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Dispossession of Aboriginal land for the benefit of mining companies

flag-AustraliaThe Intervention’s extraordinary damage to the Aboriginal sense of control and wellbeing makes it the gravest policy disaster in Australia since the removal of Aboriginal children in the Stolen Generations.

The Australian Government is facilitating this exploitation of mineral wealth as well as directing the major
development contracts not to Aboriginal communities but to those tycoons heading mining companies and construction alliances.

aboriginal-issues

THE WAY AHEAD: The new land grab Tracker, BY JEFF MCMULLEN, JUNE 21, 2013  Neo-liberalism is ahungry beast and this 21st Century strain of capitalism is shaping the agenda for control of Aboriginal lands…..

Australian Government policy is heavily influenced by neo-liberalism through its extraordinary emphasis on managing access for mining companies to resources on Aboriginal lands. This involves controlling
what is still perceived as ‘the Aboriginal problem’ and forcing a social transition from traditional values and Cultural practice to ‘mainstream’ modernism of a particular brand. It also involves displacing many Aboriginal people from their traditional lands and concentrating them in ‘growth towns’……

Now the struggle for Aboriginal land and rights is entering a new phase because of the aggressive global marketing of the resources most essential for a fast growing human population, including water, food,
minerals, energy and the land itself.

To make any sense of the aggression behind most current Indigenous policy in Australia you need to study the impact of neo-liberalism around the globe….. Make no mistake, neo-liberalism is about dispossession.

One of the world’s leading social scientists, British born David Harvey, writes in his book, A Short History of Neoliberalism, that what I have called a 21st Century strain of capitalism is a very distinctive system of “accumulation by dispossession.”

Harvey tips four easy ways to spot neo-liberalism at work.

1.      “privatization and commodification” of public/community goods,
2.      “financialization” to treat good or bad events as opportunities for
economic speculation,
3.      “management and manipulation of crises” to establish the neo-liberal agenda,
4.      “state redistribution” of wealth, not to the poor but to the rich
and powerful.
This raises the question of who benefits from neo-liberal style
development of Aboriginal lands whether it is through mining or
agriculture? It also helps us understand what really is driving
policies such as the Northern Territory Intervention and the
extraordinary social engineering to control Aboriginal people still
living on traditional lands.

Harvey presents a convincing argument that neo-liberalism is not
‘trickle down economics’ that will somehow allow large numbers of
people to benefit from this neo-liberal development. On the contrary,
he contends that the exploitation is aimed at upward redistribution of
wealth, enriching capital managers.

The aggressive neo-liberal land grab is dividing Aboriginal
communities and even brothers. As one Traditional Owner in the
Northern Territory told me recently, “these mining deals can give one
or two families a big pay but generally they don’t improve the
community. Money goes on a few new cars and more grog comes in. We
never see things get better but someone is getting very rich on our
land.”

In the Kimberley and Pilbara in Western Australia, across the Northern
Territory, on Cape York and in parts of NSW and South Australia, it is
disturbing to see the divide and conquer tactics of mining companies
and governments………..

To understand the current assault on Aboriginal Land Rights we should
remember what the British social scientist described as the first
tenet of neo-liberalism, the drive for ‘privatisation’ of Aboriginal
lands.

Privatisation of land is the neo-liberal spearhead hurled deep into
the heart of the traditional Aboriginal way of life….

The striking difference between this [previous] vision of self-determination and
the neo-liberal approach to developing Aboriginal lands is that
neo-liberalism involves dispossessing people of communal lands through
dubious promises of payoffs if they sign long leases and chase the
great Aussie Dream of a mortgage and “private home
ownership”…….

The Intervention’s extraordinary damage to the Aboriginal sense of
control and wellbeing makes it the gravest policy disaster in
Australia since the removal of Aboriginal children in the Stolen
Generations.

……. The Australian Government is facilitating this exploitation of mineral wealth as well as directing the major
development contracts not to Aboriginal communities but to those tycoons heading mining companies and construction alliances.
Neo-liberalism has given us the new land
grab.http://tracker.org.au/2013/06/the-way-ahead-the-new-land-grab-2/

June 22, 2013 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics

1 Comment »

  1. […] Dispossession of Aboriginal land for the benefit of mining companies (nuclear-news.net) […]

    Pingback by What became of the Mistake Creek massacre? | www.HumansinShadow.wordpress.com | July 4, 2013 | Reply


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