Bridge moratorium extended
By Anthony Thirlwall
ADELAIDE — On World Environment Day, June 6, a rally at Goolwa drew together about 500 Aboriginal people and their supporters from across the state. They were provided with entertainment and heard speakers opposing the construction of the Hindmarsh Island bridge.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission representative Matt Rigney told the crowd that Aborigines had been "compromising for over 200 years", and the areas of Aboriginal cultural significance were threatened by the bridge and development on Hindmarsh Island were "not up for negotiation".
The atmosphere of the day was inspiring and positive despite attempts by supporters of the bridge to provoke a confrontation. A raft carrying a banner reading "Stop Aboriginal Political Shit" made several passes by the rally. It was largely ignored.
This provocation is part of a racist campaign being organised by those who support the development. They have publicised a public rally in support of the development by distributing leaflets claiming, "Today the Aboriginal Heritage Act is affecting our bridge, tomorrow it could be your backyard or local playground".
Meanwhile, the 30-day moratorium on the development imposed by the federal government has been extended to 60 days.
This should give Cherly Saunders, a constitutional expert, adequate time to consider all of the submissions on the project's impact before determining whether a permanent federal government order is needed to stop the bridge.