Blacks oppose CRA mine pipeline
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Aborigines at the Doomadgee community in north-west Queensland have confronted mining giant CRA over plans to build a zinc slurry pipeline to the sea near their land.
On October 20, around 60 members of four tribes at Doomadgee blocked the road to prevent a five-member CRA negotiating team entering the community to discuss the social impact of the company's mining plan.
"A situation similar to Bougainville [in which the island people have forced closure of CRA's copper mine and launched a struggle for independence] would not be out of the question, because we are not going to back down on this issue", spokesperson for the Gunggalida tribe, Wadjularbinna, said.
"It could come to that because somewhere down the track something has got to give. We are not going to sell our souls for monetary gain — desperate people do desperate things", she warned.
CRA plans to pump zinc slurry from the Century project, about 90 km from Doomadgee, through a 25 cm diameter underground pipeline to a barge loading facility at Burketown, Karumba or Point Parker in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Wadjularbinna said the risk of spills from the pipeline was "a massive concern" and would endanger delicate fishing grounds in the gulf used by Aboriginal people.