Greens should not force poverty on traditional owners

Wayne Bergmann; 5/4/10

This is an edited extract of a speech by Kimberley Land Council executive director Wayne Bergmann given in Darwin last month.

Kimberley Aboriginal people have a track record in environmental management and looking after our country. We also believe in looking after our heritage and creating a future for our kids. Our determination to look after country while pursuing economic opportunities has shaped our approach to the Browse Basin. Jabirr Jabirr traditional owners have given in-principle support to develop a liquefied natural gas processing facility at James Price Point, but subject to world’s best practice in environmental, cultural and heritage standards. The Jabirr Jabirr people are the only people who can make this decision about their country and their decisions need to be respected. The Kimberley Land Council works for and takes instructions from traditional owners. The KLC does not make decisions for them. We support the decisions of our people and their right to make those decisions.