THE human and environmental impacts of the world’s largest mining company will be the focus of protest and attention at BHP Billiton’s annual general meeting today in Perth as Aboriginal leaders speak out.
Members of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) and the Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (WANFA) are attending BHP Billiton’s annual general meeting in Perth today to raise issues directly with the board and shareholders about conduct of uranium mining developments on Aboriginal land.
Richard Evans, Koara traditional owner of the proposed Yeelirrie Uranium deposit in WA, said: “This is not the first time we have explained to BHP Billiton that Uranium mining at Yeelirrie is unwanted.
“BHP Billiton are not talking with the right land owners, they are going through the back door with consultation.
“BHP has promised our people that they will take us to see the mine in SA. They promised us 12 months ago. How long does it take a million dollar company to deliver on a promise? In that last 12 months I have heard first-hand from traditional owners what these mines are like and I don’t want one here or anywhere.”
“They are wilfully ignoring the voice of the Aboriginal people,” Wongatha traditional owner Geoffrey Stokes said.
“Uranium mining at Yeelirre will be opening up a huge can of worms for the West, from the mining mess, transport risks and the waste that will come back. Nothing good can come from this. ”
WANFA chair Della Rae Morrison says she is “extremely concerned that there are over 140 overseas mining companies mining for deposits all around WA and is poisoning country and water as we speak. If mining developments go ahead, will the shareholders be wiling to be accountable in 15 years time?”