A prospecting application by the Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is on public submission with the intention to frack ‘n mine most of NSW.
This can be viewed in a variety of ways. Here are just two:
The push behind applying for five prospecting mining rights across NSW is to end Aboriginal poverty, NSWALC CEO Geoff Scott said in a release on November 6. ‘We owe it to ourselves, and to future generations of Aboriginal people... We can sit on the sidelines or we can take an active role to become part of the real Australian economy.’
He’s correct to say the real economy is mining. According to an article on www.asx.com.au, Top 10 ways to profit from mining boom, ‘Almost 90 per cent of last year’s 96 initial public offerings (IPOs) were resource-related companies and the top performers gave shareholders well over 500 per cent returns.’ Author Toni Case (TheBull.com.au) continues, ‘In fact, the entire materials sector has been a standout performer, with an annualised return of 10.99 per cent to 31 March 2011.’
And the future looks to be still powered by coal or gas, with the claim that ‘The Federal Treasury believes the mining boom could have another 15 years to go; demand from China and India shows no sign of slowing.’
Thankfully, this is a free country. Mr Scott is entitled to pursue whatever means neccessary to ensure the future prosperity for the future generations of Aboriginal people.
You have to wonder who will benefit from the Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)’s plans to mine ‘n’ frack the state of NSW, because it will not be the wider Aboriginal community. Locally, the traditional Aboriginal custodians of this region, the Arakwal people of Byron Bay, have said they do not want CSG or mining in this region and have distanced themselves from the NSWALC.
What isn’t addressed in NSWALC CEO Geoff Scott’s PR is that his organisation is already self-funding, was set up by the government, and earns income from its investments. This is not about poverty, it’s about greed. The real benefactors of this will of course be the overseas mining corporations who are nervously watching the public-awareness campaign on CSG grow. Public submissions on this prospecting application end on December 5, so get in fast. Visit www.resources.nsw.gov.au for more.
NSW premier Baz O’Farrell doesn’t like education or differing opinions, judging from the latest cuts to TAFE and the EDO (Environmental Defenders Office).
Both were given a king hit last week; TAFE fees will rise nearly ten per cent with fewer teachers while art courses will no longer exist. And the essential legal service the EDO provides to the community regarding CSG, planning and environmental advice will end next year.
While it’s easy to blame the previous NSW Labor government’s incompetence and the current federal government on lost GST revenue, it’s worth pausing to reflect on how reducing access to education and information benefits a society.
It doesn’t. No matter what rhetoric our two local National Party MPs spin, eliminating creative expression, critical thought and differing opinions through austerity cuts reflects poorly on a wealthy nation such as ours. Didn’t John Lennon go to art school?
It’s mean-spirited and limits the social spectrum. And actions such as these lead to a homogeneous dull grey tasteless soup where the measure of worth is based only on economic factors.
Totalitarian governments have always been suspicious of art and dissenting views. Take the Degenerate Art Exhibition, held in Berlin in 1939. Works that were clearly of exceptional quality were ridiculed in an effort to persuade the public it wasn’t ‘good’ art. Comedian Lenny Bruce once said, ‘Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say “fuck the government.”
Lenny was referring to censorship of course, but the latest austerity measures of cutting funding to education and legal advice amount to just that.