Mining and Indigenous Peoples in Australasia
Sydney UP, $22.95pb
Aborigines and Diamond Mining: The politics of resource development in the East Kimberley Western Australia
UWA Press, $25pb
If John Hewson leads the next Australian government, we are likely to see a reversal of the current government ban on mining at Coronation Hill and the lifting of other impediments to mining. Should the fight to preserve an indigenous right to negotiate other’s access to mineralised lands have to be renewed, these two books will make invaluable background reading. They document the awesome political responsibilities on nation-states wishing to encourage economic development but trying also to satisfy the legitimate and changing claims of the traditional owners of mineralised lands. National leader’s political commitment to indigenous rights is only one of the issues highlighted here. Of equal importance is the complex and changing attitudes of the landowners themselves.