Over 32 ocean parcels around the entire coast of Arnhem Land have been declared as offshore mining exploration sites.
Paltar Petroleum is an unconventional mining company who have submitted requests to the Australian Government for permission to explore this sacred region.
Seismic testing, drilling and fracking are all exploration methods and pose real threats to the environment and marine life.
In the proposed parcels are turtle breeding grounds, crocodile breeding grounds, bird sancturaries, and mangrove areas that are ecologically significiant.
The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 provides the basis upon which the Aboriginal people of the NT can claim rights to land based on traditional occupation. Unfortunately the 'Land' is defined as finishing at the 'low mean water mark'. This is of course not where Aboriginal peoples stories, song lines, sacred sites and dreaming ends.
Their connection to the water is inherent in the very essence of who they are and connects countrymen and women from all across the entire Arnhem Land region by the creation stories. Ancestral beings transformed the landscape and the spirits of these beings inhabit specific sacred sites, often waterholes and fresh water springs in the estates of clan groups.
Such sites form the forces of a clan's spiritual life. In the exact location of one of the proposed mining exploration sites in Maningrida there exists a freshwater spring surrounded by jungle at the mouth of the Liverpool River. It is the Djomi Dreaming site. Mermaids live in the freshwater spring. Freshwater and Saltwater clans who own separate mermaid sites are linked by stories of a mermaid spirit swimming up from the sea to the freshwater. Djomi is seen as a metaphor for the cultural network that exists around the Maningrida area. This is just one example of the sacred ties Aboriginal people have with the waters under threat from offshore mining.
Pleasestand with us to Protect Arnhem Land.