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Tasmania's Aboriginal community outraged over government control of sacred Wargata Mina cave site. It is owned and managed by the Aboriginal community — but the sacred Wargata Mina cave in southwest Tasmania is still being controlled by the State Government, according to Tasmania's Aboriginal Centre (TAC).

Tasmania's Aboriginal community outraged over government control of sacred Wargata Mina cave site

Key points: The Wargata Mina cave in southwest Tasmania contains a series of hand stencils dating back over 15,000 yearsThe site is owned and managed by Tasmania's Aboriginal people, with the title transferred to the Aboriginal Land Council in 1995The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is outraged it has to go through a government department for a permit to access the remote site The cave is so remote it is only accessible by helicopter, and in order for helicopters to land in the area people are required to seek permits from the Parks and Wildlife Department, including Aboriginal people.

The cave is not open to the public, and photos of the hand stencils are not permitted, in order to protect the sacred site. "Wargata Mina cave is Aboriginal land, we own that land," Ms Mansell said. Aboriginal community tensions grow following SA parliamentary inquiry proposal. A group of Aboriginal leaders has warned that a parliamentary inquiry into Aboriginal governance in South Australia risks causing "great harm to individuals, tearing families apart and damaging communities".

Aboriginal community tensions grow following SA parliamentary inquiry proposal

Key points: A group of Aboriginal leaders say they oppose a parliamentary inquiry into Aboriginal governance in SAProminent Aboriginal leaders, including Jeffrey Newchurch and Keith Thomas, wrote to the Premier this monthBut other reform advocates say government intervention in Aboriginal corporations and organisations is necessary In a letter signed by 12 community elders and sent to South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, the group expresses their opposition to a proposed parliamentary inquiry into the governance of Aboriginal corporations and organisations.

"Allowing and encouraging people to prosecute their personal grievances under parliamentary privilege risks great harm to individuals, tearing families apart and damaging communities," the letter reads. Key points: Legal action launched against NT Government over McArthur River Mine security bond. Traditional owners near the Gulf of Carpentaria have launched legal action against the Northern Territory Government over its decision to slash the security bond paid by a massive lead and zinc mine.

Legal action launched against NT Government over McArthur River Mine security bond

Court documents allege a decision to reduce the mine's environmental security bond is unlawfulThe security bond was reduced from $519 million to $400 million late in 2020Environmental groups are concerned it could leave taxpayers liable for potential long-term environmental damage The legal proceedings, brought by the Environmental Defenders Officer (EDO) on behalf of Borroloola residents and the Environment Centre NT, relate to the environmental security bond paid by the McArthur River Mine. The mine is situated about 45 kilometres from the Aboriginal community and some residents have repeatedly raised health, environmental and cultural concerns about the project — including when waste rock combusted and smouldered for several months from 2013. Queensland asked to consult traditional owners, scientists before examining Channel Country fracking plans. Traditional owners and environmental groups in Queensland's Channel Country are imploring the State Government to pause consideration of applications for petroleum leases in the region until independent scientific assessments and stakeholder consultation are conducted.

Queensland asked to consult traditional owners, scientists before examining Channel Country fracking plans

Key points: The State Government in considering 11 applications for petroleum leases in Origin Energy's nameThe leases cover more than 250,000 hectares of environmentally sensitive land in Queensland's Channel CountryTraditional owners and environmental groups want a moratorium on considering the application until stakeholder consultation is done Eleven applications for petroleum leases across more than 250,000 hectares of land in the Channel Country bioregion of the Lake Eyre Basin are before the Government for approval.

NT Government under fire for not using Indigenous names for new national park sites. Hidden waterfalls in an NT national park will soon be open to the public for the first time — but some are disappointed their traditional Indigenous place names won't be seen with them.

NT Government under fire for not using Indigenous names for new national park sites

Key points: Aboriginal leaders around Litchfield National Park said they weren't consulted about the names for new sitesNT Parks staff told a member of the public finding the Indigenous names was too "difficult"A department spokesperson said the new names were based on the landscape and flora The NT Government has been heralding the "game-changing" $17.5 million opening of Litchfield Central Valley in mid-2021, which will give tourists access to new camping and swimming spots. But Indigenous leaders from around Litchfield say they're "angry and disappointed" they were not consulted on the recent naming of those sites, like Red Rock Gorge and Cycad Springs.

"It's about genocide of a language," said Koongurrukun academic Helen Bishop. Australia Day debate is exhausting and data tells us it could last another generation. "Sometimes it's just about surviving Survival Day," said a friend who is feeling exhausted three weeks into January.

Australia Day debate is exhausting and data tells us it could last another generation

Every year, January 26 rolls around, and each time the same debate about our national day floods the country's consciousness — and for some of us it can feel tiringly predictable. The loud headlines, the hyperbolic commentary, the sense this debate won't be quickly resolved, or that perhaps some aren't even looking for resolution. Prime Minister Scott Morrison's views on Australia Day 'selfish' and 'lightweight', Michael Dodson says. Former Australian of the Year and Northern Territory Treaty Commissioner Michael Dodson has called Scott Morrison's comments about Australia Day "selfish", saying he is "very lightweight when it comes to understanding Australian history".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's views on Australia Day 'selfish' and 'lightweight', Michael Dodson says

Key points: Michael Dodson said the PM's comments on Australia Day exposed a "shallow understanding" of the impact of the First Fleet on Indigenous AustraliansDodson praised Cricket Australia for its work in having an inclusive policyMelbourne BBL franchises will not drop Australia Day from their promotional material The Prime Minister on Thursday criticised Cricket Australia for its decision to recommend that teams drop the term "Australia Day" from its Big Bash promotions. "Australia Day is all about acknowledging how far we've come," Mr Morrison said during a Thursday press conference. "When those 12 ships turned up in Sydney, all those years ago, it wasn't a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either. Lake Torrens drilling approval by SA Premier prompts Greens calls to change heritage laws. A contentious minerals exploration project in outback South Australia, approved by the Premier, is prompting calls for a change to heritage laws.

Lake Torrens drilling approval by SA Premier prompts Greens calls to change heritage laws

Key points: A minerals exploration company has been given approval to drill at Lake Torrens, a sacred siteSA Greens want protection of Aboriginal heritage improvedThe SA Government says the drilling will not permanently affect the lake's cultural heritage Premier Steven Marshall, who is also the Aboriginal Affairs Minister, approved an application by exploration company Kelaray to explore for ore bodies on the surface of Lake Torrens.

The salt lake, part of a national park, is considered sacred by at least four Aboriginal nations but does not have any native title protections. SA Government approves drilling on sacred Lake Torrens, despite opposition from Aboriginal groups. The South Australian Government has granted a minerals exploration company permission to "damage, disturb or interfere" with a sacred Aboriginal site in the state's outback.

SA Government approves drilling on sacred Lake Torrens, despite opposition from Aboriginal groups

Key points: Lake Torrens is a sacred site to the Kokatha, Barngarla, Adnyamathanha and Kuyani peopleThe South Australian Government has approved mineral exploration on the lake, with environmental guidelinesThe exploration proponent plans to use "mats" to protect the lake's surface during the operations Lake Torrens does not have any native title protections but it is an important site to several Aboriginal nations. NT remote housing program is building prefabricated homes, but some communities don't want them. The Northern Territory Government is using prefabricated homes to ease overcrowding in remote communities, but some are concerned they take construction jobs and training opportunities from Aboriginal Territorians living in remote areas.

NT remote housing program is building prefabricated homes, but some communities don't want them

Key points: The NT Government says it has completed 37 of the new-style remote homes and more are on the waySome residents are happy and the houses can be finished quicker than locally built homesConcerns have been raised over the cost of the homes, at around half a million dollars each Deanne Entata is from one of the first families in Hermannsburg to move into the Government's new prefabricated remote homes, after spending years living with seven people in a three-bedroom home. "I'm so excited to stand here," she said. NT Government's appeal against Indigenous housing court ruling sparks Human Rights Commission intervention.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is set to intervene in a legal fight between residents of the remote community of Santa Teresa and the NT Government over public housing conditions. Key points: The move is part of a long-running dispute about the state of public housing in the Aboriginal communityThe NT Government will appeal against a ruling a "habitable" home should be "humane and reasonably comfortable", not just "safe"The Australian Human Rights commission will be allowed to provide information during the appeal hearing next year The case began in 2016, in the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, before making its way to the NT Supreme Court after 70 remote public housing tenants in Santa Teresa launched complaints about the state and standard of their housing.

In September this year the NT Supreme court ruled in favour of the tenants and ordered the lead claimant be paid compensation, but the NT Government said it would appeal the court's decision. NLC says permit-free fishing will continue despite notice that 'blindsided' industry groups. The Northern Land Council has denied it intends to restrict the access commercial and recreational fishers have to significant stretches of the Northern Territory coastline within weeks. The notice suggested permits would be required to fish in some intertidal zones next yearFishing industry groups said they were blindsided by the announcementBut the Northern Land Council says permits will continue to be waived into the new year A notice published by the powerful statutory authority on Friday suggested people would need a permit to access some intertidal zones from the beginning of next year.

It also suggested permits would be required in some other areas from the beginning of March. But NLC chief executive officer Marion Scrymgour denied that was the case, saying the notice was published to formally extend a moratorium on permit requirements until March. Intertidal permit requirement for NT fishers to be imposed by Northern Land Council from January 1. The Northern Land Council (NLC) has shocked recreational and commercial fishers by announcing — via a public notice in the classifieds section of a newspaper — that permits will be required to access Indigenous intertidal waters in 2021.

Key points: An NLC notice advises fishers will need permits to access Indigenous intertidal waters in 2021A recreational fishing group says it is "blindsided" by the decisionThe NT's Industry, Tourism and Trade Minister says the NLC decision is "not in line" with agreement The intertidal zone is the area between the high and low tide marks. In an unexpected move, an NLC notice in the NT News on Friday advised that as of January 1, 2021, permits will be needed to access some areas of the intertidal zone on Aboriginal land. Other areas, outlined on a map published on the NLC website, will require permits from March 1, 2021.

While the negotiations have been taking place, the NLC has periodically extended permit-free access to the intertidal zones. Native title holders seek compensation from NT Government over McArthur River Mine. The Aboriginal land council representing traditional owners in the Top End has filed a compensation claim against the Northern Territory Government over the effects of the McArthur River Mine on their native title rights and alleged damage to sacred sites.

Key points: McArthur River Mine is located on one of the world's biggest zinc and lead depositsNative title holders say they have been repeatedly ignored by the NT GovernmentThe NT Government last month approved a major expansion of the mine. Federal Court upholds Djab Wurrung's Western Highway appeal, overturns Sussan Ley's decision on sacred trees. The Federal Court has overturned Environment Minister Sussan Ley's decision to reject an appeal for the protection of six trees in the path of a highway upgrade in western Victoria. Key points: This is the third time the Government has had its decision on the protection of sacred trees in the path of the Western Highway upgrade overturnedThe Federal Court found that Sussan Ley made errors in her conclusions about the impact the upgrade would have on the treesDuring the hearings Justice John Griffiths drew a comparison between the Western Highway works and a decision to upgrade a road near Gallipoli Justice John Griffiths ruled that a fresh decision on the matter be made by a relevant party other than Ms Ley — and that the Federal Government cover the applicants' costs.

The appeal for protection was made by Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy members Sandra Onus and Marjorie Thorpe. Petition urging withdrawal of Darwin Dan Murphy's proposal delivered to NT Chief Minister - ABC News. Leanne Liddle is on a mission to bring the NT's remote communities back from the brink in five years. Juukan Gorge report leaves WA Government and mining industry facing pressure over Section 18 moratorium - ABC News. A shareholder advocacy group has hit out at the WA Government and mining sector over their rejection of a temporary halt on approvals that could disturb or destroy sacred sites. Torres Strait Islander complaint against climate change inaction wins backing of UN legal experts - ABC News.

A landmark human rights complaint against the Australian Government by Torres Strait Islanders suffering the effects of climate change has received the backing of two prominent United Nations legal experts. Key points: Rio Tinto should pay compensation for Juukan Gorge caves blast, inquiry recommends - ABC News. Mining giant Rio Tinto should pay compensation to traditional owners for destroying the sacred Juukan Gorge caves, a parliamentary inquiry has recommended. Key points: Doma 'Foothills' development at alleged sacred Aboriginal site given conservation approvals after review - ABC News. McArthur River Mine expansion approval criticised by NT senator Malarndirri McCarthy - ABC News. Federal Labor senator Malarndirri McCarthy has criticised her Northern Territory counterparts for their handling of an approval for Glencore's McArthur River Mine. Key points: Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt describes speed of NT remote housing upgrade as a 'disgrace' - ABC News.

NT Government approves McArthur River Mine expansion against advice of sacred sites authority - ABC News. Minister Ken Wyatt wants Indigenous voice to government to pass Parliament before next election - ABC News. Victorian Aboriginal communities urged to 'keep the faith' as treaty process hits bumps in the road - ABC News. The destruction of a mighty fiddlebark in Victoria sparks a common conundrum for Aboriginal Australians - ABC News.

Indigenous rangers to cease fire mitigation work after Black Summer bushfires triple insurance costs - ABC News. Victorian Supreme Court order puts Western Highway works on hold after felling of tree on Djab Wurrung country - ABC News. LNP's Queensland election pitch to enforce Townsville and Cairns youth curfew slammed by community leaders as 'archaic' - ABC News. Fears WA heritage law reforms sparked by Rio Tinto's Juukan Gorge blasts do not go far enough - ABC News. Andrew Forrest's FMG keeping $1.9m in royalties from Indigenous owners, Juukan Gorge inquiry told - ABC News. University fee hikes will hit Indigenous students hard and put Closing the Gap targets at risk, advocates say - ABC News. NT Government to appeal a legal standard for housing conditions after Santa Teresa ruling - ABC News.

Torres Strait 8 could set 'global precedent' with United Nations human rights fight linked to climate change - ABC News. Feral buffaloes destroying native habitat in Arnhem Land, but plan to muster caught up in 'red tape' - ABC News. How an NT legend fashioned a political statement from Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen's island visit - ABC News.

Juukan Gorge destruction still possible under new heritage legislation, Aboriginal leaders say - ABC News. Closing the Gap promises big change for Indigenous youth. Trei and Karlie hope it improves the issues they faced - ABC News. Palace letters make great reading but leave a republic as far away as ever - ABC News. Vickie Roach saw her first death in custody at 18. She's spent the decades since fighting to abolish prisons - ABC News. How to listen and learn from Indigenous children in order to help them - ABC News. Kakadu board pushes vote of no confidence against park director - ABC News. Chansey Paech elected first Indigenous Speaker of an Australian Parliament - ABC News. Dozens more ancient heritage sites could be destroyed by Australian mining companies - ABC News. Darwin Black Lives Matter protest organisers and NT Police praise peaceful protest - ABC News.

Victoria's First Peoples' Assembly 'hopeful' as it works to bring Aboriginal treaties to life. Scott Morrison wants Indigenous people to help with Closing the Gap. They already are. Call for protection of Fitzroy River as Western Australia election deadline looms. Invasion Day protests held across nation and in London to challenge Australia Day date. Kakadu uranium protest documentary Dirt Cheap unearthed by Northern Territory Library. It's not just Australia Day — national holidays are 'almost always political' Sydney's Yabun Festival celebrates Aboriginal survival and resilience on a difficult day. Tasmanian Government's effort to 'reset relationship' with Aboriginal community 'a disaster', advocates say.

Indigenous cultural burn a factor in helping save home from bushfire, as fire experts call for more investment. Author Bruce Pascoe 'hurt' after Peter Dutton's office refers Aboriginality complaint to AFP. How can the NT spend money allocated for remote Indigenous disadvantage elsewhere? - Curious Darwin. Indigenous affairs a mix of highs and lows during 2019. The weight of his world. Aboriginal communities sue Federal Government over 'racially discriminatory' work-for-the-dole scheme. Mr World Australia, driven by life's hard knocks, vies for global crown. Mick Dodson, Ursula Raymond stress importance of young Aboriginal voices in treaty consultations.

Garma: Gove Peninsula traditional owners to launch compensation case over bauxite mining. Garma Festival: Indigenous constitutional recognition 'our rightful place' says advocate Noel Pearson. Garma Festival emerges as Australia's most influential forum on Indigenous affairs. Anthony Albanese to call for Indigenous advisory body in the constitution. Refugees on Manus to receive Australian First Nations 'passports' from activists aboard sail boat. Federal Court dismisses bid to stop ballot on nuclear storage facility near Kimba. Indigenous constitutional recognition a difficult goal for Scott Morrison and Ken Wyatt - Politics.

Indigenous constitutional recognition to be put to referendum in next three years, Minister to promise. $50/ha fines 'are not deterrents': Calls for tougher penalties for land clearing as Zenith investigated. Experts say Aboriginal advancement should be prioritised as Territory confronts budget crisis.

WA Government issues Chinese company a stop-work order over Kimberley land clearing. Audit finds $5 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy is not properly evaluated. Yakka Munga station blockaded by protesters in fight to protect Kimberley land. Can systemic racism kill? An inquest into the death of Tanya Day could find out. We 'love-bombed' the Tasmanian government to win Indigenous rights. Treaty 'unfinished business' for Aboriginal Australians, decades after it was promised.

The Indigenous voices we don't hear have something important to say. Ken Wyatt faces a tough balancing act between party and people as Indigenous Affairs Minister. Aboriginal elder Kathy Mills says Australia's reconciliation efforts are making no progress. Indigenous MPs split on what federal election 2019 result means for Aboriginal affairs - Australia Votes - Federal Election 2019 - Politics. A dozen Aboriginal communities. Thousands of kilometres. 400 votes. High Court to rule on whether Indigenous men can be deported from Australia.

'Martin Luther King of Australia': Indigenous rights activist Bill Ferguson immortalised in bronze. Adani coal mine poses 'alarming' risk to sacred wetlands, traditional owners say. Racist vandalism targets Aboriginal Greens candidate 'Moogy' Sumner's federal election poster. Federal election 2019: Vote Compass finds Australians are ready to back Indigenous 'voice to Parliament' - Australia Votes - Federal Election 2019 - Politics. Adani coal mine poses 'alarming' risk to sacred wetlands, traditional owners say. Minister apologises for 'jungle drums' reference when talking about Indigenous housing. Indigenous Affairs Minister won't grant NT Aboriginal river land until access terms are clear. Rape threats and racist hate followed discrimination case but police not investigating. Former Labor MLA Marion Scrymgour appointed CEO of troubled Northern Land Council in NT first.

South Australia and Northern Territory compete for funds for national Indigenous gallery project. Push for outback massacre survivor on the $2 coin to gain new recognition. Alice Springs hotel segregation highlights gaps in NT anti-discrimination laws. 'Outrageous, crazy decision': NT's housing war with Scott Morrison, Nigel Scullion amps up. Northern Land Council to assemble full council meeting without Minister, flags imminent new CEO appointment. 'Practical benefits' and possible compensation on the table for NT treaty: Commissioner Mick Dodson.

Former Australian of the Year Mick Dodson expected to be first NT treaty commissioner.