The traditional owners of Watarrka are well aware that there …

Comment on Call to block oil and gas exploration at King’s Canyon by Explainer.

The traditional owners of Watarrka are well aware that there are many other ‘owners’ who could make a claim on this particular area of land and also claim royalties from exploration and mining. This is what is driving their present stance to ban exploration.
It is by ‘holding’ Watarrka, which means defending and looking after it, that they cement their own claims to be the traditonal owners. There may well be particular owners amongst them who would genuinely like to ban all exploration but they know that the younger generation they are obligated to look after will never allow this.
It is in both the traditional owners and government’s joint interest to pay a great deal of attention to this group of owners, to assist them to consolidate their traditional ownership, and also to reject their ban on exploration. A wise government would not reject the ban outright or hastily but pay a great deal of public attention to the owners, acknowledging their role and their responsibilities as custodians.

Recent Comments by Explainer

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