Comments by two prominent voices in the Indigenous community this week have blown apart the Greens/environmental lobby claim to be walking in step with Aboriginal interests.
Nyunggai Warren Mundine and Marcia Langton had stinging words for the Greens and their activist supporters exposing their conduct as misleading and their motivation as entirely self-centred.
The pair could hardly have been more direct, talking about the way Indigenous interests were “hijacked” by Greens/activist in terms of resource development.
Mundine, a long-time leader and advocate in the Aboriginal community, used a newspaper column this week to deliver a blunt message to Greens/activists: “Stop undermining the interests of Aboriginal people”.
His comments followed comments by indigenous academic Marcia Langton, in a speech to a mining industry gathering in Queensland, in which Ms Langton said the “environmental industry” was treating Indigenous people as “collateral damage”.
Ms Langton said that activists were often funded by foreign interests in doing so. What she could have added is that they are getting the benefit of direct and implied subsidy from Australian taxpayers as well – via direct Government grants, as well as generous tax concessions enjoyed by many enviro-activist groups.
“Let me be clear for those who are not aware of the problems we face,” Ms Langton said.
“Cashed-up green groups, some funded by wealthy overseas interests, oppose mining projects with often-flimsy evidence and misrepresent the evidence to the public.
“They deliberately thwart the aspirations and native title achievements of the majority of Indigenous people by deception, by persuading the media and the public that a small handful of Indigenous campaigners who oppose the legitimate interests of the majority of their own people, are the truth-tellers and heroes.”
Mr Mundine took particular aim at Greens Deputy Leader Larissa Waters, a Senator from the resources State of Queensland.
On the same day that Ms Langton made her speech, Senator Waters had approved an advertisement about the proposed Adani coal mine which said: “No consent from traditional owners. No way.”
“This statement is false,” Mr Mundine wrote.
“Adani has agreed to six Indigenous land use agreements with three traditional owner groups.
“Ms Waters is wrong if she thinks there is no consent from traditional owners.”
He went on to characterise the Greens position thus:
“The Greens are a far-Left group with a cause.
“Green activism is about stopping all development. It’s not just mining.
“Scratch the surface and you’ll find opposition to farming, infrastructure, manufacturing and any other development.
“In Australia they feign alliance with farmers because of mutual opposition to gas fracking and water use for mining. Pastoralists shouldn’t be so naïve as to think Green groups won’t aim at pastoral water use and environmental impact.”