Traditional owners challenge mining approval

The Traditional Owners (Yanyuwa, Mara, Garrawa and Gurdanji) from McArthur River will be in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory today, challenging the decision by the NT Government to approve the expansion of Xstrata’s McArthur River mine.

The expansion involves the diversion of the McArthur River for 5.5km and risks severe impacts on the riverine environment from pollution and sedimentation.

The grounds for the challenge by the Traditional Owners include the failure of the NT Government to comply with the Mine Management Act.

The legal challenge demonstrates a clear determination by the Traditional Owners to continue to fight for the their country and their culture.

It is a vote of no-confidence in the way the NT Government deals with environmental and cultural impacts and represents a sharp criticism for the Chief Minister and Minister for Indigenous Policy, Clare Martin and her assistant and local representative for the McArthur River, Elliot McAdam 

The hearing [157/06 (20632687)] is to commence at 10am Monday morning before Judge Angel in court 10, it has been listed for five days.

More than 10 Traditional Owners have travelled up from Borroloola to attend the hearing. The Traditional owners will also be attending a special screening of Two Laws (Kanymarda Yuwa) at the NT Museum and Art Gallery, 7.30pm Tuesday night, and speaking about their fight for land rights and the  McArthur River.

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