Adam Giles, not Aborigines, raised nuke dump near Alice

p2141-Bray-menBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

It was Chief Minister Adam Giles, not Aboriginal land holders, who raised the possibility of a nuclear dump near Alice Springs.

 

This was revealed today by three local Aborigines who say they were invited by Mr Giles to a meeting with him in his office.

 

They are Russell Bray, Lesley Tickner and senior elder Benedict Stevens.

 

Mr Tickner says he received a mobile phone message from Mr Giles, but did not answer it. He says Mr Giles then “got through to my uncle” Mr Bray, who told Mr Tickner who in turn contacted Mr Stevens “because he is a TO”.

 

Mr Tickner then informed Sheila and Sophie Conway who subsequently also attended the meeting with Mr Giles.

 

They were in the presence of two men they believe were from Canberra, either politicians or senior public servants, perhaps the Federal minister of mines.

 

Mr Giles, according to the account of the three, raised Mt Everard as a possible site, which is some 30 kms west of the Stuart Highway, on the Yuendumu Road, and near the over-the-horizon antenna.

 

In a direct line this site is about 45 kms north-west of Alice Springs.

 

Mr Tickner says Mr Benedict had been there before, some 10 years ago, in company with CLC director David Ross, to discuss a nuclear dump.

 

Now that the Bray family had “got our land back” Mr Giles asked to meet them “for an information session”.

 

Mr Benedict was also interpreting.

 

To discuss the dump was “not our idea,” says Mr Bray.

 

The men, and about 30 minutes later Sheila Conway, “our elder, one of the main”, received a briefing from Mr Giles and agreed that Mt Everard could be a possible site.

 

Mr Tickner makes it clear that that none of the others gave any undertakings.

 

“What the bloke in The Australian wrote – he didn’t quote me properly,” says Mr Tickner. (This is a reference to a report in The Australian on August 16 that it was local Aborigines “pushing” to host a nuclear waste dump.)

 

“Or me,” says Mr Bray. “Nothing was agreed on” by him, Mr Tickner or Mr Stevens, “apart from old Sheila saying yes, she wanted it.”

 

Mr Tickner: “Then Bendict told Adam and old Sheila we have to tell everybody else [in the family], too. We said that before we walked out.

 

“Now all this mob are jumping down our throat saying me and Russell did it. We did not do it.”

 

Mr Bray says as a “test” Mr McKenzie asked Mr Giles for a couple of million dollars before we “went to the negotiating table and went on a trip to Sydney Lucas Heights.

 

“And Mr Giles said, no, you’ll shoot yourself in the foot. And I said, what about the millions you people are getting for taking all this rubbish that’s coming into Australia.”

 

In what context was Lajamanu raised?

 

Mr Bray: “Giles brought up Everard. We then said, there is another place, too, isn’t there, Yuendumu? This is what I heard on the grapevine.

 

“And Giles said, no, no, no, it’s Lajamanu. He [Mr Giles] brought that up. I never.”

 

PICTURED AT TOP (from left): Matthew Palmer, Benedict Stevens, Russell Bray and Lesley Tickner today.

 

UPDATE 1:30am Wednesday:

 

A spokesperson for Mr Giles provided the following statement this morning: “The Chief Minister asked me to let you know that your story is incorrect. He has said many times that a number of traditional owner groups and individuals have contacted him to ask how they can nominate for nuclear waste facility and the government has given them advice on how the Commonwealth nomination process works.

 

“A  nuclear waste facility in the Northern Territory presents an economic opportunity for land owners who are interested. Ultimately this is an issue for Traditional Owners to negotiate with the Federal Government.”

 

Be Sociable, Share!

4 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Marie Elena Ellis
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I have tried so many time for Minister Adam Giles to visit my community Amoonguna to have a meeting with Apmereke Artweye and the council.
    I asked him to listen to us in regards to the Aboriginal home ownership plan for my community, yet he visits my Aunty Sheila Conway to talk about Nuclear Waste Dump Site?
    We, the people of Amoonguna, are committed to walk forward to make changes for our community, people and our lifestyle. Employment and training for my community people to move forward from the 2007 Intervention.
    We are so over being breast-fed by the Northern Territory Government’s policy. The Aboriginal people is losing confidence in our current government.

    View Comment
  2. Melanie Ross
    Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Don’t know if @ Russell Bray and the other men have noticed that Adam Giles called them all liars in Parliament last week. Take a look at Hansard, guys. This is what the bloke you are dealing with thinks about you.
    Nuclear Waste Dumps – Traditional Owner Contact
    Mr VOWLES to CHIEF MINISTER
    Yesterday you told the House that you have been receiving phone calls from traditional owners asking about potential nuclear waste dumps on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory, yet traditional owners in Alice Springs say they have received phone calls from you, not the other way around. Three men – Mr Leslie Tickner, Mr Benedict Stevens and Mr Russell Bray – say you phoned them to raise the possibility of Mount Everitt, about 45 km northwest of Alice Springs, becoming a site for a national nuclear waste dump. Chief Minister, did you call these traditional owners – yes or no?

    ANSWER

    Madam Speaker, I look forward to the member for Johnston making that claim outside the Chamber, rather than inside here, because I did not make the …
    Ms Fyles: Answer it, yes or no.
    Mr GILES: The Alice Springs News is wrong. But, you go and make that claim yourself, member for Johnston, because that is incorrect.
    Ms Fyles: Maybe you could explain.
    Madam SPEAKER: Order!
    Mr GILES: I am happy to explain now, squawking member for Nightcliff!
    I can tell you that Russell Bray phoned me on a number of occasions asking for a meeting. I had a meeting with Russell Bray, Benedict Stevens, Mr Tickner, and a range of other people in Alice Springs.
    Mr Vowles: I am going to phone him and see if he has your number.
    Madam SPEAKER: Order!
    Mr GILES: Because you are trying to stir up trouble here, I will tell you exactly what happened. There were six people sitting there for that meeting – member for Johnston if you are keen to listen, if not, no worries.
    Six members were sitting there. I explained the process of the federal government, the land council, and consultation, at which point Mr Tickner demanded that if I was going to have any more conversations with him, he wanted $2m – and he wanted $2m for himself, Russell Bray, and another gentleman at the table who I cannot recall the name of, to which I said, “You are kidding …
    Mr McCARTHY: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing Order 113: Relevance. Will the Chief Minister provide his phone records?
    Madam SPEAKER: Member for Barkly, that is not a point of order. You are on a warning!
    Mr GILES: There were three people demanding to be paid $2m each to continue negotiations. I said, ‘You are not negotiating with me, I am giving you the information on the process. You need to talk to TOs and the Central Land Council and take it to the federal government’. That is the process that was explained, at which point, you might like to know, Mr Bray, Mr Tickner and one other gentleman who I do not recall the name of, stormed out because I would not give them any money.
    I said, “Thank you”, then Benedict Stevens left the room and came back with a range of other traditional owners, then asked, “Can you tell me about the process again?” I printed out some information and said, “Go and read that, but you have to talk to the land council. That is the process”. If people ask me to provide them information, it is fair and reasonable that I provide it.
    However, I have say, to be asked for $2m – to attempt to be blackmailed or bribed, or whatever it may be, with some sort of payment to be able to have a conversation, is not in my interest. It is in the interest of TOs to have their conversation with land council and the federal government.
    There is a bit of a clarity. Erwin Chlanda might want to take his slanderous and incorrect piece of news off the Alice Springs News website. I ask you, if you want to make these claims, member for Johnston, go outside because they will be incorrect and I will be happy to take it further.
    [ED – We have responded to Mr Giles. See http://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2014/08/24/not-so-happy-birthday-for-clp-government/ ]

    View Comment
  3. Russell Bray
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:52 am

    The two million dollars put to Giles by my nephew was a test to see what the black man would get out of the billions the Australian government will get? Nothing. After we left there was nothing said about any infrastructure on the land even though Aunty Shela agreed.

    View Comment
  4. Bev
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Why in the hell should people in Alice Springs have to put up with a nuclear dump in the area? What are the health consequences of people living near nuclear dumps? If Giles wants a nuclear dump put it near his place and see how he likes that.
    As for the older Aboriginals – yes they can understand English but sometimes it takes them a while to absorb what is being said to them.
    Has anyone told the Aboriginals that the nuclear dump may just be the cause of damage to their children and grand children – with babies being born with deformities? Same as smoking – it can cause deformities in children.
    So it seems the Aboriginals have the choice of destroying their future for the sake of money or keeping themselves and their children (and others) safe for generations to come.

    View Comment

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*