NLC Muckaty anthropology report authors

Parliament of Australia
Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee
Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management (Repeal and Consequential
Amendment) Bill 2008
Northern Land Council
Supplementary submission and response to questions on notice
4 December 2008

2.1 Explanatory comment

The NLC’s nomination of a site on Muckaty Station for consideration as a Commonwealth repository was based on comprehensive consultations during 2006 and 2007 and anthropological advice as to
the identity of the traditional Aboriginal owners and their consent. In accordance with s 3B(1) of the Act the NLC provided a detailed anthropological report to the Minister then responsible for that
statute. The authors of the report were Mr Robert Graham, Dr Brendan Corrigan and Mr Kim Barber. Each has substantial experience as an anthropologist in the Northern Territory (and elsewhere), having respectively received graduate qualifications in 1982, 1993 and 1982, and in the case of Dr Corrigan postgraduate qualifications in 2007.

Mr Graham is currently the NLC’s anthropology branch manager, and has conducted considerable anthropological research in the general region of Muckaty Station, including in relation to Amadeus
to Darwin gas pipeline in 1996, the Alice Springs to Darwin railway in 1998, the Federal Court native title hearing regarding Newcastle Waters Station in 2006, and the nomination of a site for
consideration as a radioactive waste repository on Muckaty Station in 2006 and 2007. Dr Corrigan also has conducted considerable anthropological research regarding Muckaty Station, particularly in
the context of a 2004 agreement regarding the Bootu Creek manganese mine located to the east on the Banka Banka pastoral lease and an associated lease for a haulage road along the southern
boundary of Muckaty Station to transport ore to the railway. The site nominated for consideration as a radioactive waste repository is located immediately to the north of the haulage road, and Dr
Corrigan conducted research specifically in relation to the nomination in 2006 and 2007. Mr Barber was the NLC’s anthropology branch manager at the time of the nomination, has substantial
experience over 25 years in the Northern Territory, the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields in Western Australia, and supervised the conduct of research in relation to the nomination and attended all
consultation meetings.

The report includes significant information regarding sacred sites and matters of cultural sensitivity to Aboriginal people, and was provided to the Minister on the basis that it and such culturally
sensitive information would not be published. For that reason the report cannot be provided to the Senate Committee. However, to assist the Committee, relevant information is provided below. This
information establishes that the NLC properly, comprehensively and accurately performed its functions in relation to the identification of the traditional Aboriginal owners of the nominated site,
the conduct of consultations with traditional Aboriginal owners and other interested or affected Aboriginal persons or groups, and the nomination based on the consent of the Ngapa traditional
Aboriginal owners responsible for the site.

(emphasis added – songlinesoz)

full NLC response