Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Uranium Mining: Jabiluka
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) 19 May 2013 marks 15 years since Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner, Yvonne Margarula, was arrested for trespass on her own country at Jabiluka,
(ii) legal action, public education and one of the largest blockades in Australian history involving 5 000 people from across Australia and around the world stopped the mining of uranium at Jabiluka, and
(iii) Yvonne Margarula has recently restated her absolute opposition to Jabiluka's development and her wish to see the area incorporated into Kakadu National Park; and
(b) calls on the Government to incorporate the Jabiluka lease into Kakadu National Park.
I seek leave to make a short statement.
I will not call for a division on this, but I do want to acknowledge that 19 May 2013, which is this forthcoming Sunday, marks 15 years since Mirarr senior traditional owner Yvonne Margarula was arrested for trespass on her own land at Jabiluka. This was one of the largest blockades in Australian history. It was a huge campaign, led by senior Aboriginal traditional owners and, in particular, Ms Margarula. I want to acknowledge how extraordinarily offensive it must have been for a senior Aboriginal woman to be arrested on her own land for something as obnoxious as trespassing. It is the mining company that is trespassing on that land. The environment minister was happy to stand up with Mr Lee when we put the Koongarra mineral lease back into Kakadu. Jabiluka needs to go back into that park as well. We got Koongarra right; we got Ranger very wrong. This is a chance to get Jabiluka right as well.