@ Hal Duell: Hal, you have been around long enough …

Comment on Miners are spreading myths, says environmentalist by Alex Hope.

@ 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.”

Alex Hope Also Commented

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
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.


Recent Comments by Alex Hope

Former Anzac Hill High School: time to take stock
In the days of the CLP government of the 80’s and 90’s it was easy to believe that under a Labor government things would be different, and some pride might be taken in our heritage.
However things have fared little better under the ALP. Memorably we saw the irony of an Aboriginal minister approving the demolition of the whitefella heritage Rieff building (with the charming pressed tin verandah ceiling) on the corner of Hartley and Gregory, to enable the expansion of the Aboriginal-owned Yeperenye Centre. Was this a bit of payback for the wanton destruction of Aboriginal sacred sites around town (eg the Caterpillar tail on Barrett Drive)?
And now we have the apparent childish peevishness of “well you mob don’t want to let us build the (so called) National Aboriginal Art Gallery where we know it should go so guess what we’re going to knock down your old high school so Nyah Nyah Nyah”.
For Goodness’ sakes.
I can’t tell the difference between the CLP Drongos and the ALP ones.
It will make it hard to get out of bed on polling day…


Council cemetery: Seven years of planning, no conclusive result
It is indeed hot and barren at the Memorial Avenue cemetery, so how about building a giant shade structure over the top?
This could be two stories high and be used as, guess what, a National Aboriginal Art Gallery.
There I already lots of car parking available at the Aviation Museum and Araluen Gallery…
Oh, I forgot.
Perhaps the Aboriginal artists and their community might like to be asked where they want a gallery.
Sorry. Stupid idea. I take it back.
But only half as stupid as knocking down a 10 year old, $10m “state of the art” sustainable council chamber to build a gallery.
Though of course that would avoid any arguments about the need to heritage list the Council Chambers in future.
Oh dear oh dear, we really do live in Drongoland.


Council: yes to protecting NT drinking water from fracking, no to declaring a climate emergency
So who are the “real scientists ” Philby?
Are they the same ones who insist that measles vaccine causes autism?
And was Maggie Thatcher a closet Marxist because she was convinced by the evidence for anthropogenic global warming back in about 1980 (or was it because she had a degree in chemistry from Oxford and was trained to sift the through the evidence? )
Even under another right wing prime minister (Theresa May) the Poms have become very serious about curbing their CO2 emissions.
And what about all the high finance investors who are choosing to invest in renewable energy rather than coal to make electricity, are they all Marxist climate alarmists too?
This is beyond party politics.
I urge you (and our own climate-change denying government) to look beyond the ends of your noses and read it the writing on the wall!


Huge experiment in NT bush will cast light on sun vs diesel
Alternative “batteries” include
• Pumped hydro (which can be underground, pumping from a lower to a higher aquifer);
• Stacked concrete blocks, lifted by an electric crane, which is run backwards as a generator when they are lowered again – sounds far fetched but after a successful pilot a full size one is being built in Switzerland;
• Molten salt heated by a solar concentrating plant using focussed mirrors (as per the stalled Port Augusta proposal);
• Compressing fluids (water or air) into depleted oil or gas wells and generating power by releasing them through turbines.
All of these have potential to provide continuity of electricity generation when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, and may prove cheaper and have longer lives than lithium ion batteries.
A year or two ago the idea of solar power export to Adelaide was poo-pooed, but now we have a commercial prospect of sending it to Indonesia. It is time to be a little more visionary.


‘Voter apathy greatest threat to Territory democracy’
The figures are disturbing. I understand that the Commonwealth defunded the team who used to go out and enrol people in remote areas, with the above results.
One of the strengths of our democracy, in contrast to that of other countries and the USA in particular, is compulsory voting. Perhaps we need a better system for enforcing it, such as linking electoral registration to the tax file number for example?
After all, casting a ballot still allows for the protest vote, which perhaps should be formally published if it is 80% of “informal” votes. When I have written “a pox on all your houses” across my ballot paper I have intended it as a message to the politicians and the system: That I have not been offered a candidate worthy of my vote, it would be nice to know that protest was being tallied.


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