Leader of mine expansion fight farewelled

 Sunday, May 6, 2007. 8:00am (AEST)About 800 people turned out in Borroloola, in the Northern Territory, yesterday for the funeral of one of the traditional owners who led the fight against the expansion of the McArthur River Mine.The 43-year-old was the brother of Territory MLA Barbara McCarthy.

He died days before the traditional owners won their Supreme Court challenge to the mine’s expansion.

Legislation overriding the decision was rammed through Territory Parliament on Thursday night despite three Indigenous Labor members crossing the floor to vote against the Bill.

Ms McCarthy has told the 7.30 Report she crossed the floor because she was insulted her Government did not wait until after her brother’s funeral to overturn his court victory.

“It was an absolute disgrace,” she said.

“It was the lowest form of disrespect against Indigenous people in this country when a great win had occurred for a senior traditional elder who’d just passed away and had not even been buried and I was devastated.

“The first thing that people felt was a great sense of hurt, a great sense of injustice, insult and felt that even before this man had been buried, they’d been kicked again and that was their first feelings that came through.”


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