Saturday, November 29, 2008

Marathon Resources AGM picketed

A small group of 25 persons picketed the Marathon Resources AGM in Adelaide on Friday November 28.

The small numbers were actually quite heartening given that it was a working day, and that only half that number had attended our picket of the uranium conference held in Adelaide earlier in the year.

Besides bloggers like myself and Bill Doyle ( ), there were representatives of the Friends of the Earth, the Wilderness Society, the Communist Party and the Greens. Greens MP Mark Parnell brought along his own amplification system and made a speech calling for Marathon to be denied mining rights in Arkaroola.

Marathon shows no signs of admitting defeat. It has recently appointed two new Directors, one with responsibility for trying to win further support from the Adnyamathanha Aboriginal community, who are the traditional owners of the area that includes Arkaroola; the other is a former employee of multinational giant GHD with expertise in water and energy management.

Dr Dan Tyson has been recruited because of his recent experience in negotiating “mutually beneficial outcomes for both mining companies and indigenous groups arising from major resource developments”.

Amy Tucker comes from GHD “where her role included work as the technical editor of a desalination pre-feasibility study report for BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam Expansion”. Marathon's water needs if Mt Gee goes ahead will be enormous, and it will presumably be Tucker's job to provide the spin for yet further waste and pollution of our nation's most valuable and needed resource.

Would it be too cynical to suggest that Chris Schacht and Mike Rann have a “gentleman’s agreement” to the effect that once the clean-up of illegally dumped wastes is concluded, Marathon will have its exploration licence restored with “close monitoring” by PIRSA and the EPA to assuage public concern about further despoliation?

If Marathon is sitting on such an undisclosed understanding, it would help explain its continual financial commitment to the project at a time when its capital flow from all operations is absolutely minimal.

Marathon Chairman Peter Williams was quite upbeat in his address to shareholders but once again was referring mainly to inferred – not proven – grades of uranium ore at Mt Gee. The red areas in their power point presentation don’t show the drill holes/pinholes, so they are guessing, but they reckon they have the motherlode for the Beverly uranium mine, that’s why they are excited.

That’s why Reg Sprigg sat on it, and some other deposits too. He gave it maximum protection from mining by declaring a sanctuary and reintroducing the yellow-footed rock wallaby. The problem was then and is now – that it never should have been a private sanctuary. It should always have been returned to the ownership of the indigenous custodians to manage as a national park.

It is interesting that former state Premier Don Dunstan’s old law firm got in on the act through Sam Appleyard who now works for Marathon. They’ve known all along, which is why the Dunstan government didn’t take it on as a sanctuary or park. The big money that supported the Dunstan government wanted the option of development one day. Local journalist Des Ryan wrote a book on Dunstan, It’s Grossly Improper, which reveals how corrupt he was – and was virtually run out of town as a consequence.

We repeat our call for Marathon to be thrown out of Arkaroola once and for all, and our support for Greens MP Mark Parnell’s bill to outlaw any mining in Arkaroola.

And in anticipation of a deal to let Marathon resume its exploration, we call again for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption in South Australia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It's interesting that Don Dunstan's careful planning to exploit South Australia's privilege of hosting the main body of the Great Artesian Basin for it's own private purposes
is now being exposed.

As Queenland water freefalls over the South Australian border into offshore mining company coffeurs, the dull Queenslanders are only just waking up to where there
water has been going.

What a shame it is that the water in the Great Artesian Basin will never return and Queenland will have to find alternative water along with Melbourne and Adelaide.

One can only hope and pray that the Australian people will achieve a government who acts on behalf of the people in this country and stop shuffling them around like
pawns on a chessboard in order to make politicians short term in office a memorable one in more ways than one.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that we have governments operating a private enterprise at the expense of the people it claims to represent in what was once a beautiful country of plenty.

Ad-Ministering is one thing, manipulation of legislations and private agendas are another. We are feeling the pinch of a doomed society and ecology with violations of places like the Arckaroola Wildeness Sanctuary a prime test case of this governments capabilities or recklessness.

Thank you for drawing this to our attention. It is indeed a barstardisation of a vote placed in this political partys square on the ballot paper.

It is quite clear that we need to be more discerning in the future as we look back to the election of Bob Hawke.

Many will remember Bob Hawke's overnight announcement that the Labor Party would stop logging in the Franklin River Wilderness area in Tasmania if Hawke was
voted in as prime minister of Australia. This gave voters the appearance that Hawke and Labor had turned seven shades greener overnight. Pehaps this same tactic will be used in the next state election as let's face it Marathon Shareholders there is no evidence of uranium YET!!!!

Hawke secured a landslide win on "green" votes for Labor, who at the time were hard up against Donn Chipp and the sincerely concerned Australian Democrats who were already on top of the relevence of ecological and environmental protection.

The last Federal election was a replay of the insincere Hawke/Labor election to office. Clearly Labor used the Green's vote to win the last Federal election. The country clearly voted Green and we are now betrayed by wolves in fading green clothing now covered in brown coal dust, contaminated water
and the pending destruction of major eco-systems. Rann, the man is using Geothermal to aid destruction.

The blind Shareholders of Marathon to name one, will clealy lose their money and their children's future. There is much evidence that in 40 years, the only mining done at Mt Gee has been in the Shareholders pockets. We might all LOL if it wasn't so tragic.

It is such a relief to know that the state elections are not far off and there may yet be a chance to save what's left of some of our precious eco systems, other important heritage and water. A natural system which (if not contaminated) will contribute immensely to the longevity of the people as global warming and chronic illnesses emerge from goverments hell bent on making money out of both the mining and sickness industries while our countries natural resources are destroyed.

by Awake Now