As they say in Ulster when words fail them: Och …

Comment on Aboriginal gallery: rushed business case yet immediate start? by Alex Hope.

As they say in Ulster when words fail them: Och and a dear and a dear and a dear and a dear and a dear!

Recent Comments by Alex Hope

Miners are spreading myths, says environmentalist
@ Hal Duell: The editor asked me to clarify my earlier post, in that as per the CLC website FAQs the budget for the Land Councils is decided by the Aboriginal Affairs Minister using Aboriginal Benfits Account funds, which are in effect royalty payments from mineral extraction on Aboriginal land.
So there is a connection between mining and CLC funding, but increased mining would not directly “swell the coffers”.
The NLC and CLC websites are worth perusing if you want to understand their responsibilities and limitations, and also the amount of work they are doing in community development, a lot of which is funded using royalty payments from the associations receiving royalties.
This includes activities like the Walpiri Education Trust (providing top up funds for education in their region) and the operational funds for the swimming pool at Yuendumu.
The Purple House has also received a lot of royalty money, enabling people to go home for dialysis … thereby reducing pressure on services for the patients and their families in town.
CLC is one cog in a large machine, and should be given credit for the positive things it does do, without expecting it to fix all the social problems resulting from our inability to create a social and political framework which could embrace two cultures with fundamentally different priorities.
And @ Paul Parker: Sorry, I don’t work for CLC, so I cannot answer your questions in detail.
However I understand that in general housing is not a land trust responsibility, rather the houses are vested in the NT Housing Commission.
Since the Intervention the land trusts do receive rent for facilities on land leased from them, and I have heard that in many cases the funds are put to community purposes for local facilities, funeral funds etc, but this is only hearsay.


Miners are spreading myths, says environmentalist
@ Hal Duell: Hal, you have been around long enough to understand the function and funding of the CLC!
I can’t let your disingenuous comment about “swelling the coffers of the CLC ” go without correction.
The CLC represents the interests of the traditional owners of the land, under their instruction, in mining negotiations, and does not benefit itself from the mining royalties.
Royalties are received in trust and passed to formal corporate bodies which distribute them according to rules posted on the ORIC website, along with financial returns, open to anyone to study.
Yes there was a hiatus after the Land Rights Act came in when mining companies had to learn that they now had to negotiate access to land for mining, instead of having the open slather approach which resulted from rights to minerals under the ground in Australia being vested in the Crown rather than the owner of the land surface.
Interestingly, as I recall, overseas companies who were used to negotiating access with landowners (which is the norm in most of the world) found this conceptually a great deal easier than Australian companies. However the situation now is that there is a great deal of activity, according to the Austrade website: “Over 80% of the mineral value extracted in the Northern Territory comes off Aboriginal owned land. Approximately 30% of this land is currently under exploration or under negotiation.”


Miners are spreading myths, says environmentalist
Fascinating story about the diamonds Ken, at least they are a mineral of some practical use, unlike gold.
Gold mining should be banned.
It uses vast amounts of energy and capital which could applied to the benefit of “everyday people” instead of speculators.
What is the point of spendning all that time and money digging a mineral out of the ground, concentrating it into lumps of metal and then burying it back underground in vaults the other side of the world?
It makes no sense in environmental or economic terms.
I believe about 1% or less of production is used in electronics and other industries, and even the arguably equally useless “use’ for gold in jewellery uses only a tiny fraction of production.
What we need in the debate about the pros and cons of mineral extraction in the Territory is some figures which are produced by an independent organisation setting out the costs and benefits to the community.
The figures produced by the miners always inflate job numbers to a ridiculous extent, and the long term benefit is very hard to quantify after the FIFO workers have gone home and we are left with a hole in the ground surrounded by a denuded landscape.


Traditional owners unite to dump Anzac as gallery site
Finally!
What I don’t understand is how an ALP NT government, supposedly (avowedly?) respectful of Aboriginal traditional ownership of land, could have chosen a site for a national ABORIGINAL art gallery without consultation with, let alone agreement from the ABORIGINAL traditional owners.
And that is leaving aside the question of how one might gain a national indigenous consensus on where a NATIONAL Aboriginal art gallery should be sited.
This whole debacle serves as a reminder that without proper foundations the most elaborate structures are likely to fall over.
As I have said before, the government needs to learn the difference between consulting (to inform a decision) and marketing (to try to persuade people of the rightness of a decision AFTER it has been made).


Former gallery advisor scathing about its planners
Thanks for this piece which confirms from an authoritative point of view much of what has been said on these pages already, and unerlines the fundamental point that a gallery purporting to be a NATIONAL and ABORIGINAL institution needs a consensus from BOTH local and nationally representative Aboriginal people and organisations otherwise it is likely to be an expensive failure.
On the matter of the award winning Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre, I would love to hear its history – the rise and demise of what seemed to be a great little cultural organisation.


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