KLC supports Traditional Owners over unauthorised land clearing
Nyikina Mangala Traditional owners have confirmed an international corporation is undertaking a land-clearing operation on Yakka Munga Station and has breached a registered Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) and destroyed important cultural sites.
On the 5th of June 2019 Traditional Owners discovered at Yakka Munga Station and confirmed that the management company Shanghai Zenith has begun clearing land to make way for what we believe are irrigation channels and to harvest water.
Traditional Owners Rosita Shaw and Wayne Bergmann said there has been no compliance with the consultation with Nyikina Mangala Traditional Owners or appropriate environmental impact surveys regarding the earth works on Yakka Munga Cattle Station. It makes a mockery of the process to get Native Title and the negotiation of the ILUA when the company has decided to not follow the process in the agreement. discovered at Yakka Munga Station and confirmed that the management company Shanghai Zenith has begun clearing land to make way for what we believe are irrigation channels and to harvest water.
Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation sent a notice to Shangai Zenith to immediately stop excavation activities and has sent a stop work order to WA State Government ministers, including Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt.
Minister MacTiernan said she shared her concern for what was going on at Yakka Munga and that the clearing appears to have occurred without any authorisation.
KLC CEO Nolan Hunter said he is concerned that cultural and environmental values have been damaged.
“The clearing that has been done is not within the definition of a pastoral purpose. The KLC negotiated the consent determination and the ILUA for Nyikina Mangala people in 2012,” Mr Hunter said.
“There was a stop work order issued – this was stopped by the Environmental Protection Act 1986, not by the requirements under the ILUA. This type of clearance is a future act under the Native Title Act 1993. A future act would have the impact. The company has bypassed this.”
“There’s now a question of whether compensation for the loss of native title rights and interests is a result of the activities.”
“The KLC strongly believes Shanghai Zenith must enter a compensation agreement with Walalakoo for the damages that have occurred.”
Nyikina Mangala Traditional Owners blockaded the site on 19 June 2019 and refused to allow contract workers onto the property.
Traditional Owners will continue the fight until a satisfactory agreement has been reached.
This activity highlights the need for the Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972) to be changed. The KLC has made a number of parliamentary submissions and still awaits the outcome.