Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Summary of the Northern Development Taskforce meetings on the Dampier Peninsula

Due to the fact that Eyesoncountry is in country and has limited access to fast internet connections and slow uploading pace, we have made an executive decision to post a summary of the Meetings held on the Dampier Peninsula this week. All other videos will be posted over the coming days, so please be patient as these are worth waiting for.

The major issues and concerns raised this week at the Beagle Bay Blockade and the other three meetings held with NDT representatives on the Dampier Peninsula were that:

• the consensus of all meetings was that people categorically did not want gas. People had awareness: that Gas story is huge, that it will have dreadful effects on country, their culture, lifestyles and their livelihoods and were concerned about the global warming implications.

• no permission was given for drilling to take place on the country because the NDT never actually asked the people.

• the previous consultation process was inherently flawed as it only consulted and informed Traditional Owners (all respect to them) but completely left out the leaseholders, Stolen Generation and general community members.

• there is a major lack of any information about the consultation process, because no provisions were made to provide feedback to the people, leaseholders, Stolen Generation and general community members about what was happening in the negotiations. There wasn’t any part of the process that gave a voice to all the concerns that other stakeholders have.

• these groups felt sidelined and that their opinions were never sought or their concerns acknowledged as being valid and legitimate. These stakeholders feel it is their human right to be able to determine their own futures and in the direction they choose and not one that is imposed on them by multinational companies and appeasing governments.

• the gas hub proposal and associated industries would have numerous and ghastly social, environmental, cultural and heritage implications and impacts.

• there is little or no real information available to people, a lot of misinformation and lots of misled and ill informed people. Even at this point in the so called consultation process people on the Peninsula are already experiencing social impacts in their lives, communities and immeasurable family implications for some groups.

• North Head does not have a determination over it and therefore is both vulnerable to a land grab by the State and unprotected by KLC. The Nyul Nyul people are currently in the process of compiling their claim and it is expected to be registered early in the new year.

Interviewer Good afternoon. I understand that all four of you attended the NDT meetings that were held on the Peninsula, one at Beagle Bay which was blockaded, one at Midlagoon, then Djarindjin and now Lombadina. Could you please tell me what do you think the general mood of the public was in regard to these meetings? (and please introduce yourselves)

Kathleen Cox Hi my name is Kathleen Cox. I’m one of the leaseholders in the Beagle Bay Aboriginal Reserve. I have concerns and issues in regards to this whole process of this proposed hub development on North Head.
I’ve followed the meetings over the last couple of days, attended the four meetings and from what I can gather in my opinion, is that there’s a consensus of the people that’s been present of not wanting to support the hub at North Head, as well as there was no decision as I understand of any kind to give permission to have access to country and do drillings. But I think there’s a strong message that came up on the grass roots level outside the existing processes from people, from leaseholders, general residents of the Peninsula of all of our voices and consents should be heard so I’m hoping that Gail and Duncan from the NDT will bring that message back to the Premier.
Interviewer And Elsta as a representative for the Broome Shire Council, what was your impression of these meetings?

Elsta Foy Elsta Foy Broome Shire..I’ve been coming up here for many years and seen the difference how the people have improved..and the meetings..definitely no oil I’m getting all.…sorry….no gas plants on the Head and the people of all communities at the four meetings definitely didn’t want it.

Interviewer And your impression of the meetings?

Phillip Sibosado Me, I’m Phillip Sibosado anyway from Lombadina - the new chairman of Lombadina Aboriginal Corp and my impression of all the meetings that I went to is tha the grass roots people are saying no to the gas plant on this Peninsula

Interviewer And what are their major concerns?

Phillip Sibosado Pollution and taking of the country

Interviewer And David?

David Dureau It’s a bit dangerous for me to start off uncontrolled but look it’s interesting that I attended all 4 meetings and I’m very pleased I did I had no intention of doing it but Elster convinced me to come up for a day, I’ve spent 2 days here now…I’m very surprised to find that at all the meetings including the blockade drew a parallel with the Nookanbah Blockade because in both cases because aboriginal people felt that they were not being dealt with fairly and weren’t being given an opportunity to be heard and in that sense the blockade was very successful. It was a meeting that went for about 3 hours so it was a meeting outside of the official meeting and at no time did I get any impression except for a couple of TO’s who were very offended about the whole process that anyone supported a gas plant on the peninsula
or at North Head (IV: and drilling?) and that they wanted to pursue eco-friendly industries of their own choosing on their own communities of which there are an incredible number of them on the Dampier Peninsula probably 90 or 100 and those people are getting huge self esteem and self confidence and believing in their own abilities by being able to do these small scale ventures instead of some big corporate thing that they might be employed by which wont give them any of that individual self-satisfaction. So about drilling I was surprised to have to ask the question at the end of the meetings at Lombadina if the convenor of the meeting Duncan Ord, what was going to be his report on the fact that one of his instructions was to get pemission to drill at North Head. He said he would say that he didn’t get permission. I said no, you haven’t actually asked the question so you’ve never actually been able to know whether drilling was to be permitted or not.
I don’t know why he didn’t ask the question but I suspect he didn’t because he realised that the meetings were strongly against any developments of gas plants on the Peninsula which would completely be opposed and directly opposed to the people’s concept of development on the Peninsula. They don’t want an industrialised development on this Peninsula.
Interviewer Thank you very much and this will be as a public document as an overview of what actually happened at those meetings so thank you very much.

Handsoffcountry and stand up for the planet.

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