Mirarr support calls for a review of the administrative arrangements for Kakadu
6th July 2020
Mirarr country was part of the first stage of Kakadu granted in 1979. Establishing Kakadu was part of the original deal that saw uranium mining going ahead on Mirarr country without consent. It must be remembered that Kakadu was established as Aboriginal land first, national park second. This was the beginning of land rights, the beginning of native title in Australia. It was big deal then and it should still be a big deal now.
However, arrangements at Kakadu are tired. There are a lot of issues that need investment and improvement. The most urgent priority is to settle all outstanding land claims within the park. The NLC has been working with traditional owners to do that and Mirarr support that finally coming to a conclusion.
The administrative arrangements for running the park are definitely outdated. They go back to the 1980s when the Northern Territory was a very different place and had only just moved out from under Canberra’s control. If changes are to be made, the Mirarr will still be a central voice in any review of how Kakadu is run.
Over the past four years, Mirarr and GAC have worked incredibly closely with all stakeholders to find a pathway for the town of Jabiru to have a future after the mine closes. In the same way, the Mirarr now call on all stakeholders to work together to find solutions. Doing business with Aboriginal people has significantly changed since Kakadu was established in the 1980s. Recognising Aboriginal traditional owners is fundamental to responding to the current disputes.