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Discussion panel

Impacts of mining on Indigenous communities and the environment

Presenter Charles Darwin University Art Gallery
Contact person
Eileen Lim
T: 0889466621 E:
Location CDU Art Gallery, Building Orange 12, Casuarina Campus
Open to CDU staff and students, Public

This event requires RSVP by emailing to notify your attendance.


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Professor Jenny Davis will outline the role of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC). This committee provides scientific advice to decision-makers on the impact that coal seam gas and large coal mining development may have on Australia’s water resources. The IESC was established as a statutory committee in 2012 by the Australian Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) in response to community concerns about coal seam gas and coal mining. She will summarise the findings of a recent study, funded by the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), to describe the stygofauna (groundwater-dwelling species) of the Beetaloo Basin. The surveys were undertaken as a pre-condition of shale gas extraction. Professor Davi s is a member of the Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) at CDU. She contributes to freshwater ecology and environmental management as a researcher, a university teacher, a PhD supervisor and as a member of local, national and international committees. She has advanced the understanding of global wetlands through research on wetland loss, hydrological change, eutrophication and salinization. Dr Erica A. Garcia will discuss her research undertaking Geological and Bioregional Assessment (GBA)-funded research investigating surface water fauna in the Beetaloo Basin as part of the inquiry into fracking in the NT. The aim of this project is to undertake baseline aquatic biodiversity surveys in the Beetaloo region. Dr Garcia is an aquatic ecologist and researcher in the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, CDU.

Dr Kirsty Howey will discuss the McArthur River Mine and slow violence of Indigenous lands and waters. Using the case study of Australia’s most toxic mine – McArthur River Mine –Dr Howey’s talk will explain how mining, sacred site and environmental laws in Australia facilitate the ‘slow violence’ of environmental and cultural destruction. She shows how the laws that ostensibly contain such contamination are themselves permeable pathways that permit the devastating trajectory of acid mine drainage across time. Dr Howey is Co-Director of the Environment Centre NT and a former lawyer, who worked for a decade on various land rights and native title matters on behalf of traditional Aboriginal owners in the NT. She recently completed her PhD thesis at the University of Sydney, which examines the nexus between Indigenous land use agreements, the state and development in northern Australia.

Trish Rigby will discuss the impact of mining on remote Aboriginal communities in the Top End. Trish Rigby is General Manager of Executive Services, Northern Land Council. 

Craig Turley will discuss the Traditional Owner Engagement Land Management and the Tanami Desert Ten Year Plan; Tanami Regional Biodiversity Monitoring Program; and the operations of the Yapa Crew. Craig Turley is Superintendent Social Responsibility, Newmont Australia