Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't Lose Heart

Like alot of people Red Hand has been very disappointed and somewhat dismayed by the news that the Traditional Owners have signed an Agreement in Principle in support of a gas precinct on the Dampier Peninsular. Red Hand believes that there are alot unanswered questions.

Given the fact that James Price Point currently has two over-lapping Native Title Claims Jabirr Jabirr and Goolarabooloo registered under the Native Title Act. How then did the Government, the spin doctors from Woodside or KLC understand who actually has the legal right to sign off on this country, if it is still pending in the courts for determination?

It was understood throughout the negotiation process that the decision making would be based on a consensus decision making model not a majority vote. This was preferred to ensure that process would not be railroaded, open to political manipulation or stacked by certain families. Why then was this meeting conducted on majority rules principles?

Is it true that one major claimant group walked from the meeting refusing to take part in the vote?

Is it true that during the voting process at this meeting certain people openly abused and intimidated other participants?

Is it true that many of the participants had no legitimate rights to be at this meeting as they are not on the existing Native Title Claims but are signatories to other Claim areas on the Peninsular?

Who are the signatories to this document?

Is it true that there was no Legal representative at this meeting to provide legal advice or over see the counting of votes?

Is it true that nothing has been actually signed?

Is it true that the Agreement document is still being drafted?

What is the actual location or area over which this purported Agreement necessitates?

How can KLC honestly represent the current Claimants in the Native Title Tribunal if they are actively working to sell the very same country?

Will the minutes, list of participants and the outcome of this meeting be available to the public or will it require application under Freedom of Information Legislation to access to this information?.

Red Hand has never wanted to get involved in the Indigenous politics of this issue because the focus has always been the protection of the environment and Standing Up for the Planet. However, Redhand believes that a lot of people have been greatly disheartened over the events of the past week and the misinformation and lack lustre media reports.

Don’t give up. It will be a long hard struggle to educate, inform and convince people that industrialisation of the Kimberley Coast is not an option. In ten years time, water will be far more valuable than gas. You can live without gas, but not water, just ask the people on the east coast!

Hands Off Country Stand Up for the Planet

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