Tiwi Islands – Northern Territory

Hearings Dates & Locations in NT Announced

Posted by tiwiccbb on May 8, 2009

One Response to “Hearings Dates & Locations in NT Announced”

  1. zacd said

    ‘Fear and intimidation’ on Tiwi Islands
    Posted Wed May 20, 2009 5:09pm AEST

    Tiwi Islands (ABC TV)
    Map: Darwin 0800
    An inquiry into forestry on the Tiwi Islands has heard from women who feel too threatened to publicly speak out against the industry.
    The Senate committee inquiry, which is examining the impact of forestry operations on the islands, yesterday held an in camera session because a number of women did not want to put their names on record.
    The Member for Arafura, Marion Scrymgour, says the women are concerned about the environmental and social impacts of the operations.
    She says some women have been threatened with physical abuse if they speak out.
    “The fear and the intimidation is a real thing and that’s what I keep saying,” she said.
    “People deny that it happens.”
    Meanwhile, the committee has raised concerns that it has taken three days of hearings for senators to work out how payments from Great Southern’s forestry operations on the islands are distributed to islanders.
    The committee heard that Tiwi families whose land is used for forestry purposes get paid rent per hectare, which is held by a Tiwi Land Council company for distribution.
    But Senator Trish Crossin says the land council has not adequately communicated the royalty payment process to confused islanders.
    “They certainly need to be getting their message out better on how that money is collected, how you can access that money and how that money is given.”
    Great Southern was expected to appear before the committee today but its appearance was postponed because of the company’s recent fall into voluntary receivership.

    Investigate Tiwi Land Council: Scrymgour
    Posted Tue May 19, 2009 3:22pm AEST

    “I know a lot of Tiwis don’t have confidence in their own land council” … Marion Scrymgour. [File image]. (Anna Henderson)
    Map: Darwin 0800
    The Member for Arafura, Marion Scrymgour, is calling on the Federal Government to investigate the Tiwi Land Council’s finances and its efforts to stimulate economic development on the islands.
    Marion Scrymgour says she is sick of seeing failed commercial projects on the islands, including the marine harvest fish farm and the Matilda Minerals project.
    Now the future of forestry projects on the Tiwi Islands, which are run by Great Southern, are in doubt after the company went into administration.
    Ms Scrymgour says the land council was unwise to set up the deal with Great Southern.
    “I know a lot of Tiwis don’t have confidence in their own land council,” she said.
    “They’ve never had that confidence and until the Federal Government steps in with a bit more commitment, they’re never ever going to move forward with any economic prosperity.”
    But the land council’s chief executive, John Hicks, says he thinks the Melville Island forestry plantation will still be a success even if the Tiwi people have to take it over.
    He says Marion Scrymgour’s concerns about the market for woodchips from plantations are not valid.
    “It is an asset that will be harvesting 3,000 hectares a year in 2013-14,” he said.
    “And as long as you plant them back, you have an economy that involves $40 million worth of contracts a year, every year, for Tiwi workers and returns something like $50 million per annum.”

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