A delegation of Garawa people from Borroloola and their supporters gathered on September 2 at Parliament House in Darwin to present the NT government with a petition.
The petition, signed by 3600 people, calls on the government to shut down and clean up Glencore’s McArthur River lead and zinc mine upstream from Borroloola.
Freedom of Information documents recently revealed that several government departments had been aware of the high levels of heavy metals leaking into the waterways for 18 months.
Recently, cattle on the site have been culled rather than exported due to having high lead levels.
But as Nancy McDinny from Borroloola said: “Everyone keeps talking about the cattle, but what about the people? We're worried about the people, the river, the shells and fish. We want the land to be free and clean for our children to walk on. This is where we teach them.”
Conrad Rory, also from Borroloola, said: “We want the government to clean it up. They know it's poison. They just can't stand the truth. We want them to close the mine and clean up their mess.”