Questions Without Answers

The celebration of an historic Native Title sign off ended in grief for the Coulthard family in the ancient Flinders Ranges, historically the home of the Adnyamathanha people.

At approximately 5.50 pm on 1 April 2009 a silver Mitsubishi station wagon was travelling east on Arkaroola Road approaching Nepabunna in the Flinders Ranges…..

The beautiful Flinders Ranges. The scene of a tragic family accident

The beautiful Flinders Ranges. The scene of a tragic family accident

South Australia’s biggest native title determination was made in the Flinders Ranges on Monday 20 March involving interests of the Adnyamathanha People in 41,085sq km of land in and around the ranges.

The consent determination resolved a claim over the 918sq km Flinders Ranges National Park and partially resolved another claim which included the 367sq km Angepena pastoral lease.

The determinations will give the Adnyamathanha People non-exclusive rights over most of the land.

Members of ATLA (Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association), along with native title named applicants, are in negotiation with Heathgate Resources over the Beverley Four Mile native title uranium mining agreement, which will supersede the existing agreement between Heathgate and the Adnyamathanha.

The Beverley mine manages the receipt and distribution of royalties to the Adnyamathanha community.The Adnyamathanha People’s Investment Trust was set up and is managed and controlled by Heathgate Resources and the ANZ Bank.

Several issues were raised by Mark Parnell in Parliament on 25 March 2009.  One being that a letter had been sent to ATLA members by lawyers acting on behalf of Heathgate, indicating that, if the Beverley native title uranium mining agreement was not signed off in the next month, Heathgate Resources would be pursuing costs for the ongoing management of invested moneys, with Heathgate Resources linking the successful resolution of the Beverley native title mining agreement to costs against the Adnyamathanha People’s Investment Trust.

It was further raised that public consultation period for the public environment report for the Beverley Four Mile project closed on 20 February this year and neither the federal government, the state government nor the proponent have responded to the issues raised through that process. 

Mark Parnell’s questions to Parliament regarding the discrepancies surrounding the hasty sign-off  and the non-response to the issues raised through the public consultation process, were dismissed as “an anti-uranium ploy” and not answered.