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Compulsory acquisition wrong, say Greens

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 2 Sep 2010

 

The Australian Greens have criticised the WA Government’s decision to compulsory acquire land for a resources project at James Price Point, saying important human rights and environmental issues are being ignored.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Issues says the compulsory land acquisition is not acceptable and is a step backwards from meaningful reconciliation.

“The WA Government is prioritising development over the rights of traditional owners - it is yet another example of government ignoring important human rights and discrimination issues,” Senator Siewert said.

“Premier Barnett tried to short-cut the consultation process to determine the best site for a gas hub and force a site onto the traditional owners and the community. Now he's complaining that railroading the community hasn't worked, and is trying to use the problems and delays caused by his poor process as an excuse for compulsory acquisition.

The Greens have also voiced concerns about the project’s environmental impact.

“Important whale populations and the unique environment will all be impacted by this development,” Senator Siewert said.

 “We should be passed the era of development regardless of the human rights and environmental toll but it appears here in WA we are not.

“The Greens, as attested to through our push for a referendum on the recognition of the First Nations in the Australian Constitution, are committed to seeing an end to discrimination in this country.

“The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has this week delivered a damning report on Australia's failure to meet international commitments on eliminating discrimination, and it’s little wonder this finding has been made, given today’s decision,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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