supplied by Teresa Mullan
Lack of consultation with Aboriginal people on dam project
NSW Labor has outlined serious concerns regarding allegations in a joint submission to the Legislative Council Inquiry into the Proposal to Raise the Warragamba Dam Wall.
In the joint submission, twenty Indigenous and environmental NGO’s from six countries have expressed serious concerns about the international record of SMEC Engineering.
Their submission claims that SMEC has a history of unethical behaviour and serious misconduct, including significant abuses of Indigenous rights across the globe, notably in Asia, Mongolia and Africa.
NSW Labor is aware of criticism of the current assessment process by local Indigenous groups who have claimed the process has not given them enough time or resources to properly report on Aboriginal heritage issues.
“This whole process has denied meaningful input from local Aboriginal groups and the wider community and these claims in the joint submission raise serious concerns about the suitability of the current consultants to do a meaningful assessment of heritage issues,” Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said.
“These claims paint a very dark picture of this entire process. It is vital decision makers can rely on the integrity of these assessments and reports before making their decision. These are serious allegations, and it’s incumbent on the Government to do appropriate due diligence,” Shadow Environment Minister Kate Washington said.
“The local Aboriginal community deserves more than a rubber-stamp process that pays mere lip service to their concerns about the proposed flooding of the Burragorang Valley. We need a proper consultation process that takes the time and the effort to investigate all that is at stake here, instead of just doing the absolute bare minimum to satisfy the legal requirements,” Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle said.
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay meeting with Aboriginal Elder Frank 'Riverbank' Doolan in Dubbo as part of her consultation tour of regional NSW. Image: supplied
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[Evan Young, SBS]
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[Shannon Corvo, ABC]
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by Jon Taylor
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