The Mithaka people of Channel Country, Queensland, Australia have a serious problem: Australia wants to frack their traditional homeland, targeting hundreds of wells beneath their rivers and floodplains for extracting shale oil and gas. Despite staunch opposition from the Mithaka, Queensland’s government is proceeding with fracking plans—including removing protective legislation. Those are legal decisions the Mithaka haven’t been meaningfully consulted on.
In response, the Mithaka have escalated their concerns to the international level, working with the non-profit public interest law organization Earthjustice to bring their issue to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People (they sent their letter on December 3, 2014). You can read their letter here; it states:
The environmental harm likely to be caused by petroleum exploitation also poses a serious threat to our culture. Because Australia has taken no action to ensure that we are consulted and involved in these decisions, or to protect our rights to our culture, it is violating its duty to protect our human rights.
Fracking is just one way that the Abbott administration in Australia is assaulting the environment at both the national and global level – it is also working diligently to destroy the Great Barrier Reef, among other crimes against humanity (Salon has a rundown here).
Images vis Someofus, Earthjustice