiting a particular town is outrageous and unacceptable”.

    Regarding whether or not the restrictions were appropriate because the Mintabie Lease is on Aboriginal land, O’Gorman replied, “I don’t think that’s a good justification at all. It shouldn’t mean that those people who live in that town or visit that town are subject to a lesser number or degree of civil rights than someone who lives in Adelaide.

    Civil liberties are supposed to be uniform throughout this country. Once we start to say that because a miner might be visiting a particular town that’s on an Aboriginal reserve that that miner is not allowed to drink alcohol in their own home, then dealing with the problem of alcohol in Aboriginal communities has got to the stage where civil liberties are being trashed and it is unacceptable”.

    Coober Pedy Regional Times
    ABC Radio

  4. Advance Australia Fair?
    Not apparently if you are a resident of Mintabie, SA.

    Legislation about to be put before SA State Parliament by Hon Jay Weatherill MP, will return the township of Mintabie to the bad old days of discrimination. Paternalistic discrimination, this time on the basis of where you live. If you choose to live in Mintabie you will not be allowed to have a beer (or any other alcoholic beverage) in your own home, if indeed, you are even allowed to go home to your Mintabie residence. Failing a despotic, state government imposed police check will ensure you may not be able return to your home. At the very least you may not have any visitors, unless they have planned to pass the police check prior to visiting you.

    I gather this act is to stop potential alcoholic thieves from pinching your home supply and then harming themselves after consuming their ill-gotten gains. The majority will lose a liberty over the actions of a minority.

    In an Australian democratic society the normal standard is majority rules. Thieves are gaoled and law abiding citizens live law abiding lives, without fear of being penalised by the limiting of personal freedoms and responsibility by well meant, but ill-conceived, legislation. I believe existing State and Federal laws are already sufficient to deal with any crime mentioned in any report. Putting money into the enforcement of education and current laws is the key, not this legislative short sighted, shortcut, which tramples on the civil liberties of all Australians in a poor
    attempt by politicians to be seen as doing something, anything.

    A check of Australia’s Constitution (Section 117) will inform you that “a resident in any State, shall not be subject in any other State to any disability or discrimination, which would not be equally applicable to him if he were a (subject of the Queen) resident in such other State”.

    At my residence in Queensland I am, currently, not subject to police checks and alcohol prohibitions as a condition of residency. Perhaps this proposed unconstitutional SA legislation will set the precedent for other states? Picture the reception that ban would get from the wider community. And American Prohibition was such a success in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. Not!

    Section 109 of the Australian Constitution further relates to Inconsistency of Laws – “When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid”.

    I also fail to understand a proposed amendment to the Opal Mining Act 1995. I have a Precious Stones Prospecting Permit entitling me to prospect on Precious Stones Fields. But the proposed amendment states this current PSPP would not entitle me to prospect on the Mintabie Precious Stones field. A mining registrar must now further endorse my PSPP. What the?? Isn’t it PIRSA’s job to issue valid PSPPs for South Australia? Mintabie was in South Australia last time I checked. Please explain the reasoning behind this, and will the permit fee go up with each subsequent authorising signature?

    Are the powers that be trying to push Mintabie residents out of existence? Between PSPP fees, camp lease fees, and water rates the average resident is paying almost as much as a semi-rural block in country Queensland. And they get roads, rubbish and real government representation there. Do any of the monies paid as camp lease fees get re-invested in the township as roads and infrastructure?

    Living at Mintabie is a particular life-style choice especially appreciated by the unique, self-sufficient individuals that reside there. It has always been accepted that, unlike the former USSR, Australians have the freedom to choose where in Australia they will live, unrestricted by paternalistic policy.

    I do not impose my life-style, habits and philosophies on my neighbour and I do not expect my neighbour to impose his on me, undemocratically restricting my freedoms. I am Australian. My neighbours are Australian. The Australian government paid for existing roads and infrastructure (such as they are) with taxpayer money. Yet tax paying Australians are not free to re-discover and reside on this land without divisive and subversive constraints.

    The often forgotten second verse of our national Anthem states “We’ve boundless plains to share With courage let us all combine To Advance Australia Fair”. Is our national song a lying sham? Is our Australian Constitution to be trampled over and ignored? We shall see and, we shall vote accordingly.

    E.C. Hooper
    Mintabie, SA

    cc Ms K. Marshall
    cc Coober Pedy Regional Times
    cc Mr.J. Wetherall
    cc Federal Ministers
    cc SA State Parliament Ministers
    cc Australian Council of Civil Liberties
    cc Ombudsmen
    cc Governor-General’s Office
    cc Attorney-General Complaints

    Further information:

    Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act

    (The Constitution)

    This compilation was prepared 25th July 2003 By The Office of Legislative Drafting
    Attorney General’s Department, Canberra
    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/comlaw.nsf/440c19285821b109ca256f3a001d59b7
    /57dea3835d797364ca256f9d0078c087/$FILE/ConstitutionAct.pdf

    Australian Constitution

    5 – Operation of the Constitution and laws [see Note 3]
    This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State; and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be in force on all British ships, the Queen’s ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance and whose port of destination are in the Commonwealth.

    Chapter V—The States

    109 – Inconsistency of laws

    When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.

    – Rights of Residents Within States
    A subject of the Queen, resident in any State, shall not be subject in any other State to any disability of discrimination, which would not be equally applicable to him if he were a subject of the Queen resident in such other State.

    ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR

    Australians all let us rejoice,
    For we are young and free;
    We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;
    Our home is girt by sea;
    Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
    Of beauty rich and rare;
    In history’s page, let every stage
    Advance Australia Fair.

    In joyful strains then let us sing,
    Advance Australia Fair.

    Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
    We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
    To make this Commonwealth of ours
    Renowned of all the lands;
    For those who’ve come across the seas
    We’ve boundless plains to share;
    With courage let us all combine
    To Advance Australia Fair.

    In joyful strains then let us sing,
    Advance Australia Fair

  5. Is the Minister about to consign Mintabie, SA
    into a defacto Secession from Australia?

    One could think so when the Hon Jay Weatherill MP, with his soon to be presented Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995). This impending Act deems that the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 or the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 will not apply to the township of Mintabie or it’s residents. Why not?

    Ouch! I feel my civil liberties being breached. How can an Australian State Minister, at a stroke, remove protective legislation from a specific group of Australian citizens? Who is watching these law makers? Obviously the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 was made to protect citizens rights and out-line their responsibilities. Why is Mintabie to be left unprotected if the above legislation is passed?

    Whose, and what, civil liberties will they breach next? Oh, that’s right, the same proposed bill would remove the right to drink in our own homes. And Mintabie residents will be required to pay for compulsory yearly police checks or they will deport us back to Australia?

    Are these but the first steps to seceding from Australia with all it’s attendant laws, Constitution, and civil liberties?

    Remember always check the fine print of proposed bills.

    S. James
    Mintabie, SA

    CC: Martin Hamilton-Smith MP ; Hon Mike Rann Premier ; Hon Kevin Foley MP ; Hon Michael Atkinson MP ; Hon Paul Holloway MLC ; Hon Jay Weatherill MP ; Civil Liberties Australia ; Steven Griffiths MP ; Isobel Redmond MP ; Hon David Ridgway MLC ; Vickie Chapman MP ; Michael Pengilly MP ; Michelle Lensink MLC ; Coober Pedy Regional Times ; Ms. Bryce ; Attorney-General Office

  6. South Australia Wants Tourists &
    Tourists Want Opal

    Promote the opal fields in State tourism campaigns. Don’t place onerous conditions on opal fields with draft bills such as the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995), about to be presented to State Parliament by the Hon Jay Weatherill MP .

    Freely allow potential tourists easy access to their outback opal adventures in South Australia, rather than another state. Once enticed with the promise of opal, tourists will also spend their dollars in other South Australian towns on the way, and maybe even take in the sights of Adelaide in the same trip.

    Stop this proposed legislation from breaching the civil liberties of all Australians.

    Yours cordially,

    E. Hooper
    Mintabie, SA

  7. ARE APY ISSUES A TROJAN HORSE
    INTO ANANGU HOMELANDS?

    Inconsistent reports of progress and decline are being laundered through tabloid media, first citing that petrol sniffing on APY Lands was decreasing and marijuana had taken it’s place. Now petrol is back!!

    In the meantime political leaders do not visit towns like Mintabie as they flock past to visit those guarding the Land owners, “building relationships” in order to take signatures from Anangu.

    My relatives are Anangu, and aware that the APY Lands are not dry, yet the board projects a saintly concern.

    Anangu individuals openly drink and purchase petrol in all towns. They also drink on the Lands and do not hide their containers.

    British boat people deemed that our culture was not only sub human but dumb as well and introduced Anangu to commercial alcohol upon landing. A means of slipping into the country.

    This Trojan Horse is still handy, but is portrayed as someone else!!

    Was marijuana or similar known to the Anangu 200 years ago? I believe so! Many plants were used by Anangu for such things as endurance and pain. Part of our medicine culture.

    As climate change sets in, Anangu methods are sought to reinstate our ecology, slowly being destroyed by millions of unsuitable flora and fauna and of course, industry.

    Anangu survived many climate changes because we were transient. Those who seek to “control” might look at containing the more damaging effects of the underlying and initial problem of denying natural dignity to Anangu and though their failure, flinging distracting blame at innocent neighbours.

    There appears to be a distinct failure and manipulation by APY “leaders.”

    J. Hodson, Elizabeth

  8. STOP THE RACIAL ‘BUCKET KICKING’

    Being a Mintabie resident for more than 25 years, I have been privileged to be part of a community comprising people from many and varied walks of life and nationalities, built over a period of 30 years with predominately their own resourcefulness and unparalled community spirit.

    During my time in Mintabie, I have observed a good rapport with our neighbours, the people of the APY Lands, with them enjoying mining activities “fossiking” and availing themselves to the servies provided by the community such as school, clinic, shopping, mechanical services, fuel, community hall entertainment etc.

    As in any town in Australia, there is the privilege of police presence via Marla and other government regulatory systems.

    It is disturbing now to see negatives hurled at Mintabie in the form of racial ‘Bucket Kicking’ and media misinformation, to the extent that a recent meeting was convened between the people of the APY Lands and the people of Mintabie under a damage control situation.

    Mintabie residents visitors and tourists entering Mintabie are presently subjected to travel restrictions, namely, the road of entry from the Stuart Highway and the area of the mining fields is subject to a permit requirement.

    Now the residents of Mintabie are being asked to accept a proposal of future residency that states whilst paying an annual fee in excess of leasehold rates in nearby Coober Pedy, to forego their rights to have a beer in their own homes and be severely dettered from having visitations from family, friends and tourists, due to police checks on elegibility of entry. The latter includes a time frame of 4 weeks at a cost of $50 per head.

    In the face of negotiation and protest to this blatant discrimination, all that is heard is a chortle of “cop it or get out”.

    One could be excused for thinking this is a ‘snoke out’ of a community established over a period of 30 odd years.

    Where are the politicians now, who over the years seemingly enjoyed the hospitality of the community at vote rattling, pre-election visits?

    If this is a racial problem as we would be led to believe and in view of the abundant ‘lip service’ given to reconciliation, one may suggest those thinking reconcilliation can be achieved through segregation need to sit back and contemplate their capabilities to perform the tasks empowered to them. Or if there is some other obscure agenda ‘it has been suggested’, results to this discriminatory proposal, please have the balls to put the cards on the table.

    It is disapointing, as an Australian to see the countries powers that be, on their backs, whilst promoting Australia as the clean, green, human rights, do-gooder, guardians of the world, whilst this debacle is happening in our own back yard.

    Trevor Richter
    18 September 2008

  9. BEER BIGGER THAN WATER IN SA

    “We c’n write on ere can’t we Shane”?
    “Oh yeah, reckon so.. What’s up Dave?”

    “Well I got a big one one this week mate. They reckon our mates up the road at Mintabie are in a bit of strife”

    “How’s that mate?”

    “Well, they reckon their makin’ a law that says ya can’t have a beer after work in Mintabie.”

    “Dave, ya joshin me. Ya can tell an Aussie just about anything, but yu’d be headin fer a bit a trouble if yer tell him that.”

    “But what about if ya snuck a beer or two while yer watchin’ the footy on TV or sumthin’.”

    “Well Shane, they reckon if the cops smell yer breath yer mightn’t be livin’ there next year.”

    “Bugger!”

    “Yeah, not only that Shane, they reckon yer mum can’t even visit ya if she’s got an outstandin’ parkin’ ticket, or something like that.”

    “Geez Dave, Glad we live down the road in Australia”.

    “Yeah Shane, bugger of a precedent to set. Hows about if they start kickin’ everyone out of Adelaide cos they’ve drunk all the water outa the Murray?”

    “Ah ha….Nah, mate…they’re one step ahead of them Adelaide residents. Just heard they sold the rest of their water ta Melbourne!”

    GET A GRIP
    Mining Company

  10. “SHOULD MINTABIE BE OPEN TO ALL CLASSES OF PEOPLE?”

    Australians: Mintabie was an independent South Australian Opal Mining Town until the AP Lands came into existence.

    For whatever reason, when government allocated land to Anangu, they put Mintabie into the new AP Lands area. (Now APY)

    New ideas are emerging daily in a thrust to close down the Mintabie Township and opal fields.

    Should this legislation proceed for the reasons stated, it has the potential to snowball down the highway and across the states of Australia.

    Australian Opal Miner

  11. In response to matters concerning the Mintabie town lease and the prospect of the Australian Opal Industry

    .

    As a concerned Australian citizen who has the expectation and birthright to the rights to claim an equal opportunity, a fair and just playing field upon which to live and work, feel that my right is being infringed upon. Many factors and governing influences come into play when caring for Australia and its peoples, especially the regional and outback areas of Australia, which are under increasing pressure. Largely our country’s workforce is made up of primary and secondary industries.

    Much of that primary production takes place outside major city centers. Our secondary industries depend as much on the global markets as the National market trends. There is no question that in recent times, there have been shifts in the economic stability of the past and we are adjusting where we can. However, I am alarmed that one of our most precious Heritage symbols falling to the wayside if special notice is not taken.

    The survival of Opal Industry relies on all the factors mentioned above and more. It is special in that Opal is Australia’s National Gemstone, a factor that we are very privileged to be bestowed. Make no mistake other countries would embrace, as we have not, the most precious of all gemstones into their heritage if it were possible. Australia’s rich geological diversity has endowed us with the largest deposits of Opal in the world. A point of true cultural significance, coupled with the historic importance that Opal mining towns across Australia stand for.

    Embracing the desert’s harsh geographical conditions are those individuals who play an important role in defining our cultural history, among them the battler, the bushman, and those who will reclaim Indigenous Australia’s values and bridge the gap in reconciliation of the two cultures responsibly.

    For various reasons, recent hard times have fallen upon many of the livelihoods of hard working factions of our economy, that tie into the social and cultural foundation of Australia. The farmers are drought broke and selling up. The truckies are cutting back with rising costs. The fishermen are also being bought out and sectioned off, while the humble gemstone
    prospectors and miners are being lead down the garden path. Some of these people have generation after generation that have worked to bring food and goods to the Australian household, sustaining services, industry and the economy alike. Now more and more these industries have to reinvent and in some cases restructure their way of doing things in order to survive. The opal industry is no exception. Currently much pressure is being felt, from the top to the bottom.

    Diesel prices soar, support for the precious gemstone in the fashion and arts industry is at a dismal low and the cultural importance and significance of so much of what should be upheld and valued is decaying in the fabric of society.

    As a mother of one, I feel despondent about the looming situation in this country whereby it is okay to criminalize persons who wish to have a bottle of cooking wine in the pantry to add a glass of red to the bolognaise recipe, or persecution for the accepted tradition of having a glass of shandy at a barbeque with friends and family. We all have livelihoods to pursue and protect in order to put a meal on the table. The future for those doing so in Mintabie and other Opal mining towns in Australia hangs in the balance due to governing forces unfortunately making a jolly mess of the whole preservation of Australian heritage, be it Indigenous or non-Indigenous in agenda. My family in Mintabie love Mintabie. We live humbly and do not ask for much, stoically enduring the extreme conditions. If our liberties and culture are taken away then what is left to
    care about?

    The long-standing denial of our government to acknowledge the historical significance of a stone as rare and magnificent as Opal is another National failure on a cultural and economic level. Yet they will willingly rip and drill thousands of metres down and across in search of oil and yellowcake to power a future driven by greed and shortsightedness. The values of many big corporations are becoming increasingly obvious globally. At the same time we appear to know the error in our ways by way of mass pollution and over industrialization, but still have not learned how to say get stuffed to it all.

    On one side, there is the mining corporations of seemingly no value for life and it’s preservation for future generations, digging up and leeching poison into our soil and water tables, control of our future is floating about somewhere, while the very core of what we hold so dear and embrace as Australian’s, our rights to liberty, is being ambushed by legislation.

    The Far North of the State is much more out of sight (and therefore out of mind) than say for example the vineyard country of the Barossa Valley, where producers are recognized for their contribution to our industry and culture, and are protected to some degree by legislation that enables these producers to facilitate Management Deposit Schemes. Similar protections would demonstrate a level of support for the Opal Industry and should surely be in place within the Prospectors and Precious Stones Industry on the grounds of cultural relevance.

    I have the benefit of seeing the Arts Industry from an artists’ vantage point. I also have many first hand experiences whereby the exposure of, and exhibition of, opal in artistic jewellery is demoralizing neglected by the very State in which produces the majority of the world’s Opal in current markets. Furthermore, in our educational institutes, training in the same industry is
    being cutting off at the knees. Inside sources have expressed frustrations with the administrative pressure to do away with the states only learning institutes for the Opal Industry. I know I am not alone in saying it is somewhat of a disgrace to our State.

    My final comment is to throw it back to those concerned. Will we accept that liberties will be squandered away in legislation, or is there a resolution amidst the simple yet complex existence of parallel cultural values? Will we recognize the importance of valuing our countries heritage for future generations?

    L.H Ochsenham
    Opal craftsperson and artist.

  12. INCONSISTENCIES IN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES

    Umoona: funding for 2007/08
    Summary

    Dear Editor, please place on website for Mintabie:

    Jonathan Nicholls of UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide provides no answers here, but he does outline the inconsistencies in treatment of Aboriginal communities and people in the Paper Tracker.

    Note: that Mr. Nicholls refers to Anangu as “Australians”. We are not subjects of the British Empire”. We are not subject to British Law. We are Anangu, original people of this land.

    Jonathon Nicholls uncovers a dilemna for white Australia where they are torn between “integrating” ALL Australians and pretending Self Government of SOME Australians, both on communities listed as Anangu operating under Anangu Lore/Law (under white governance and handouts of funding – luring us into dependency and oblivion), which shows to be unbalanced, discriminatory, oppressive and controlled depending on how convenient or inconvenient they find the Anangu presence in areas now ripe for mining.

    Why do communities like those that exist in the far north mineral rich area of South Australia, ie (APY) have more attention these days and massive funding shoved onto them for mod cons that are traditionally incomprehensible to Anangu than their immediate relatives who choose to live at Umoona community on the outskirts of Coober Pedy, but still in South Australia?

    Umoona Anangu are being told they must integrate and forsake their culture, while their APY relatives are being spoilt with swimming pools, commercial groceries, vehicles and all the fringe benefits of the white society, under the pretext that they are self governed. The APY Lands people are free to move around, but the British are protecting the minerals, not the Anangu, this is why Mintabie has become inconvenient. Anangu people do not have problems or dangers in Mintabie, but are not allowed to speak out easily. Anangu people have more dispair on APY.

    Read Mr. Nicholls research and YOU WILL WORK IT OUT……

    “Umoona is an Anangu community located within the District Council of Coober Pedy. In September 2006, the Federal Government announced that its main funding commitment to Umoona would end. After the decision was widely condemned, the bulk of the funding was reinstated for six months. In May 2008, in response to a year-long campaign, the Federal Minister approved “one-off” funding for 2007/08.

    Paper Trail
    The Anangu community of Umoona is located on the edge of Coober Pedy, 850km north of Adelaide. It is governed and managed by an Anangu-controlled council: the Umoona Community Council Inc.

    In September 2006, the Federal Government announced plans to abruptly end a long-standing funding arrangement with Umoona Community.[i]

    Umoona was one of 31 Aboriginal communities across Australia affected by this sudden shift in Federal policy. All 31 communities are “encapsulated” within the boundaries of a local government area. In the case of Umoona community, it is located within the boundaries of the District Council of Coober Pedy.[ii]

    In speaking about its decision, the Federal Government stated that its “preference” was for the “municipal services” provided to these communities to be “delivered by local government [authorities], just as local government provides for other Australians.”[iii]

    From the Federal Minister’s perspective, continuing to fund Aboriginal-controlled organisations and councils cut against his Government’s desire to “normalise” the delivery of services to Aboriginal people.[iv]

    continued……..”

    http://www.papertracker.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=59&Itemid=51

    Bindi Williams

  13. Query Descrimination

    To: criminalrecord@humanrights.gov.au

    Can the SA government introduce legislation that will enforce criminal history checks (as far back as 1987) on a small, remote township, then proceed to evict residents who have a criminal record?

    This is what will happen to the small town of Mintabie, SA if a draft bill Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995), about to be presented to State Parliament by the Hon Jay Weatherill MP, is passed.

    I await for your reply with interest,
    Yours cordially,

    E. Hooper
    MINTABIE SA

  14. How to save money, SA style

    Not enough money to fund an effective police force to deal with a minority of inebriated troublemakers? The SA Government’s short-sighted solution? Cobble together a tyrannical, anti-constitutional law that will stop people from drinking in their own homes. Let’s force them, by law, to drink at the pub.

    This law may make for more drink drivers on the road, and it may make criminals of innocent, previously law abiding citizens, but what the hell, it sure will save the government wasting money funding police in one legislative stroke.

    Was this the discussion while drawing up the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995), soon to be presented to State Parliament by the Hon Jay Weatherill MP?

    They appear to think freedoms and liberties are totally expendable and the sheep voters will calmly accept their removal. Wrong!

    In what other areas will the SA government legislate against with the view to saving money? What other freedoms and liberties could they remove from the majority, in their efforts to deal with minority wrongdoers. Heaven help us if the other ALP states follow this lead.

    In the lead up to the federal election in November 2007, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) stated that, if it was elected to form the federal government, it would initiate a public inquiry about the best way to recognise and protect human rights and freedoms in Australia. According to the ALP, such an inquiry would establish a process of consultation which would ensure that all Australians would be given the chance to have their say on this important question.

    I would say the best way to protect my human rights and freedoms would be to put a firm, restraining leash on the South Australian ALP legislators.

    Yours cordially,

    E. Hooper
    Mintabie, SA

  15. OPAL ADVENTURE BOTH A CULTURAL AND FINANCIAL DISASTER
    SA TOURISM A BEAUROCRATIC CATASTROPHE

    I agree with E. Hooper that the current legislators appear to have an agenda that does not involve Australian citizens, let alone vulnerable citizens in remote areas. Equally as vulnerable to hidden Agendas seem to be the Anangu, who appeared both neglected and exploited and no longer in control of their destiny as free people.

    If you follow the timeline of events carefully which every Australian should be doing, you will find that ordinary citizens have become a means of financing what has turned into a powermongering set of world governments in a quest that knows no bounds.

    Visiting remote South Australia recently we were amazed at land prices in remote areas. How disadvantaged can a short-sighted government make these brilliant communities of amazing people who provide stopovers, services, refuge, sanctuaries and an oasis in what could otherwise be a travellers nighmare while at great cost they travel to specialists and import supplies.

    Communities throughout the outback are a vital link in the chain of connecting the continent.

    As gem hounds we chose South Australia for our special holiday particularly for it’s wealth of natural heritage, Opal. Fortunately we had some connections, as nowhere did we find easily that tourist venues promoted this amazing stone or opal destinations. Everywhere we went, they were promoting grapes, Wilpena Pound, Kangaroo Island etc, but not the Far North to any great extent. It was tacked on almost invisably. Why? Is it going to disappear soon?

    Andamooka was a shattering experience, as our visit turned out to be a few years too late. Nearby Roxby Downs has rolled the opal industry there in favour of yellow cake. More alarming is they are proud of it as they destroy everything in sight. Andamooka people are copping it sweet too. Maybe a bit of extra dosh floating about for the sellouts, but the lifestyle and attraction is no longer what we had travelled to see in looking for somewhere in our area of interest to settle quietly and wind our lives down a tad and still be productive. This once proud town of only a few years ago is busy packing it’s heritage into boxes.

    Coober Pedy is fast becoming a suburb having given way to beaurocracy a long time ago, we were told. This was a deep disappointment as the flavour had definitely gone. There was almost a contempt for the Opal industry amongst what appeared a new breed of what….more beaurocratic invaders. The day we arrived, the manicured streets looked strange having just driven up through the desert. Some of the fields were working, but where were the miners in town? We watch documentaries before we travelled. Perhaps they were a decade old. It would have been good to have a yarn and a beer and see something first hand. It leaves a question. Is there anything left in the outback that is natural and worth travelling the distance to see? Not much! We could have stayed at any town on the way and seen such an ordinary place, particularly with fuel prices as they are. How did this happen and why? Unviable? So…what is viable? Government revenue. Governments are destroying heritage. Everything under a government heritage is also under a “mining lease”. Think about it. And signs everywhere. Woomera restricted areas everywhere. What a shock. And what are Woomera doing with all that land? We thought it was aboriginal land. Then we were told it was Woomera land, Crown land, pastoral land and aboriginal land…in that order. Really!
    This in itself needs an enquiry….BY THE PEOPLE, independent of any government. It made us sick.

    We pressed on to Mintabie, hoping to find a glimpse of a real opal mining town. At Marla we were told we needed permits to enter the road to Mintabie. Was this a joke? Apparantly not. How long has this been the case? It was not something we would have suspected. A town cut off from civilisation, tourists, potential residents. An opal field with restrictions! Why have an opal field and take lease money from the miners to put in SA coffeurs, if they have no rights. This unique situation doesn’t exist anywhere on this continent. It’s not like the governments haven’t denied aboriginal people their rights since time immemorial. Why take it out on Mintabie. We certainly didn’t notice many aboriginal people without nice vehicles and obviously the fuel to transport themselves. And the APY Lands we see here, want to be independent. Independent of what? White culture? There seems to be a great deal of confusion and double standards here.

    So here we were in the middle of Australia. We had spent a lot of money travelling for our first planned holiday in many, many years. What a scam. Come to South Australia…and WHAT? Get ripped off like the residents? I have to say this… You residents of South Australia are a bit dull. It has taken a crisis for you to question this form of oppression which you have been living under. It is so obvious. Our dreams of retiring to the opal fields is gone. Opal fields all over the country will also be gone unless you stand up together and fight. We all have rights to live where we choose. This really is a “snow job” as someone suggested above. Don’t cop it sweet!

    It all became clear when we read the appeals in the state newspaper. Surfing the web we find entries from city media, sinking the boots into the outback. Why? It seems random and uninformed and undoubtedly published without real knowledge. Big agenda here. Do the media have to suck up to the government? When did this happen? More oppression and control.

    Governments are here to serve you. Not the other way around. It looks like those who are checking the constitution are on the right trail. If you allow this “tack on some new laws – as we go” system, there will be more suicides in this country, with the government employing more mental health workers with your money, accumulating more beaurocrats and government control of the workforce….and YOU. Haven’t most of the communist countries now abandoned this system?

    I am very sorry South Australia, but you didn’t cut it for us. This has been the biggest dissapointment in our lives. We deserve our dreams as we’ve paid for it and have just seen first hand that we have been paying to have our country screwed. We spent thousands of Victorian dollars in South Australia to have a beaurocratic experience called SA Tourism and witness a suck it and see bunch of “laws”, which do not appear to be legal, but place restrictions at every corner. And for the ordinary person, poverty and oppression.

    If SA wants to suck more Victorian dollars out of Australians and overseas visitors for a government controlled tourist experience, then I suggest the beaurocrats keep out of sacred places and let them evolve as they have. Rip down some of those stupid green signs and put back the ones we saw in the docos.

  16. RUDD SNUBS PARLIAMENT’S DECISION. NT TOWNSHIPS REMAIN RESTRICTED

    The Rudd Government has effectively disregarded Parliament’s decision to abolish the permit system that restricts access to Indigenous townships/communities in the Northern Territory.

    In February this year, the requirement for permits to visit the 73 Indigenous townships was abolished, but most importantly the Rudd Government did not remove the permits for the use of the access roads that let you into those same townships.

    While acting within the letter of the law, the Rudd Government’s decision has made it impossible for anyone to know if abolishing the permit system is working or not, because Indigenous townships still remain restricted.

    Basically unless you fly in or go by boat to these communities, you can’t get to them. So effectively the permit system remains in place. So, how can we then judge whether the Parliament’s decision last year to remove permits was worthwhile or not when it hasn’t been properly implemented?

    The Rudd Government has snubbed parliament and is now trying to rob Australia of ever knowing if removing permits would have worked. Instead, the Rudd Government wants to scrap opening up Indigenous townships, but retain a permit system that allows very limited access to others.

    Many in the Parliament argued that the permit system effectively shuts off Indigenous communities and creates barriers between Australians.

    By not adopting the spirit of the Parliament’s decision to abolish permits by keeping the requirement for permits to use the roads that lead to these communities, the Rudd Government has robbed those of us considering this serious issue of a real choice. It’s disappointing and I have to question why the Rudd Government made that decision.

    The permit system requires any visitors to prescribed Indigenous communities to obtain a permit from the community to enter the area. The Parliament voted to remove the permit system as part of the previous government’s national indigenous emergency intervention to stop child abuse in remote communities.

    The Rudd Government promised to reinstate the permit system during its election campaign. Under proposed legislation to come before the Senate only journalists, public servants and police would not require a permit.

    Senator Steve Fielding
    FAMILY FIRST

  17. OPEN LETTER – HON JAY WEATHERILL – “HEAVY WORKLOAD”?

    Has the Hon Jay Weatherill allowed himself to be surrounded by advisers who continuously issue ill-informed and wrongful advice to him? Has Mr. Weatherill been given so heavy a workload that he cannot give this received advice his full, considered judgement?

    Mr. Weatherill’s name appears on numerous portfolios. It would appear he is the Minister for Environment and Conservation, the Minister for Early Childhood Development, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister Assisting the Premier in Cabinet Business and Public Sector .

    As Minister for the Environment, accusations have been strong and pointed with regard to the Maslin Beach Rehabilitation efforts being a case of ‘nothing short of environmental vandalism’.

    Then, in his concurrent role of Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Mr. Weatherill is about to attempt to push unconstitutional legislation through State Parliament. This proposed legislation would equate to vandalism on the civil rights of the residents of Mintabie, an established opal-mining town in the far north of the state.

    In my opinion there is not too much reconciliation attached to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995).

    Are the ALP skimping on new talent with this sanctioned over-loading of ministers under multiple portfolios? Or is real reason there IS no available fresh talent left in the state ALP pool? C’mon, give Mr. Weatherill a break, lighten his load, take off a portfolio or three, allow him breathing space to re-gain proper perspective on things such as the Australian voter’s civil rights and needs.

    E.H.
    Mintabie, SA

  18. Rehab NOT Restriction

    Letter Re: Mintabie

    The various women’s groups, councils and churches, when calling for prohibition, seek to protect and shield those who are pursuing the wrong life path. These groups need to realise, and understand, that those individuals exhibiting immature behaviour can be rescued and protected for only so long.

    ‘Rehabilitation not restriction’. This is the assertion from Alice Springs Councillor Brendon Heeney. The Australian newspaper (18 Sept 2008) stated that the level of sly grogging had increased in the Aurukun Community after restrictions were put into place. Arakun chief executive John Bensch, while pleading for more police numbers, was also quoted as saying, “Police can’t barge into people’s houses”.

    In the process to becoming a mature adult, one of the lessons to be learnt is to take responsibility for one’s decisions. Immature adults will not learn if they are constantly shielded or rescued from the natural outcomes of their actions by well-meaning nurturers or paternalistic policy makers.

    Experienced parents realise external discipline will never substitute for good old self-discipline in the long term. Education and Rehabilitation (along with life experiences) help to develop a mature, inner discipline, resulting in more productive member of society. Invest time and money now for a better, more united future Australia.

    The solution to addiction problems needs to be the same for every Australian State, city, town, community and family.

    Put emphasis on long-term fixes, such as Rehabilitation and Education, combined with supplying the necessary funding to increase local police numbers. Give Police the power and means to enforce current laws.

    Do not resort to an unconstitutional and divisive quick fix such as the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995). Historically, prohibition has not worked.

    The dry community model is not working wherever it has been introduced. The problem may shift, but is never fixed. Why will it suddenly, magically, work in Mintabie? Undergo rehabilitation, say No to being addicted and there will be no black market.

    Being forced to face the consequences of their actions will, by necessity, change the addicted individual’s behaviour pattern. Do not rescue and/or attempt to ‘hide, or keep the bottle out of reach’. Addicts will always find another way to obtain their particular substance of abuse. So to all governments, women’s groups, councils and churches – Accept the problem. Fix the problem. Don’t shift the problem. No to Prohibition.

    Anti-Prohibitionist
    Mintabie, SA

  19. ADMINISTERING TO REMOTE AREAS, REMOTELY

    After listening to Hon Jay Weatherill speak on ABC Regional Radio (Mon 22/9/08) it appeared obvious to me that it was the Central Office of the South Australian Police, with their distant, biased view of Mintabie, who were helping to set the agenda regarding the un-Australian and unconstitutional conditions being forced onto Mintabie residents via the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995).

    In my opinion, it is definitely not the sentiments of our local police, who are very conscientious in their practical efforts to stem crime, despite chronic under-funding and shortage of manpower. The local boys, actually being on the ground, know from first hand experience exactly where illegal activities had been found. All power and praise to them in their extremely difficult job. They make no attempt to stray into the political arena, only to be used for other’s ends. Instead they are constructively generous with their free time, positively interacting with locals from all walks of life.

    What other residential areas will SAPOL Central next cast their notice, and in the interest of fighting (rumoured) crimes of course, extend these unconstitutional changes? Suburbs of Adelaide be aware.

    Grey Noodler
    Mintabie, SA

  20. MINTABIE – SCAPEGOAT FOR INACTION

    In 2005 the Rann Government was blaming the APY executive for the break down of law and order on the Lands.

    In 2008, same Rann government, but now the scape-goat has been changed to Mintabie.

    How many reports and submissions does it take for this government to understand it’s administration is the real problem? The Rann government has been consistent with it’s lack of funding for the necessary health, rehabilitation and police services for the Lands.

    The years pass, the Minister’s names change, but the pattern of being deaf to heart-felt pleas for help by this ALP government remains the same. Have the Lands yet received the extra police promised in July 08? This, not Mintabie township, is the real problem

    It is very easy to find scape-goats, Mr. Rann, it is much harder to examine your own inaction.

    Mintabie Resident

  21. International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights

    The SA State Parliament and political parties of all stripes would do well to remember that Australia is a signatory to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

    Proposed legislation, such as the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) needs to be held up against this standard and scrutinised closely by individuals, parliamentary members, the Attorney-Generals, the Prime Minister, the Federal Executive Council and the Governor-General. In particular:

    Articles 12 – 1; Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

    Article 12 – 4; No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.

    Article 14 – 7; No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country.

    Article 17 – 1; No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

    Article 17 – 2; Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    Article 23 – 1 The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

    Article 26 – All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

    Article 47 – Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources.

    Article 50 – The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.

    This Covenant entered into force for Australia 13/11/1980, except for Article 41 (whereby another signatory country can reprove Australia). Authorised by the ACT Parliamentary Counsel—also accessible at http://www.legislation.act.gov.au

    I strongly hope this gives food for thought for those supporting the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995).

    Yours cordially,

    E. Hooper
    Mintabie, SA

  22. Lift Alcohol Bans

    Demands have been made by the Mayor of Katherine that the Rudd Government lift the bans on alcohol in NT communities as Katherine is being flooded with people wanting to freely buy alcohol. A Regional Channel 7 newsbreak announced today.

    The dry model does not work. It should not be imposed on the community of Mintabie as contained within the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995). Nor the unconstitutional criminal history checks.

    As Bob Katter Member Kennedy was quoted recently on the subject of the NT Intervention “but in reality it is the most dreadful, discriminatory, repressive laws.”

    Politicians need to look for long term solutions, not seemingly quick fixes that do more harm.

    E. Hooper
    Mintabie, SA

  23. HOW MANY SET OF LAWS DOES AUSTRALIA HAVE?

    It seems as though Mintabie in what is deemed a “remote area”, is possibly being hoodwinked in one of those government experiments we hear about. It appears to be a little out of hand and totally over the top.

    Australia, you must be the masters of tangled red tape.

    Who was ludicrous enough to sign those lease documents in the first place without checking the constitution, for what it’s worth, in a country that clearly needs Anangu signatures to even use it. Who’s land is this? I bet the original lease documents along with the legislations aren’t legal.

    And as for herding two completely different tribes, maybe more onto one area seems like another strange thing to contemplate. It’s insulting if not condescending, particularly when they already had first rights anyway. Who’s calling the shots here?

    It seems odd that if the “government” with no real land and no treaty (just bluff) can negotiate a lease with these Anangu, then anyone can. It seems that the signatures are more important than given credit for and may be a vital key to a deeper dig back into history guys. Are you listening?

    It seems odd that these particular Anangu won back the right to use their land, but weren’t bright enough to slide out from a legislation of a government who doesn’t own their land. Is anyone following this? This could be where coercion comes into play. In which case, all bets could be off.

    There are many Anangu presently making a noise about having been given blank paper to sign off on land use agreements. Again, why the signatures? And could this really be a valid agreement? These nagging thoughts keep reocurring.

    So a government with nothing, not even a treaty, is dictating terms to lawful owners, (considering we are operating in a civilised society here). The owners of the land, had (sad word) their own lore and should not need to be up to speed with the motives and protocols of these visitors. They now feel submissive after being brutalised for quite a number of years now, intoxicated to boot and on the run for most of it.

    Aren’t there laws against bullying and what could be deemed as theft, manipulation and deception which apply to humans? Yes, where are Human Rights in all of this? Getting fat on funding no doubt. Or are there a couple of sets of laws operating here?

    This will be an interesting study and will add to the many books on the already intriguing situation in “Australia’s” complicated history currently achieving great attention across the globe.

    Imagine if someone you’d never seen before came into your yard and started moving things around. Not a lot of respect you would think. Pretty presumptous eh?

    Personally it looks as though Australia has an aweful lot of squatters with no real legal status.

  24. Jonathan Nicholls of UnitingCare Wesley in Adelaide opens dialogue on Mintabie
    re: 2 + 2 = 3 on APY Lands

    Coober Pedy Regional Times
    cptimes@ozemail.com.au
    Letters to the Editor

    Dear Editor
    In her article ‘2+2=3 on APY Lands’ (Coober Pedy Regional Times, 4 September 2008, p3), Margaret Mackay accuses me, among other things, of making ‘unfounded statements’ during a recent ABC broadcast on the future of Mintabie. Unfortunately, Ms Mackay has failed to accurately report my statements.

    Ms Mackay writes that after informing listeners that I had ‘never been to Mintabie’, I proceeded to ‘reel off data from another era’ that I ‘seemed to have a fixation on.’

    In the course of the broadcast I made no comment on whether I had ever visited Mintabie. In fact, the question never came up. I suspect Ms Mackay misunderstood
    Kieran Weir’s question as to whether I had been directly involved in the current lease negotiations. Had Kieran asked if I had ever visited Mintabie, I would have happily replied
    that I had.

    As to my fixation on data from another era, while it is true that I spoke about some of the long-standing problems associated with Mintabie, I also commented at length on
    a 2007 audit of Mintabie stores undertaken by the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs; a fact that Ms Mackay failed to mention. In addition, I spoke about the current
    proposals of the APY Land Council. Again, this was a focus on current information and hardly a ‘fixation on data from another era.’

    Ms Mackay was lucky enough to have her piece published on the Letters to the Editor page. I would be grateful if you would be equally generous in publishing this letter of
    correction. I hope that this will be the beginning of a more constructive and balanced dialogue about some of the challenges confronting the township of Mintabie.

    Finally, UnitingCare Wesley works hard to provide Anangu (Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara peoples) with access to accurate information so that they can talk with
    governments and others about their future from a position of knowledge and strength. Our online project (www.papertracker.com.au) includes a substantial article
    on the history of Mintabie and the ongoing lease negotiations that may be of interest to your readers.
    Jonathan Nicholls
    Spokesperson for Indigenous Issues
    UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide

    OPEN DIALOGUE WITH MR NICHOLLS
    re: 2+2=3 on APY Lands

    Thank you for your letter Mr Nicholls,

    Even if I, along with many outback listeners, did perhaps mistakenly think we heard you say that “you’d had the pleasure of visiting Coober Pedy, but not Mintabie”, this is of little significance to the main issue at stake.

    Perhaps the fact that you stated the letters were on page 3, when in fact they are on page 7, could also become a trite point to debate and request correction.

    It is not lucky to have a letter on the letters page. Letters are planned to be printed within the Letter page section.

    Despite your subsequent claim to the contrary, residents on the Mintabie Miners and Progress Association do not recollect having met with you for the purpose of constructive, balanced dialogue. Which begs the need to ask the following questions. How long were you actually in Mintabie and whom did you meet with? Who is your funding body, or are you a volunteer?

    I too have travelled widely in the past and despite having to learn languages swiftly for survival, I do not attempt to lay claim to a comprehensive expertise with fleeting three week stays in places of interest.

    As a long-time resident of Coober Pedy with personal, hands on mining interests in both Mintabie and Lambina, I have not noted the multitude of problems projected onto this harried community through destructive dialogue.

    Individuals in the wider gem and mining sector including Coober Pedy maintain close ties with Mintabie as a result of their opal mining industry and ignore the “clamour for ratings” media beat-ups. Such Christian endeavour is to be applauded.

    The respected Mintabie residents may be pleased to read that communication and constructive dialogue may soon occur. Although they would probably be more pleased to discuss those particular legislative issues that will forcefully impact on the lives of, for example, elderly residents, those with young families and even service providers to the school, with someone who is actually helping to formulate the new lease negotiations. Unless mistaken, you stated on air that you “didn’t really” have any input into the new lease proposal.

    Margaret Mackay – resident Coober Pedy

  25. INTERVENTION CAOS IN NORTHERN TERRITORY AS PEOPLE RUN AWAY IN DROVES -SLEEPING IN RIVERS IN MT ISA

    Dear Editor,

    For those who may be interested in some of the consequences of the NT intervention.

    Below is a brief excerpt from the “Living Black” SBS program. Bob Katter expressed his views on the ‘discriminatory, repressive laws’ ‘that treat people like little children”
    South Australia is set to introduce similar discriminatory, repressive laws with the proposed the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995).

    Don’t move the problem, fix the problem.

    Credit:
    http://news.sbs.com.au/livingblack/new_territory_556974

    New territory
    Locals in the Western Queensland town of Mount Isa are calling for the Federal Government to help the town cope with an influx of itinerants from the Northern Territory.

    Many say it’s due to last year’s intervention.
    KG: . And joining me now from Cairns is the Federal MP for Kennedy, Bob Katter. Mr Katter, thanks for your time.

    Bob Katter, Federal MP for Kennedy : Thank you.
    KG: Firstly, how can the Federal Government help Mt Isa’s services cope with the influx of Territorians, given they have crossed the border to get away from the Federal Intervention?

    Bob Katter: We don’t want to miss the Federal Government on the issue of intervention. The new government is continuing with those policies, but if you’ve got looking over your shoulder all the time to see if you are treating your children properly, that sounds a very acceptable phrase – it is actually very terrifying phrase. If anyone in Australia who has children thinks about it that, it is terrifying. The fact that they’ve had all alcohol taken off them, all pornography taken off them and they’re going to have their money taken off them and handed to them – like they were little children – through a trust fund sounds good but in reality it is the most dreadful, discriminatory, repressive laws. That’s what it translates to on the ground.

    People are running away in droves, they’re ending up living in the river in Mount Isa, and the people of Mount Isa of Aboriginal descent, some of them are getting a very bad name because of the behaviour of some of these people.Also these people are in a most unfortunate situation. We have a couple of one-off grants from the Federal Government then we made recurrent funding.

    If they’re going to continue with this oppressive regime of laws in the Northern Territory then they’ll have to do something about finding money to make up for their mistakes.

    Genuinely Sadenned SA

  26. Laws in Place on APY!

    After recently perusing information websites, I was interested to learn that within the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act 1981 a process had already been established whereby individuals can be barred from visiting or living at Mintabie.

    The process makes it possible for Anangu, through APY, (and also the Mintabie Consultative Committee) to apply for a court order to have someone banned or evicted from Mintabie if they have been convicted of:
    · larceny,
    · an offence of a sexual nature,
    · an offence involving violence or a breach of the peace
    · an offence involving the unlawful sale of a motor vehicle,
    · an offence involving the unlawful sale of liquor or a regulated substance.

    My question is if this power is already in existence to exclude criminals, why is the onerous burden contained within the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) to be placed on the vast majority of law abiding Mintabie residents, who only wish to live the quiet life?

    Grey Noodler

  27. Alcoholics are not doomed

    One can only hope those responsible for instigating and framing the proposed legislation, the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) also watch SBS’ program “Living Black”.

    Contained within this week’s program is an interview with a Dr. Brady who is quoted as saying research shows indigenous Australians ‘do not have a genetic pre-disposition to alcoholism’.

    And, contrary to accepted wisdom, indigenous Australians were fermenting such things as gum sap, pandanus nuts, among other ingredients, well before European settlement. So like any other race of people they liked to relax with a drink. The main point being there is no genetic disposition to alcoholism. Our indigenous brothers are not doomed to repeat past errors. Drinking habits are learned they are not set in concrete.

    This is exciting news because learned behaviour patterns can be unlearned, for individuals of any nationality. Equality strikes again.

    Anti-Prohibitionist
    South Australia

  28. Lift Alcohol Bans

    Demands have been made by the Mayor of Katherine that the Rudd Government lift the bans on alcohol in NT communities as Katherine is being flooded with people wanting to freely buy alcohol. A Regional Channel 7 newsbreak announced this week.

    The dry model does not work. It should not be imposed on the community of Mintabie as contained within the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995). Nor the unconstitutional criminal history checks.

    As Bob Katter Member Kennedy was quoted recently on the subject of the NT Intervention “but in reality it is the most dreadful, discriminatory, repressive laws.”

    Politicians need to look for long term solutions, not seemingly quick fixes that do more harm.

    E Hooper Mintabie

  29. IS FUNNY MONEY EXPLORING THE OUTBACK?

    Thats roughly on track. Mis-information has been the hallmark of state and federal governments for the last three decades, yet has become more accelerated in the last ten years after John Howard opened Australia to the world banking sector and invented APRA to take care of the details.

    Since then foreign funny money has been free to explore the outback and government has walked hand in hand with corporations which is why Australia is in the fix it is now. If you have any doubts google ‘The Greenhouse Mafia’ ABC Fourcorners, a rare piece of jounalism which exposed federal cabinet for what it is…a clearing house for policy written by the energy, coal and chemical industries. This program was a clear indication that parliamentary democracy in Australia is a farce and its same same today. Look at how Rudd survived the Ian Tang embarrassment and shrugged off the connections as if they never happened…even in the US….such dodgy game playing would be exposed but the media went light and Rudd survived despite the Tang that still lingers…

    Mintabie Miners are intelligent people and need to maintain their ground on constitutional grounds and also on the grounds that the Land Rights Act at the basis of this has been nobbled, probably illegally by the current government and the corporations seeking their fortunes in the APY Lands.

    This is not about Black or White or Opel or Regular, this is standard divide and conquer tactics which have existed since lets say 1788….the trick is to continue to build the community and to throw the garbage back again to Caesar…what belongs to Caesar should be returned to Caesar.

    Its a crying shame that small communities are under fire because federal and state politicians are on the take but thats the situation so write emphatically to your local MP and to the federal AG and state that this is unjust and unconstitutional and stand your ground.

    Keep up the good work Mintabie, success is around the corner and you are not the only small community that is being pestered by our ‘government’.

  30. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following: http://www/un.org/Overview/rights.html

    Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

    Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

    Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

    Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

    Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

    Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
    (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
    (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

    The overwhelming majority of South Australian politicians would have been raised in the idealistic shadow of these declared UN Human Rights. Why would it not be automatic to frame any legislation with this standard in mind?

    Have the Labor MPs who drafted the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) given honest consideration to basic human rights, as the UN declares them?

    Mintabie Human

  31. Abolish the Permit System

    That is the view of The Australian newspaper columnist Christopher Pearson within his column printed October 4-5th. Referring to a review of the Northern Territory Intervention Mr. Pearson wrote

    “It is precisely because we know that out-stations are often hellholes for the people stuck in them the review committee’s recommendation to reinstitute the permit system must be rejected. There can be no return to business as usual and decisions about who can visit communities made by dysfunctional land councils with plenty to hide. Racially segregated enclaves are an intrinsically bad idea……As well they tend to keep Aborigines welfare dependent, out of the real economy and infantilised”

    Proposals to instigate a divisive permit system into Mintabie township, combined with paternalistic legislation denying residents the same rights of other Australians, to drink at home, and to have friends drop in, are not just nor constructive.

    Yet this is the concept behind the draft bill Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995).

    Australians Awake! Your civil rights are being squashed by a dictatorial State Labor boot.

    E. Hooper
    Mintabie, SA

  32. 60th Anniversary of Human Rights

    This year is the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

    Will the SA Labor government celebrate by removing the cultural right to drink at home, the social right to welcome holidaying visitors and the very basic right to remain within our Mintabie homes?

    We can only hope the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) will not be allowed passage through State parliament by those who realise the extent it will infringe on our constitutional rights and Australian way of life.

    Will 2008 be the year the UN Declaration of Human Rights is trashed by the Labor government?

    Mintabie Idealist

  33. Papertracker Obscession With Mintabie Illogical

    As a result of unlimited access to take-away liquor, many Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people have been subjected to acute social dislocation. (papertracker again)

    What facts and figures is this ‘unlimited’ based on? From where? And, common sense decrees that why would Anungu buy grog at Mintabie, where it would have to be sold at hugely inflated prices to cover the risk factor etc, when they can go to several nearby places and buy it at normal prices in fairly unlimited supplies.

    The biggest issue is that what happens after they buy the grog at legal outlets is that the quickest route back to the communities if through Mintabie shortcut. So yes, the grog does come through Mintabie!!!!

    ‘So much grog is stored in houses [at Mintabie] that people break in to gain access to it, what follows ends in violence and as proved recently a murder resulted directly from the stored alcohol’ (quote from Papertracker)

    Where else in the country is the victim blamed for the crime – the poor Anungu are not to blame for robbery, assault or even murder. It is the fault of the dreadful mintabie householder who dares to provoke them by having alcohol in their own homes!

    What about the notion of the need to move away from paternalism – self-determination is supposedly empowering, where people are able to make their own life decisions

    ‘Drugs and alcohol continue to enter the APY Lands through Mintabie. In August 2007, South Australia Police arrested and charged two men at Mintabie for their alleged involvement in a “cannabis selling network.” (Papertracker)

    Only 2 men when the problem is so rife . Sounds to be implying the police are inactive or incompetent – or not?

  34. 2+2=3 on APY Lands and a few other places

    It appears that one can verbally smear community members from afar, then when that biased stance is vigorously disputed, to respond from that same distant position, gaining a sense of smug victoriousness seemingly safely.

    Mr. Nicholls, a self professed expert on a lengthy and undoubtedly expensive “do-gooder” mission, appears to be a fairly recent arrival to SA’s far north. This has allowed him to be used as a handy instrument of community destruction in the Officer Basin Oil area.

    Despite what seemed the beginnings of an open dialogue, we have simply been given information about Mr. Nicholls himself and witnessed the very opposite of UnitingCare Wesley values in practice. Mintabie residents querying Mr. Nicholls reliability as an expert, can be satisfied by taking a look at the UnitingCare Wesley’s code of ethics http://www.ucwesleyadelaide.org.au/

    The conclusion must be reached that the following up of open dialogue with Mr.Nicholls was a red herring. An obvious error in an idealistic expectation of having open dialogue with the representative from any form of bureaucracy.

    Note: “Opening dialogue ON, and Opening dialogue WITH”, are subtly different.

    Not so subtle is the questionable reciprocal visitation rights within some sections of Land on APY. There are none.

    A divisive factor within our society today is the ability of Anangu to freely come and go, visiting whomever, wherever they wish. This ability is not mutually reciprocal. According to Article 13 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. It should be.

    One cannot spontaneously visit these ordinary Anangu friends, in the spirit of mutual hospitality if one is white. That is rather high-handedly taking a degree of self-determination and choice away from the Anangu. Apply, pay and wait. That is the process to be completed prior to visiting any friends on APY lands.

    How did the situation eventuate that we now have a separate set of rules for one section of South Australia that does not equally apply to all South Australians? Could it be that we do not all have equal Australian status?

    As per International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights – Article 26 we are all equal and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.

    There is a growing realisation here that we may only be visitors on a foreign land.

    In the interim, perhaps a town like Andamooka for example, with an active Progress and Opal Miners Association could activate this already precedented system of permits whereby they decide who can live in and visit their town, before the unsupported pressure they are presently under causes them to reluctantly abandon their homes, conveniently leaving the way clear for an on or offshore mining company to say extract gold from under their very homes and opal fields. And in the doing, destroy one of Australia’s unique heritage areas and dispossess yet another community in the path of mining preditors. But more importanly cause them to unwittingly abandon their own United Nation Declared Human Rights of Article 17 / 2.

    It is the humble working class sector of society who is currently feeling the heat of this dysfunctional state of human affairs in South Australia. We need to be fully and publicly enlightened as to the answers for these glaring inequalities and inconsistencies. Honest and open dialogue is required with all communities in South Australia.

    History shows involvement in futile consultation and comment processes have been farcical and are no longer sufficient for the voting masses.

    Margaret Mackay resident Coober Pedy

  35. Three Cheers for Hon Graham Gunn MP

    Member for Stuart, the Hon Graham Gunn strongly defended the hard working residents of Mintabie in State Parliament on 23rd September 2008. The following is Hon Graham Gunn, quoted from an excerpt of SA Hansard:

    “There is another matter about which I am concerned. Like most members I have had representation from the Mintabie opal miners. I know a little bit about Mintabie. I was a member at the time the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act was passed.

    I say now what I said then: I think they were very badly treated.

    Those people have been there a long time and they have worked hard, and in some cases it is the only residence they have had. If anyone thinks that they will stop illegal activities and grog running by preventing people having a few bottles of beer in their home at Mintabie they are deluding themselves.

    What about the grog that comes in from Curtin Springs? Where else does it come from? It comes in from Alice Springs and Yulara. Unfortunately, there are people who want to break the law. We cannot just blame the people at Mintabie.

    I know there are one or two scoundrels there but, unfortunately, we have them throughout the community. It is a small number of people, but that is not a reason to put unreasonable restrictions on these people.

    What are the benefits to the Aboriginal community? Most of them who have gone there have done a lot of noodling on the dumps and been fairly rewarded for it. They like going there. Because of the poor management of the Pitjantjatjara lands, we cannot blame them for wanting to go where there is more activity and something constructive for them to do.

    I will not be supporting any legislation which will make life unreasonable for them.”
    To the architects of the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) listen to the words of an intelligent and just man, learn from his experience and wisdom.

    HON GRAHAM GUNN MP for Premier!
    Mintabie Fan

  36. Was Hillary Clinton speaking about the South Australian OPAL FIELDS when she presented the “Boiled Frog Theory” to the American people?

    I can’t say it any better then Hillary Clinton, so I am going to quote her Boiled Frog Speech.

    What, you may ask, are you talking about? Well if you want to boil a frog and you drop it into a pot of boiling water, the frog will jump out. The change is too much and too fast. However, if you put the frog in a pot of cold water and slowly turn up the heat over a longer period of time, the frog will not notice the change and you will be able to boil it. If the frog prematurely begins to squirm, then you turn down the heat a bit until the frog becomes “comfortable” again. Eventually the frog is boiled.

    Hillary used this concept when talking about US politics. Nothing to do with us you may say. But take a moment to picture the slow fire under the soon to be boiled frog.

    It is time to critically analyse the conrolled media’s coverage, or rather non coverage, of events on Mintabie and Andamooka, in our quest to become informed and responsible citizens. This is not the time to be blasé about what is happening to our neighbours, because it can happen to us. Look around, do you see what is going on? The common thread (target) appears to be opal mining towns.

    The region of Andamooka, with it’s very active volunteer Progress Association, has no official local government representation or, perhaps more importantly, little or no government funding. The town of Andamooka is valiantly attempting to stretch its facilities and infrastructure to cope with a steady population boom, an off-shoot result of the closely situated mining industry. At the same time, this established opal mining town is hoping to protect its perimeters from the gradual encroachment of heavy mining claims. The changes have been slow, but sure.

    Jump 5 years hence, what will the big picture be then for Andamooka? To be known as Andamooka, a former opal mining town?

    Mintabie, another opal mining town, is having the slow heat applied via proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995). This is a draft bill that will remove by stealth the right to drink at home, the right to easily visit Mintabie and impose mandatory criminal history checks.

    Is it just Mintabie and Andamooka, or has it started in Coober Pedy? Think on the changes that have happened within the last 5 years. Is it the Coober Pedy of old, with the characteristics that first attracted us? Is it’s autonomous, independent, rugged life-style still recognisable today?

    Hillary didn’t say this, but if she, like myself was an “ex Mintabian”, she would ask: “Andamooka, Mintabie and Coober Pedy – Your boiled Frog is ready; do you want fries with that”?

    Feeling the Heat
    COOBER PEDY

  37. MINTABIE MINERS APPLAUD UNCOMPLICATED ENTERPRISE & VALUES

    World government’s are currently dealing with a complicated web of self made turmoil, strongly resembling a badly built leggo game while analysts predict a gloomy 20 year depression ahead. The average desert dweller is feeling that the time has come to get back to basics and opt for the reachable Utopia of simple living and a hassle free life. Why import food for example when vegetables can be grown naturally at home? Why create a process for basic food then complain about such things as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and lethargy?

    Mintabie opal miners are gearing for a pending re-entry into hard times, regretting their lack of vision in electIng leaders with shallow promises and lofty aspirations, gambling with their very existence. A wiser generation is thinking back with common sense to post war times when life was tough, but individuals could forge a life of their own creation. Reminiscing on such times when a roof over their heads and a meal on the table was all that was required and achievable by looking around at what is available right here even in the desert. Not stepping across the obvious for an unreachable and an unnecessary accumulation of manufactured wealth. Wealth in what – material possessions, glamour, fame, social status, importance – in who’s eyes? Australians in general are experiencing the growing pressures of beaurocracy becoming too involved in the personal affairs of private citizens.

    The Mintabie Opal Miner currently threatened with extermination is still living the successful dream of that post war period when all these desert dwellers needed was a like minded community, simple things and a common purpose. The only threat to mankind generally is the common enemy – greed, lust, ambition and control. If not then why are we heading the wrong way with climate change solutions? We will be forever doomed while governments continue along the path of profit-linked solutions.

    Life on earth is too short for humans to live subjected to such complications, created by personally ambitious individuals wanting to leave their mark or have their names noted in history books destined for time capsules, in the futile hope of attaining some sort of material immortality. Nothing born of ambition or greed will ever give the recipient eternal life.

    As with the Anangu, so spoiled by the modern world. In their world they were Kings, and need was the mother on invention. They had laws, food, tools, shelter, succession plans, real estate a trading system, no taxes and incredible survival skills.

    Uneducated savages? How many Australians have fought in many wars and are currently fighting or keeping peace overseas in 2008?

  38. OPAL, FIT FOR A QUEEN

    How many of us remember the good old days when opal was considered the undisputed superstar of South Australia? The following information is quoted from the Altmann & Cherny website.

    “In 1954, an extensive search for the finest opal ever found at the South Australian opal fields was announced by the South Australian Government. The opal would be presented to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her first visit to Australia.

    Altmann & Cherny submitted an outstanding piece of rough opal which had been mined at Andamooka. The Government selected this opal as the most appropriate and befitting gemstone for this auspicious occasion.

    The opal was then cut and polished by John Altmann. Once cut it weighed 203 carats and displayed a magnificent array of colours including red, blue and green. It was set with diamonds into an 18 carat palladium necklet and presented to the Queen at a state banquet in Adelaide.” Picture and text from http://www.altmanncherny.com.au/The%20Andamooka%20Opal.htm

    And according to the South Australian government own website –

    “Opal was adopted by the Government as the gemstone emblem of South Australia on 15th August 1985. Precious opal ranks with diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire as one of the most valuable of gemstones. South Australia is the world’s most important source of this uniquely beautiful gem.

    The State’s three major opal fields – Coober Pedy, Mintabie, and Andamooka supply an estimated eighty per cent of total world production. Continued production of high quality precious opal at present levels seems assured while the potential for future discoveries is high. Precious opal, supplied from South Australian mines to the gem centres of the world, will maintain this State’s position in the forefront of gemstone producers for many years to come. ” http://www.premcab.sa.gov.au/emblems/opals1.htm

    We, the industrious miner’s and persistent noodlers of this ‘Queen of Stones’, need no reminding of opal’s beauty, significance and importance. However those politicians who are supporting the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) may need their perspective refreshed with these vital excerpts of history.

    “In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty”. – Christopher Darlington Morley

    Grey Noodler

    Mintabie, SA

  39. OPAL – BASIC ENTERPRISE IN HARD TIMES

    South Australia’s Queen of Gems

    How many of us remember the good old days when naturally found opal was considered the undisputed superstar of South Australia? The following information is quoted from the Altmann & Cherny website.

    In 1954, an extensive search for the finest opal ever found at the South Australian opal fields was announced by the South Australian Government. The opal would be presented to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her first visit to Australia.

    Altmann & Cherny submitted an outstanding piece of rough opal which had been mined at Andamooka. The Government selected this opal as the most appropriate and befitting gemstone for this auspicious occasion.

    The opal was then cut and polished by John Altmann. Once cut it weighed 203 carats and displayed a magnificent array of colours including red, blue and green. It was set with diamonds into an 18 carat palladium necklet and presented to the Queen at a state banquet in Adelaide. Picture and text from http://www.altmanncherny.com.au/The%20Andamooka%20Opal.htm

    And according to the South Australian government website –

    Opal was adopted by the Government as the gemstone emblem of South Australia on 15th August 1985. Precious opal ranks with diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire as one of the most valuable of gemstones. South Australia is the world’s most important source of this uniquely beautiful gem.

    The State’s three major opal fields – Coober Pedy, Mintabie, and Andamooka supply an estimated eighty per cent of total world production. Continued production of high quality precious opal at present levels seems assured while the potential for future discoveries is high. Precious opal, supplied from South Australian mines to the gem centres of the world, will maintain this State’s position in the forefront of gemstone producers for many years to come.
    http://www.premcab.sa.gov.au/emblems/opals1.htm

    The industrious miner’s and persistent noodlers of this ‘Queen of Gems’, need no reminding of opal’s beauty, significance and importance. However, politicians who are supporting the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) may need their perspective refreshed with these vital excerpts of history.

    “In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty”. – Christopher Darlington Morley

  40. When Opinion = Evidence

    It appears to be an worrying but acceptable trend that one can bring a very personal opinion to a Parliamentary Review or Standing Committee, and that personal opinion is magically transmuted, albeit without factual or statistical basis, into Evidence. This ‘Evidence’ can then be used, forever more, to continually slander a whole community of law abiding residents.

    The out-standing example for this distressing trend is Mintabie, a small opal mining township, wishing only to peaceably live and let live. Never mind the fact that many individuals have come and gone in intervening years. It appears that mud once thrown, sticks and there is no possibility of redemption, even from christian leaders.

    Politicians, those in SAPOL’s upper echelons and various do-gooders all seem to follow the goat trail of innuendo laid down originally from the individual opinions, some of whom may have had multiple secret agendas.

    Agendas that may include wringing still more government funding for never ending problems that stem from a lack of mature acceptance of personal responsibility. But how can one buy or legislate self-discipline? Another agenda may be to smear and so distract from internal and external power plays.

    Still another agenda may be to actively promote the on-going sniping, causing residents to throw their hands up in surrender and walk away from the constant clouds of nebulous rumour mongering and sanctioned negation of civil rights.

    This, perhaps much anticipated, surrender may then allow free rein and access to environmental vandals, to proceed unfettered to pillage the waters and pollute the ground for generations to come. Such surrender will not happen on our watch.

    Mintabie Fan

    Mintabie

  41. Clarify the SA Development Plan Re Mintabie

    I note Mintabie is, curiously, not specifically mentioned within the SA Development Plan Land Not Within a Council Area Eyre, Far North, Riverland and Whyalla.

    We are not speaking of just a broadly generalised overall plan for the State, whereby a small town such as Mintabie could be easily overlooked. But a Development Plan that is so finely detailed as to include such small items as the look, sizing and placement of even bunting, and blank walls.

    This is a very telling absence. Why is the specific agenda for the Mintabie Township not being publicised? Surely with such a detailed and comprehensive document a Mintabie of the future was discussed at some stage.

    Noting within the Plan, Objective 4 states – “Tourism development that reflects the ‘outback’ identity and experience in appropriate localities”. Have the unelected officialdom judged Mintabie ‘an appropriate locality’? Will Mintabie be ‘allowed’ to fully embrace tourism, with the town’s notable and distinctive history of opal mining?

    Or perhaps Mintabie could be included within Objective 2 – “A zone recognising the associated Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal cultural significance of the region, including remote townships and settlements, places of heritage significance….”. Would Mintabie be ‘allowed’ to be an indigenous, educational staging post for tourists and those awaiting permits for the APY Lands proper? Will opal mining be supported or encouraged to continue? Or do the powers-that-be have other quiet plans for Mintabie?

    Will Mintabie instead be relegated to fulfil Objective 5 – “Development of the zone to reflect the sustained growth in mining, petroleum exploration and related activities, recognising the significance of mineral deposits throughout the region”. If so, the State Development Plan goes further to list the ‘approved’ “Desired Character” of these officially deemed Zones.

    Quote – “Consequently, it is desirable that the zone and policy intent for the remote Far North regions of the State guide the sustainable growth and development of mining related activities which will incorporate the development of new mining related settlements to assist this growth”.

    The implication is the remote Far North regions will be open slather for heavy, environmentally damaging, water-guzzling industrial mining. Unlike your traditional light opal mining that does not leave pollutants behind for the generations to come, to deal with.

    Be aware this is a State Plan to rival the most meticulous of local councils. It could be described as the plan of a fanatical, greedy regime, obsessive in its total attention to controlling the least nuance of development within the State of South Australia. I don’t remember voting for state interference to the nth degree. What ever happened to individualism?

    The State Development Plan can be found at: http://www.planning.sa.gov.au/edp/pdf/LNWCA_1.PDF

    Look it up and see what Zone your home town has been deemed to be, with all the Zone’s attendant ‘Objectives and Desired Characteristics’ before the deadline for comment ends on 12th December 2008.

    Anti-Excessive Bureaucracy

    Mintabie, SA

  42. OPAL – BASIC ENTERPRISE IN HARD TIMES

    South Australia’s Queen of Gems

    How many of us remember the good old days when naturally found opal was considered the undisputed superstar of South Australia? The following information is quoted from the Altmann & Cherny website.

    In 1954, an extensive search for the finest opal ever found at the South Australian opal fields was announced by the South Australian Government. The opal would be presented to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her first visit to Australia.

    Altmann & Cherny submitted an outstanding piece of rough opal which had been mined at Andamooka. The Government selected this opal as the most appropriate and befitting gemstone for this auspicious occasion.

    The opal was then cut and polished by John Altmann. Once cut it weighed 203 carats and displayed a magnificent array of colours including red, blue and green. It was set with diamonds into an 18 carat palladium necklet and presented to the Queen at a state banquet in Adelaide. Picture and text from http://www.altmanncherny.com.au/The%20Andamooka%20Opal.htm

    And according to the South Australian government website –

    Opal was adopted by the Government as the gemstone emblem of South Australia on 15th August 1985. Precious opal ranks with diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire as one of the most valuable of gemstones. South Australia is the world’s most important source of this uniquely beautiful gem.

    The State’s three major opal fields – Coober Pedy, Mintabie, and Andamooka supply an estimated eighty per cent of total world production. Continued production of high quality precious opal at present levels seems assured while the potential for future discoveries is high. Precious opal, supplied from South Australian mines to the gem centres of the world, will maintain this State’s position in the forefront of gemstone producers for many years to come.
    http://www.premcab.sa.gov.au/emblems/opals1.htm

    The industrious miner’s and persistent noodlers of this ‘Queen of Gems’, need no reminding of opal’s beauty, significance and importance. However, politicians who are supporting the proposed Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (Mintabie) Amendment Bill 2008 (and related Amendments to the Opal Mining Act 1995) may need their perspective refreshed with these vital excerpts of history.

    “In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty”. – Christopher Darlington Morley

  43. Grassroots APY Needs Options

    Have the political and social leaders taken human rights, needs and frailties into account in their efforts to create a mini utopia on the APY Lands?

    It appears Anangu familial traditions carry the very admirable obligation of looking after one’s extended family. This means, in concrete terms that if you have cash money you are obligated to hand it over to any family member who makes a request. If one, conveniently, does not actually carry money, if one leaves the keycard at the food store, one can truthfully say ‘I have no money to give”. I would do the same if I had to field excessive family requests.

    At the well attended Anangu meeting in May 2008 the feeling on the keycard issue appeared to be, “It is my keycard, I should be able to choose what I do with it”. Quite rightly too, it is the Anangu’s basic human right to choose how to spend, and where to spend, just the same as in the wider Australian community.

    Will the government legislate to ensure the stores situated on the APY communities keep to at least minimum business hours, 9am to 5pm, including weekends? Will there be some type of credit from these stores, to be extended in the event of bullying relatives leaving mama without money to feed the kids? When do decency and a compassion for human failings factor into the community store’s equation in their bid to create a manageable, ‘perfect’, closed world. Picture it is the weekend. For one reason or another, an Anangu has no ready cash to buy food for the family, and the community stores (opened 2 hours at a time at best), are closed, where do the Anangu turn for assistance and credit for food? Mintabie.

    I am sure the overwhelming majority of store-owners would much prefer to work with cash, as in previous years. It is far simpler. Who in their right mind would voluntarily choose to take on mountain of paperwork associated with the credit/book-up system. It is horrendous, with added impost of continual auditing checks on top. But the book-up system has flourished because there has been the need. Has the government ever given funding for training in basic budgeting, with the view to reducing this need?

    The question must be asked who actually owns, and collects the profits from those stores situated in the APY communities? They are apparently not community-owned. Who exactly is profiting from the high prices charged for the limited range of essentials? Who exactly puts shortened business hours before calls for assistance? Who exactly is behind the push towards a monopoly by removing strategic, neighbouring facilities?

    When an Anangu vehicle breaks down in the far north area, to whom do they turn to for constructive help and readily available assistance? A handy neighbour. If the township of Mintabie were wiped from the APY picture, a tremendous amount of hardship would be caused all round. Where ever vehicles broke down, is where they stay. Not a comfortable thought in this dry, remote land of ours, particularly if children are travelling too. It is not illegal, unreasonable or unchristian to ask for recompense for time and materials when giving that vitally needed assistance, particularly if you are running a business.

    It must be acknowledged the grassroots Anangu need options to exercise their basic right to seek an alternative shopping venue, encouraging free enterprise competition in the marketplace. We all know what happens with a monopoly. Prices go up even further. Political and social leaders, with their publicly funded and maintained vehicles, shopping malls, city homes and offices, require a more complete understanding, and acknowledgment of the basic facts of remote living.

    In the actual practicalities of every day remote living, a neighbour is essential. Before inducing legislative hardships from cloud dwelling, ivory towers onto APY Anangu, our leaders and miscellaneous do-gooders need to re-look at properly funding, and structuring, education and rehabilitation services at the ground level. Education is the primary way for all people to realise their full potential, resulting in different self-choices being made.

    Neighbour
    Remote SA

  44. THE GOLDEN CALF – REVISITED

    As the mineral imperative seems to be at play, and the natives have been enticed with gold, I suggest (I will not order you dumb arse humans), a compromise. If the government and its indigenous and mining partners are most intent on this course of action, accept that people such as DKL have been put out and COMPENSATE them.

    You have found the cash to compensate the indigenous, and if they decide to piss it up against the wall, thats there business..leave them to it. But you cannot trample upon a small community like this and not expect to incur some rath, my rath I reserve for a rainy day when I am bored.

    These people have settled here with the best intentions and are honest, hard working folk and intelligent from the sounds of it, even though they get their thrills from such a silly stone.

    How many people in Mintabie – what price for a new home and location elsewhere, to relocate and leave this APY chaos unfold itself? Compensate these people fairly and generously so that they can find and afford a new dream…

    I KNOW what your intentions are, I AM GOD. Give these people their rights or failing this be honest with them and compensate them properly for your mis-deeds..and then…as I am often wanting to say…”Go Hell for Leather” with your mission and discuss your concerns with Saint Peter, who, by the way, has been instructed to politely tell you to “GO TO HELL!!”

  45. APY/MINTABIE – SKIP CRIMINAL CHECKS – LIVE NEAR THE POOL?

    Here’s a scathingly brilliant idea. Why doesn’t the Mintabie crowd lobby to be fully included within the benevolent dictatorship of the APY Lands? None of this half-assed business of they are in APY Lands, but they are not really in.

    Mintabie could then have actual representation, sure it will be of the dictatorial sort, but they don’t have any local representation at all at the moment. They won’t have to even in fact vote, but nevertheless will get government grants, bitumen roads and Olympic-size swimming pools.

    I would vote for that. Unless I am told not to vote at all, in which case I won’t.

    By the way, there is a lesson for all in the way someone can successfully, bare-facedly stare down authorities at every level, despite past personal behaviour and headlines. Now there is a leader who knows what he wants and goes and gets it, even if no-one else wants him to.

    Is this a potential blue-print precedent for the whole of Australia? Do what thou will, no repercussions??

    So, either full integration of Mintabie to feudal utopia with all it’s attendant lurks and perks, or perhaps enact another more simple but brilliant idea instead.

    EXCISE MINTABIE FROM THE APY LANDS ALTOGETHER and let them get on with their lives! !

    He’s Dreamin’
    Far North SA

  46. MINTABIE & 2,400 ANANGU MAJORLY GYPPED IN ELECTIONS

    I am one of a disenfranchised minority. I live in Mintabie, and I am continually told Mintabie is on APY Lands.

    Yet with the recent APY elections I didn’t get to exercise my democratic right for representation. As far as I am aware, this would have been my one and only opportunity to express my view, as Mintabie does not seem to have a local council. How else can I convey my estimation of the impending changes to the Opal Mining laws and other issues?

    Disenfranchisement appears to be down right un-Australian. Please explain it to me Mr. Rann and Mr. Rudd.

    The situation is as un-Australian as 600-odd people voting on behalf of 3,000. Why was the election not cancelled with this pitiful turn-out? Isn’t voting compulsory in Australia? How can the result, in any shape or form, be considered legitimate representation of the grass roots constituency?

    It appears both Mintabie residents and about 2,400 Anangu have been majorly gypped.

    Grey Noodler
    Mintabie, SA

  47. MINTABIE THROUGH THE JABBERWOCKY LOOKING GLASS

    Dear Grey Noodler, what a predicament your government has put your wonderful town into. From afar, the state is in caos.

    As responsible citizens, we feel a great deal for the amazing, hardy strength you display along with courtesy and some hope of a trust which has betrayed us all.

    A surreal fairytale might best describe, watching this situaton unfold as realistic as it seems, in it’s manipulative entirety and intent.

    Your town is indeed a casualty of a greater aspiration, which fortunately may never bear fruit for the architects, who indeed have abandoned their posts!

    There are many reason for the current quandry. Your collegues have covered it all. In reading the above, you are in good company and much truth is finally emerging, shall we say, regarding what appears as racketeers attempting to carpetbag the state of South Australia.

    The water issue is a real one and Australians have not lost their minds over uranium, nor will we need a market flooded with gold.

    Be assured that others are watching and you are not alone. There may be no crawling back from this cruelty displayed on a small, vulnerable community in this country.

    Might I add, Mintabie’s Anzac Day Service as humble as it was, with all it’s youngsters, returned soldiers, whole of community and primitive symbols for love of country, was more moving than you can know.

    You are Australia!

  48. WATCH OUT FOR THE GREENHOUSE MAFIA

    Hello Friends, we read this page a lot, but haven’t commented yet. Today we were looking up an article suggested by someone in a comment here.

    Most of our friends are worried about the environment very much and we are very worried about the fact we have a huge basin of water that is now believed to be in danger because of mining activities.

    Because most of the mining activities are failing, this probably means all of the water they have used has been wasted forever, while cities may go thirsty.

    We think some attention should be given to the poison being soaked into the ground because the aborigines say there are big streams under the desert and they can be poisoned by the miners mining for gold and the people who live on the stations could drink this water or maybe their animals.

    We always think about the poor people in Mintabie that have been shafted by the SA government who seem to think that in there short time in their position they can push everyone around and still have some power.

    In all parts of Australia we only see emission getting bigger and not smaller, so we read about the CSIRO and the Greenhouse Mafia. We think everyone should read it and give full credit to the ABC reporter. We would like to place a link here so that others will read it and be responsible when the next election comes.

    People need to think more about each other because it doesn’t look like anyone else is thinking about us Australians. They are just thinking about money.

    We are all pretty wrecked at present, with worrying about our own money in the bank which we worked hard for and if it might disappear, but we still think about the people who must be more stressed out in Mintabie. Hang in there Mintabie people – you really do have some rights.

    We wish we could live in such an amazing place but without the stress and threats you get, which is what our short lives should be about. See about what is happening to other good people in our country here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2006/s1568867.htm

    Short piece only:

    JANINE COHEN: Dr Pearse says these industry lobbyists included some who were previously employed as bureaucrats within government departments such as Industry, Treasury and the Department of Trade. He says they kept very close
    ties with their former workmates helping to ensure unprecedented access to their old departments and to otherwise confidential documents.

    DR GRAEME PEARMAN, FORMER CSIRO CLIMATE DIRECTOR: [GIVING SPEECH] It shows that actually the frequency of tropical storms, including hurricanes, has not changed. But the frequency of Category 4 and 5, the most extreme, has gone up by about 100 per cent. And so we can see…

    JANINE COHEN: Dr Pearman says he came under pressure after joining the Australian Climate Change Group, which was convened by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the insurance company IAG. It invited several scientists and academics to help it release a report on what could be done to combat climate change. It recommended a 60 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050 and trading in greenhouse gas emissions.

    JANINE COHEN: Were you restricted from talking publicly about emission reductions in general?

    DR GRAEME PEARMAN, FORMER CSIRO CLIMATE DIRECTOR: Yes, I was. And again, I think it’s an organisation…it’s a CSIRO that is very afraid that there may be consequences to their bottom line if they, in fact, are seen to be interfering with government policy.

    JANINE COHEN: But talking about the need for a reduction in emissions and how much would be a safe level, is that really about government policy? Isn’t that about good science?

    DR GRAEME PEARMAN, FORMER CSIRO CLIMATE DIRECTOR: Well, I believe it is. And, as I say, I think that for 30 years all I’ve tried to do is to convey to the community and to sectors of the community what good science suggests is the way forward.

    JANINE COHEN: Dr Pearman received several warnings, including one in an email from a senior manager at the CSIRO. He doesn’t know if the orders came direct from management sensitive about offending the government or from Government to the CSIRO.

    DR GRAEME PEARMAN, FORMER CSIRO CLIMATE DIRECTOR: I was told that I couldn’t say anything that indicated that I disagreed with current government policy, and I presume that meant Federal Government policy.

    JANINE COHEN: What types of things were you told not to say publicly?

    DR GRAEME PEARMAN, FORMER CSIRO CLIMATE DIRECTOR: I was told not to, for example, be involved in a statement that says that Australia should have, in the view of this group, a carbon trading scheme. I was told that I could not be involved in setting a target because both target-setting and… ..this is for future levels of carbon dioxide emissions. Both target-setting and the concept of there being carbon trading were not current government policy.

  49. RE: He’s Dreaming

    Bullying in the scurviest degree – This isn’t state law, this is international law

    Hope you don’t mind, we’ve just analysed this amazing series of comments

    Not such a silly idea to be in or out of APY Lands. There’s no difference, the boundary is an illusion ie fraud.

    Who said black and white were different? So far in reading the reams of letters here, there doesn’t appear to be any ill targetted comments one way or the other from the citizens of the Far North.

    The only disputes appears to be dilemna enforcing the rules regarding a convicted person holding a board position and challenging the validity of wet or dry land claims and whether or not reconcilliation is being attempted in 2008.

    Oh yes, and whether or not the government has any real powers in a land with no treaty or title of ownership.

    The squatters seem to have a problem here!

    Whoever created those boundaries, obviously saw race as a convenient tool when designing access to aboriginal assets.

    Dunstan certainly hoodwinked you South Australians. What a ludicrous idea to put a designated opal field inside the APY Lands, then lease it back and place restriction on a government lease. UH? Has anyone questioned this previous lease arrangement. I don’t think you can have it both ways.

    So a small secondary road needs a permit, but the rail and the larger body of road, the Stuart Highway all going through APY Lands don’t need a permit. There must be a lot of grog travelling up the Stuart Highway. Woops, another faux pas. Guess they can tweak that one a bit.

    We do have a minister for aboriginal affairs and reconcilliation don’t we? Bet he’s good mates with the minister for mines and energy.

    For a moment we’ll forget they’re on foreign soil (mentioned above and checked – definitely NO TREATY) and pretend that all is above board until we sort this mess out properly.

    These boundaries are important to the government. Nobody else. Who is partners with the government? The mining corporations of course. Who controls the government? Could it be mining corporations? Too bad about that, because their spin has come undone and left a whopping hole in your economy. Daddy patched up that little hole just recently.

    So good old gov playing the race card has come in handy as one must get signatures to have permission to use land that does not belong to the government. This should be all land in that case. Crown land must be another fraud as it needs signatures too. It’s all falling into place. My goodness, we are speechless! It’s called motive and acts.

    You MUST get signatures!. Big Brother is watching.. Who is Big Brother? The United Nations you say? And probably many other law abiding countries.

    This is an outrage. Aboriginal people always shared. But this APY Lands area is different. It is the orchestration of a white government who have written on a piece of paper that mineral take precendence. That piece of paper is worth nothing, because crown land can’t possibly exist. Not if you need permission from the real owners to use it. It also infriges grossly on civil rights. It can’t possibly have any legal validity. You would never challenge this in a court as all laws are probably just as fraudelent. It’s a huge club is it not? It’s not state law anyway, it’s international law!

    So we are trying to practise British laws on aboriginal land? Aboringines have their own laws. They trade, they hunt, they survive. Simple basics of every human.

    Well, well, so we have middlemen here afterall. A real live Mafia. This is a case of bullying in the scurviest degree.

    Power and numbers against the innocent rightful owners who have endured slavery, slaughter, children stolen and abused and taught to be ashamed of their colour. Now trapped in reserves under the guise of being given some power over a pitiful piece of desert, living in white houses, too depressed to practice their culture freely. Given money to buy expensive processed food, then made feel inadequate because they share their money and have no freaking idea what it’s worth.

    How dare that white mayor in Katherine stand in front of a camera and condescendingly spruke, night after night, “Everyone is welcome in Katherine…but they have to behave socially”. She is clearly in the wrong town. Never liked that advertisement. Always thought there was something wrong with it. What a cheek. Why doesn’t she take her pommy ar*se along with her publicans and move somewhere more socially acceptable.

    Amused, abused, humoured, purchased, bribed; then sign this blank piece of paper and we’ll make it all better. Teaching them that money will bring back their happiness. Now, sign over Mintabie. Well, it’s a pity the boom has ended. Maybe Mintabie will get some relief. In fact it appears Mintabie had restrictions all the while it was under a government lease? Would that be correct? They saw the simple miner coming eh? Still invalid!

    The way it seems to be working in most places is the government arrange for the aborigines to take the money from the mining companies that they bring to them and then head them off down to a convenient casino to spend it. The government then get most of the mining money back off the pokies, the pub gets a tip, the aborigines get arrested and feel like sh*t again. (Leave the paper work to us – yeah right.)

    A double whammy for the squatters until they can work out how to round up all of “Europe” for a treaty. Near impossible. Hell will freeze over again before that is likely to be achievable. So we apologise, but never admit liability. Or we admit it ever so insincerely but do nothing about it. It is good for votes.

    How cunning this all appears. Keating nearly made a nation weep with his dogooder attitude toward the aboriginal people. He didn’t achieve anything. Now the big apology. So what’s changed in South Australia? Nothing. Business as usual for the middlemen. Boy have you guys been taken for a ride.

    It’s hillarious to remember that the government wanted to include the aborigines in the Australian constitution. One problem seems aparent. Interesting concept this constitution, but NO country to apply it to!

    The Officer Basin has nine areas under application within freehold Aboriginal land — PELA 81 and PELA 253 by Officer Basin Energy Pty Ltd and PELAs 138, 140, 141, 142, 143, 147 and 148 by Standard Oil and Dawnpark Holdings. PELA 139 (Standard Oil and Dawnpark Holdings) is located outside of freehold Aboriginal land; the RTN provisions under the Native Title Act were initiated and negotiations were successfully concluded in November 2003.

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