Daniel Saks

In their desire to promote Aboriginal self-determination and economic independence, Langton and others take the approach that, because of their rightful native-title claims to vast tracts of Australia, they should be able to negotiate the use of those lands, independent of any other factors that might need to be considered (‘It’s a Knockout’, October). Yet Langton et al have a responsibility to consider the environmental consequences of their proposals.

Successive governments have withheld real economic development assistance and have thus blackmailed Aboriginal communities into believing that the only way out of their desperate circumstances is to hand over their heritage to mining companies. Regardless of accepted native-title rights, Aboriginal communities should not be able make decisions like this with impunity, just like state and federal governments should not be telling these communities that it’s either mining or nothing.

Daniel Saks

Goonengerry, NSW

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