Land councils acted behind our backs, say pipeline TOs


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The Central Land Council (CLC) is being accused of doing deals with Jemena, the company planning to build the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa gas pipeline, without the permission from the traditional owners of the land it would traverse.
Paul Wickham, a Wakaya Land Trust spokesperson, says in a media release this morning: “Discussions seem to be happening behind closed doors between Jemena and the Land Councils [including the Northern Land Council] even though they are no longer acting for us.
“As far as the Wakaya Land Trust is concerned there is no agreement for this pipeline to go ahead.”
And Wakaya TO Max Priest says: “We said numerous time that we do not want fracking, as the impact it has on the environment would be devastating both for our water, community, animals and landscape. Jemena has done its own environment study and that’s not good enough.”
Mr Wickham says although the CLC and Jemena knew that the TOs were being represented by a legal firm, approval was given to the pipeline company by the CLC.
Without any negotiations the TOs were presented with an agreement for signature last week, as the company is proceeding with stockpiling pipes in Tennant Creek, he says.
“We did not sign any agreement that was put before us,” says Mr Wickham.

The media release says TOs have lodged an emergency objection to clearing on their land and are calling for the project to be knocked back by the NT Development Consent Authority.

“Jemena is a company owned by the Chinese (60%) and Singapore (40%) Governments.

“The stated justification for the Jemena pipeline is to ‘stimulate the development of the Northern Territory through increased gas exploration and production’. This means unconventional gas fields and fracked gas.
“The Wakaya people have previously called the land access consultation process a sham and walked out of consultations after bullying by the pipeline company.”

The Alice Springs News Online is seeking comment from the CLC.

PHOTO: Members of the Wakaya Land Trust (supplied).



  1. Wakaya people, stick together for it is people power.
    David Ross and his white administration, Scullion and Snowdon have ruined Aboriginal lives since 1974, taking our land ruining it, stuffing up our law and culture for our future children.
    Where is Francis Kelly and the so called executives who are supposed to be the voice for us?
    This is why they, the administration, got rid of Maurie Ryan as chairman for he had education and understood the white cheating ways.
    The nine regions were the people that nominated Maurie Ryan as chair and the only people to sack him.
    Not David Ross and his lawyer and the way they went about it. Central Land Council put the wrong people on land which caused trouble between our people, and this is what David Ross and the white administration love. Stay as one be strong.

  2. Again I see Alice, possibly the best place in the world to go totally solar, subject itself to fossil fuels.
    Come on Alice, and the Wakaya.

  3. Land councils don’t listen to the people. Land councils get 10% of any contract done between landowners and big business. They rush deals for quick money.
    The tail is wagging the dog too often. This is very wrong. People need to stand up for their rights and not be used and pushed around by greedy peple who don’t love the Land, the mother of all.
    Also Aboriginal people should not get ripped off and should get ongoing money for every tonne of gas going through the pipe over their land forever.
    A cattle station owner in WA charges for each iron ore wagon going over his land, makes millions every year.
    Also the NT, Federal and Queensland governments should sign in the contract that no fracked gas will every go through that pipeline, because otherwise of course they will put enviromentally damaging fracked gas through that pipeline sooner or later. Animals near their frack wells will be poisoned in chemical dams.
    These people need legal force to make them to listen to TOs and what they want. The gas gets shipped overseas by these Chinese big companies and makes local gas more expensive. And the country and water get left behind, poisoned.

  4. Let us come together as one and organise a people power meeting and march against the Central Land Council, who are the Government, and show Australia and the rest of the world we care for our ancestors’ land.
    Central Land Council talk to the wrong people, and not all the right people, for when they were chasing the land at Victory Downs, Mt. Cavanagh, Mulga Park, Kulgera and Umbreara Stations, meeting at Eagle Bore, my wife and a lot of other people were never invited or picked up to vote for or against what they were doing.

  5. Well, well, well. Another deal done by the administration of the Central Land Council. Aboriginal People must learn this administration works for Canberra not the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory.
    All employed at the CLC including the director don’t care about us, as long as they are furthering their careers and their pockets who cares.
    My inlaws are from the Tennant Creek Area and I hope you all fight the CLC.
    It’s time for change, let’s rid ourselves of the CLC. People power can change anything.


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