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: social impact assessment and Aboriginal control over mining at McArthur River, Borroloola

  • Alicia Jamieson

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU


    The potential for Social Impact Assessment (SIA) to increase awareness amongst mining multinationals and governments of indigenous peoples' perspective of industrial developments affecting them is explored in this thesis.

    Social Impact Assessment (SIA) has emerged as a potential source of power for indigenous peoples, subsumed within industrial nation-states. By facilitating a dialogue between indigenous peoples and developers, SIA may improve indigenous participation in development decisions affecting them. Ultimately, indigenous peoples' influence over such decisions is constrained by non-acknowledgement of a unique indigenous perspective of industrial development.

    This thesis observes that a contrast between indigenous and industrial societies is manifested, historically, in the imposition of government policies onto indigenous peoples. The potential for mediation between these societies, that provides indigenous peoples with resources to affect policy and resource development decisions, is explored.

    Anthropological contributions to effective negotiations between indigenous peoples and policy and development decision-makers are investigated in this thesis. The value of such anthropological contributions to the representation of indigenous peoples' concerns in SIA is noted.

    A case study of Borroloola Aboriginal people and the MIM McArthur River mining project demonstrates that over simplification of issues is a danger in SIA that avoids direct community input relying on frameworks set by development protagonists and governments.

    "This Borroloola going to be our country without European owning any part of this country. This country will never be given to the Europeans whether we break the European Law or not. Only thing the European making their Law because they got' the mine at McArthur River and they still want more country and pushing the Aboriginal people out of their own country. This Borroloola has so many Sacred Sites in both sides of the McArthur River and now the Europeans going to push . us out of our Ceremony ground." (Willy O'Reilly in Land Rights News, 1977).

    Date of Award1992
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorPatrick McConvell (Supervisor)

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