Mining Nickel at Yakabindie - the furious debate
Publisher: Dreamtime Audio Books
Date: July 2017
Duration: 0 hours 25 minutes
We hear about the furious debate of mining nickel at a place called Yakabindie in the Western Desert of Australia and the protection of sacred sites by Indigenous Australians. Dominion mining company wanted to mine nickel in Jones creek at Yakabindie and a part of the Indigenous community wanted to protect Jones creek.
There was a furious debate which involved a heated meeting between 2 groups of Indigenous Australians at Yakabindie. One group was saying that there were no sacred sites in Jones creek and the other group were saying that there were sacred sites in Jones creek which involved the Tjikuna Dreaming story.
The Tjinkuna Dreaming story of how Jones creek was formed goes like this. A dragon fly was chasing 2 serpents through the desert landscape and jones creek was formed in the Dreamtime by the dragon fly chasing these 2 serpents. One of the serpents got away and the other serpent was caught by the dragon fly and eaten.
We confront anthropologist, Rory O'Connor at Yakabindie about his report for Dominion mining company, as he states that the sacred sites were in the ranges west of Jones creek and that there were no sacred sites in Jones creek as part of the Tjinkuna story. He reads from his report that Indigenous people state that there are no sacred sites in Jones creek.
We hear from an elderly lady, Dolly Walker from the Nghalia heritage council that there are sacred sites in Jones creek which involve the Tjikuna Dreaming story. She states that those Indigenous people who want the nickel mine to go ahead are just interested in money and are selling their souls by giving their culture away. She says that Christian people don't want to give their Church away so why should they give their Culture away by mining Jones creek.
Anthropologist Phillip Moore says his report about Jones Creek having sacred sites in it, was never considered by the state government. A young man called Zar says he will now not go through Traditional Indigenous Law to become a man if Jones creek is mined, as part of the Tjikuna story will be gone forever. Traditional Law Man, Dusty Stevens says no to mining and people don't understand the Sacred Laws of Jones creek.
We go to a press where the Minister for Indigenous affairs, Judith Watson and the Managing Director of Dominion mining, Peter Walker state that the nickel mine at Yakabindie has been given approval after considering the reports from both anthropologists. In the press conference both Judith Watson and Peter Walker make mistakes in their statements after questions are asked about the protection of sacred sites. Peter Walker admits that there are 2 sacred sites in Jones creek but are of little significance to Indigenous people.
The Yakabindie nickel mine went ahead and Jones creek was dug up, but several years later Dominion mining went broke, as it collapsed and was delisted in Western Australia.