FMG imposes ‘apartheid-like’ rules

FMG imposes ‘apartheid-like’ rules on Yindjibarndi visits to country


Having acquired a limited right to mine in Yindjibarndi country, FMG is now demanding that Yindjibarndi people stay out of their traditional country and apply to FMG ‘managers’ for permission in writing to enter.

The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) has rejected FMG’s conditions.

YAC has made it clear to FMG that the purpose of their current visit to Ganyjingarringunha (Solomon Hub) is not to prevent FMG from exercising any of its mining rights, but to peacefully go about their cultural business.

This journey of ceremony and cultural recording may be the last opportunity Yindjibarndi elders have to make a full record, which can be used by future generations of Yindjibarndi to restore and revive traditional connections – once FMG’s 40 year right to mine ceases, and the enormous task of rehabilitation begins.

FMG’s controls would effectively prevent Yindjibarndi traditional owners from recording heritage that is most critically endangered by the expansion of FMG’s Solomon mining project; and simultaneously prevent independent archaeologists and anthropologists, who have volunteered their professional assistance, from getting a close-up view of, and recording with digital media, the songs and ceremonies for that country, and the country itself, before it is destroyed by FMG.

“This FMG notice is a throw-back to the pre-1967 laws that controlled when and where our people could go, made us beg for travel permits, and kept us under constant surveillance and the fear of punishment,” said YAC CEO, Michael Woodley. "Such laws were abolished half a century ago because they were destructive and unjust, and because the Australian people recognised that they rubbished our Human Rights as the first Australians. Now, in country they wish to mine, FMG want to bring back these dark ages… We are very disappointed by FMG’s attempt to impose these ‘apartheid-like’ conditions.”

While on country, Yindjibarndi elders can be reached on satellite phone –
0147 164889 Alternatively, contact George Irving, YAC legal counsel – gmirving

Link to FMG Access Authorisation notice,
and other Primary Documents:


For further information
Michael Woodley – CEO YAC – mwoodley

Phil Davies YAC Anthropologist/Public Officer – 0429 110 451 pdavies

For media materials please contact – media

111209 FMG imposes apartheid-like rules.pdf

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