Curious last-minute ministerial decisions, covert strategies to divide Aboriginal communities and a decade of broken government promises effectively robbed the Wik people of any chance to create long-term prosperity from the Aurukun Bauxite project, a Senate inquiry has been told.
A new land rights battle over a $20 billion bauxite deposit in far-north Queensland, one of most valuable in the world, is headed for the High Court.
THE Queensland government has been denounced for squandering a historic opportunity to give Aborigines a stake in developing a rich bauxite deposit on Cape York, as new details emerged of a bidding process that opened and closed in a single day.
WHEN The Australian reported yesterday on the objection of the Wik peoples of Aurukun to the grant of a bauxite mining lease to Swiss miner Glencore, 50 years of history came flooding back. At the Whitlam memorial service last week, Noel Pearson reminded the country of the history of struggle against discrimination by the people of Aurukun when he spoke of John Koowarta’s fight against the Bjelke-Petersen government. There has never been a decade in the past four in which the Wik peoples have not been fighting the Queensland government in court.
One of the most influential Aboriginal leaders in the country has questioned how a multinational company has won preferred status to mine a rich bauxite deposit on native title land.
AN INDIGENOUS leader has described a decision to hand control of a bauxite deposit in Western Cape York to an Anglo-Swiss mining company as “confounding and alarming”.
AFTER almost 40 years of false starts, the massive bauxite deposit that has long promised to turn the impoverished Cape York indigenous community of Aurukun into a boom town has again been revived for development.