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Dirty Business:How Mining Made Australia -

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(generated from captions) And they're still with us today

in our towns and cities,

in our culture,

in our language and in our blood.

And in the very existence
of the modern nation-states
of northern Europe.

But that's not what we remember,
or why.

The truth is,
the myth and the legend of them,

the excitement and the adventure,

is all there
in the sound of one word -


Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

Australia is a vast and lucky land.

Beneath our feet is a treasure trove
of unimaginable riches.

But this story is about much more

than precious minerals
and dusty mine shafts.

For 150 years,

mining has changed the lives
of us all

in unexpected
and extraordinary ways.

It sparked waves of mass immigration

and ignited political revolt.

The stockade is taken
and 30 people are lying dead.

They were the shock troops
of Australian democracy.

Axe the tax!

But mining has also toppled
Prime Ministers.

Their only job
is to deliver a profit

and if that means that they bring
the whole world down with them,

then too bad.

It's wrenched
Aboriginal peoples' land away.

Yet mining could be the very thing

that offers
the First Australians hope.

What I've seen in my lifetime

is the transformation
of the mining industry

from the pillagers

to the major investors
in the indigenous world.

It's saved Australia
from financial ruin

and made people rich
in the most unpredictable ways.

There's always been a link between
mining and prostitution.

The promise for them was the same as the promise for the men
they got the gold as well.

But this boom and bust business

ignites raging clashes
over who gets the money.

The police came and they told us,
you know, "get out."

"They're gonna come
and they're gonna burn houses."

Mining's rich history
is a battleground that has divided,

and yet forged, the nation.

It has an effect upon every
aspect of our lives.

So the story of mining
is Australia's story.



and Land.

This is the epic history of mining.


and thousands of Chinese
and European miners

are pouring into Queensland
in search of gold.

The First Australians who settled
here around 60,000 years ago

have never seen a foreigner.

This is first contact,

and the invaders present
a confusing threat.

Here were thousands of totally
foreign, incomprehensible men

behaving in ways that made
absolutely no sense

to the indigenous people.

Because the miners wanted
to explore everywhere,

and in many cases,
the Aborigines were shot down.

But on the other hand,
many miners were speared.

The conflict was probably

as serious and bloody
as any other conflict

in other parts of Australia.

And so begins a bitter battle

between the First Australians
and big mining

that runs for decades.

It's a conflict that
will have unexpected

and extraordinary consequences
for all Australians.

A fight that will decide who owns
the land beneath our feet.

The swinging 60s,

and for many Australians
it's a time of hedonism and freedom.

But in the remote corners
of this vast continent,

an ugly and hidden war is raging.

At the Aboriginal reserve of Yirrkala
in the Northern Territory,

bauxite has been found.

Excavation begins without
any negotiation

with the traditional elders.

There had been, in many ways,
little change

from the 19th into the 20th century,

if we just take the one particular
and very, very relevant question...

Did Aborigines have any rights
to the land on which they lived?

And the answer in 1860 was no,

and the answer in 1960 was no.

Aboriginal people had no power,

there were no Land Councils,
there was so legislation.

I mean, they were barely recognised

within the apparatus of
the Australian state, as it were.

So for the mining companies,
just an irrelevancy.

I mean, we were being provided
with consent permits

to go out and explore at the behest
of state governments

and we were gonna do that.

The Yolgnu clan leaders
couldn't believe

that someone could just come in
and take their land from them,

and they believed that they must
have some rights

because, you know,

the land had been inherited
from their forefathers,

their laws said it was theirs
since time immemorial

and suddenly they were
losing their land

by an act of state.

They weren't prepared
to accept that.

Aboriginal people may not yet
be included in the census

and very few of them vote,

but mining is now the catalyst
for the First Australians

to take a stand over land rights.

The elders of Yirrkala,
including Munggurrawuy Yunupingu,

create one of the most significant

in Australian history.

What was remarkable
about this petition

was the sacred design
and the English words

written in the correct legal format

together on a piece of bark.

The painted design
proclaims indigenous law

and depicts the ancient relationship

of the First Australians to the land.

On the 14th of August, 1963,

the bark petitions are presented
to Canberra.

They are the first traditional
documents ever

to be recognised
by the Australian Parliament.

The bark petition was a brilliant
piece of political theatre.

It instantly drew the attention
of white Australia,

and for that matter, from people
in other parts of the world.

So it was one
of the most important events

in the evolution
of the modern land rights movement.

It is the first of a very long

history of Aboriginal people

beginning to work out
how to use white institutions,

where they use courts,

where they use regulations,
where they use laws,

where they use many other
of the white man's mechanisms

to try and protect their country.

For the first time,

a mining dispute is inspiring
Aboriginal people

to fight for their rights.

And ironically, an industry that
is rapidly destroying ancient lands

is about to offer an extraordinary

to a group of oppressed
indigenous Australians.

It's 1968

and mining giant BHP is desperate
to build a railway line

to carry its iron ore
to Port Hedland.

But they're short of workers
who can cope

with the unforgiving conditions
of the baking Pilbara.

Young, fit Torres Strait Islander men

could be the answer.

John Kennell suddenly finds himself
in the middle of the Pilbara

working as a foreman on the line.

John Kennell is joined by more than
100 Torres Strait Islanders,

and their lives are changed.

Mining is unshackling a people
from their past.

For years, the lives of Islanders

have been controlled
by the Federal Government.

It's fair to say Islanders
had no rights.

They couldn't leave Torres Strait
without permission.

They couldn't marry without
permission of the Protector.

There was very little that they
could do for themselves.

They didn't have the sense,

it was believed,
to handle their own money.

So as a way of dealing with that
for Islanders,

the government looked after
people's money.

After a life of oppression,

John Kennell and his fellow workers

are free men
and earning their own cash.

Mining has unexpectedly fast tracked

the rights of some First Australians.

And now, the battleground will shift
from the remote Pilbara

to the heart
of the Australian justice system.

The fight between Aboriginal people
and mining

is the catalyst for the laws
that govern all Australians

to be challenged.

It's March 1970,

and seven years after presenting
the bark petitions to Canberra,

the elders of Yirkalla bring
their case to the Supreme Court.

This was the first court case
in Australian history

dealing with the question
of who owned the land.

The important thing about this
case is that

it's an Aboriginal group that can
explain its traditional laws

and land tenure system
and laws of inheritance,

its clan system, its religion,

in elaborate detail to a court.

The hearing lasts
for more than a year.

The elders make the compelling

that they are the rightful owners
of Yirkalla,

and that mining had no right
to destroy their land.

But the court rejects their case.

The First Australians lose

because a fundamental doctrine
remains in force.

The critical judgement is that
the Yirkalla traditional owners

do not own their land.

The critical judgement is that
Aboriginal people in Australia

do not own land.

So this is a confirmation,

by a senior judge,
in a senior court,

that the doctrine of Terra Nullius,

that Aboriginal people did not own
the land when white people arrived,

is still Australian law.

But this defeat is not the end.

It is the beginning.


mining has kick started
the long journey

for the First Australians
to be recognised

as the original owners
of this vast land.

Mining was the catalyst
of Aboriginal land rights,

because the argument
for the power of the state

to take over Aboriginal land was
so offensive to decent Australians.

You know, it more or less says,

Aborigines aren't exactly
noble savages.

They do appear to have laws.

Unfortunately, our law says
they are noble savages.

And decent Australians said, no,

we're not having that
as the foundation of our nation.

That is not going to be the basis
of our nation.

And so that's the beginning
of the change.

Until now, the battle between the
First Australians and mining

has been fought in far away corners
of the continent.

But this conflict is now sweeping
across Australia.

It's shaking awake the nation
to the plight of indigenous people.

The Opposition Labor Party leader,
Gough Whitlam,

is a keen observer
of the Yirrkala court case,

and within a year,
announces plans

for Australia's first
national antidiscriminatory laws.

We ought to be angry
at the mindless destruction

of our national and historical

We will legislate to give Aborigines
land rights.

(Loud applause)

One of the first decisions he made

was to investigate how Aboriginal
land rights could be recognised,

not whether or not they could be

and Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser

picks up the baton and passes the
Northern Territory Land Rights Act.

It may only be in one single state,

but the doctrine of Terra Nullius
has been overturned.

For the first time, Aboriginal
people are put in a position

where they can actually control

what the mining industry
can do on their land.

Once they establish their ownership,

a mining company
cannot come onto their land

and explore for minerals

or mine minerals
without their consent.

This was something totally

It had been accepted
for almost 200 years,

that the Aboriginal people
could not own the land.

Now this was overturning
all those certainties

that people had
about very large areas of Australia.

Most Australians are oblivious
to the fact,

but the battle between mining
and Aboriginal people

is forcing the laws of the land
they live in to be changed.

And this story has only just begun.

Soon, indigenous people will rise up

to confront big mining
for the first time.

The fight to own the land
is about to get physical.

Growing up in Newcastle, we're no stranger to hard work. You earn your keep. You know the value of a dollar. You do more with what you've got. You've earned it. We get that. That's why for nearly 110 years, we've been developing
smarter ways to grow your wealth, easier ways to do your banking, more affordable ways
to own your own home, and keeping the banks
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1978, and uranium has been discovered
in the Northern Territory,

250 kilometres east of Darwin.

It could be one of the biggest
deposits anywhere in the world

and be worth billions of dollars.

There is tremendous pressure

to develop uranium as an alternative
source of energy.

There is tremendous pressure
in Australia

to try and reduce Australia's
dependence on oil.

But there's a problem.

This highly radioactive nuclear

lies on land already earmarked

to become Australia's largest
national park,


So the extraordinary decision
is taken

to ring fence the proposed mine site

and exclude it from the park.

Kakadu was from day one
like a Swiss cheese park.

The mining industry picked out,

well you can't have that bit,
that bit or that bit.

They're ours.
You can have the rest.

But this battle is not just about
one uranium mine being carved out of a pristine park.

It's about whether the laws
of Australia

can really protect
the First Australians.

The proposed mine
would rip through land

that has been occupied by the Mirarr
people for thousands of years.

Immediately, they find themselves

under intense pressure
from government.

Anyone who stands in their way
will be threatened

and bullied and cajoled.

Ultimatums will be delivered,

and that's exactly what happened
in this case.

The Federal government wanted
to mine uranium,

and they weren't going to let
Aboriginal people

stand in their way.

As a teenager, Galarrwuy Yunupingu
helped his father

deliver the famous bark petitions
to Canberra.

He's now Chairman
of the Northern Land Council

and chief negotiator
between the warring factions

of mining companies
and the First Australians.

Yunupingu and a government delegation

deliver a stark message
to the elders.

Resisting the Ranger mine is futile.

We think it is a fair agreement,

and we think it's a proper agreement
for the Aboriginal people,

and for the whole of Australia.

So the question now isn't whether
or not there is going to be mining,

but how it's going to be
carried out.

Despite the words of warning,

the opposition of the traditional
owners is clear.

The much celebrated
Northern Territory Land Rights Act

was supposed to protect
the First Australians.

But the reality is,

a last minute change
by the government

means the Mirarrs' right
to veto a mine

does not apply in the case of Ranger.

Workers have already begun
clearing the area.

Behind the scenes,

Galarrwuy Yunupingu claims
he's now faced with an ultimatum

from the Fraser government.

Get the Mirarr to sign the deal,

or land rights for Aboriginal people
could be under threat,

and funding to communities cut.

The Mirarr are also warned
that if the mine isn't agreed to,

plans for Kakadu National Park
will be scrapped.

The Land Rights Act was really

that if governments chose,
they could overrule

the decisions of Aboriginal people

quickly, easily
and without any justice.

Seemingly with no other option,

the elders sign the deal.

Ranger mine is forced through.

In battle after battle,

the government, the courts
and even the laws of the land

have all failed to defend
Aboriginal people

against the might of mining.

The time has come
for the First Australians

to take matters into their own hands.

CROWD: No mining on sacred site!

It's 1979

and near the sacred ground
of Pea Hill at Noonkanbah in WA,

an angry mob of locals
have forced workers

to stop drilling for oil
and are now blockading the mine site.

For the first time in history,

Aboriginal people are taking
direct action against big mining.

But this is a battle waged

against the richest mining state
in the land,

and the WA government,
led by Premier Sir Charles Court,

will not compromise.

This was a flashpoint.

Sir Charles Court clearly saw

that if he allowed people on
Noonkanbah to stop that oil drilling

it could be the thin edge
of the wedge.

Western Australia would no longer be
able to develop its mining industry

in the way it wanted.

With the crisis deepening,

Fred Chaney,

is flown in from Canberra.

My recollection of that period
is of almost uniform hostility

to the idea
that Aboriginal people's interests

should be taken into account

and universal hostility to the idea

that Aboriginal interests could
impede an economic development.

Western Australia is not used

to Aboriginal people
getting in the way

of what it wants to do,

and Sir Charles Court is not about
to let them start now. The stand off is suddenly attracting
the attention

of the entire nation.

But under the media's glare,
Court will not be denied.


He takes the extraordinary
and unprecedented decision

to send in the state police
to smash the blockade.

It's Western Australia.

It might be 1979 in
the rest of the planet

but it's Western Australia,

and I think this was pretty much
the showcase for the WA government

to tell the rest of the world,
and especially Aborigines,

that this is how business would be
done in Western Australia.

It was the first time that the state
with all its power

had confronted Aboriginal people

who were, for the first time,
exercising their power to protest.

It was a huge moment
in the history of Australia.

I can say with absolute certainty
that it was probably the low point

of my political,
if not my whole life,

because that sort of confrontation,
that sort of division,

that use of force
to overcome the Aboriginal interest,

was totally opposite
to what I wanted to see happening.

Oil is never found at Noonkanbah.

And once again, the rights
of traditional land owners

have been denied.

But in the latest battle
with mining and government,

the First Australians have started
to rise up.

Aboriginal people in the broader

do not see it as a defeat.

They celebrate it,
because they see it

as the point where they got together

and they started getting properly

A new era may be on the horizon,

but this is a long and painful fight.

In the next battle to own the land
beneath our feet,

big mining will play on the fears and
racism of white Australians.

A state of apartheid and a divided
nation, is the threat now.

Through Aboriginal land claims,

your right of access
to up to 50% of Western Australia

could be taken away.

Growing up in Newcastle, we're no stranger to hard work. You earn your keep. You know the value of a dollar. You do more with what you've got. You've earned it. We get that. That's why for nearly 110 years, we've been developing
smarter ways to grow your wealth, easier ways to do your banking, more affordable ways
to own your own home, and keeping the banks
honest along the way.

Lachie, hat on.

You're slightly just across here.

(ALL LAUGH) Backbehind the checkpoint. Done.

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1982 and Brisbane is hosting
the Commonwealth Games.


With the world watching,

protesters for Aboriginal rights
target the event.

We have decided to march
from Garden City

to the QEII Stadium.

The Labor Party, it seems,
is listening.

The whole world's watching!

Leader Bob Hawke promises to extend

the Northern Territory
Land Rights Act

to all of Australia.

Hawke's plan could mean the most
fundamental change of law

to affect Aboriginal people
for 200 years.

But big mining will now attempt
to sabotage the plan

by stoking up fear and racism.

The mining industry is aghast

at the Labor government's proposals.

This, in a way, is their worst

It is the Northern Territory model

being applied across the country.

The hotbed of opposition is in WA,

the richest mining area
in Australia.

The hated of Aboriginal people
over there was palpable and vicious.

The mining industry and
the Western Australian government

took the view that Aboriginal people

were not going to get any rights
in WA

and that's when they started
to spend serious money

on public campaigns

against Aboriginal people,
and Aboriginal rights.

that as a Western Australian

you're a part owner of your state's
mineral resources?

They respond
with quite a dramatic ad,

where a black hand builds a wall
of bricks with the black people in the north
with most of the wealth.

across Western Australia

and isolates the north, which of
course is where the iron ore is,

where a lot of the wealth is,
from the south.

Through Aboriginal land claims,

your right of access to up to 50%
of Western Australia

could be taken away ...

So the clear implication is that
if this legislation is passed,

Western Australia will end up
with an apartheid state

You could see how they're trapped
in the old Cold War mentality,

and you know,
terrifying the living daylights

out of, you know, your Kath and Kim
types out there in the suburbs.

It was truly appalling.

MALE VOICEOVER: You think it's fair
that less than 3% of our population

should claim ownership
of up to 50% of our land?

But I thought that campaign
was disgusting.

I thought it was a disgrace.

I thought it was designed to inflame
racial feeling

and anti-Aboriginal feeling,

and in that sense I believe
it was very successful.

Under the barrage of racial

and fearing a voter backlash,

Hawke, now Prime Minister,

drops his plans for national
land rights.

Governments like Bob Hawke's
were put at risk

of losing at the next election

should there be even a whiff
of compassion for Aboriginal people

who'd been comprehensively depicted

as barbarous savages

by the Australian Mining Industry
Council campaign.

In every state
apart from the Northern Territory,

the fundamental premise

remains in force.

Terra Nullius lives on.

The First Australians are still not
recognised as owners of the land.

They need a game changer.

It comes in the form
of a Torres Strait Islander

by the name of Eddie Mabo.

For a decade, Mabo has been
in the courts

arguing that his people,
not the Queensland government,

own their land.

For young mining geologist
Bruce Harvey,

there's a realisation
that a new era is dawning.

I can actually remember walking

into the office
of my Managing Director

while the Chief Counsel
was in there,

and the lawyer was advising
my Managing Director he said

"Look, there's this court case
in Queensland running.

"It's called Mabo.

"The word I'm getting is that

"although it's been running now
for a decade

"and there have been quite a lot
of setbacks,

"that it's... they're going
to get it.Eddie Mabo is..."

and I'm thinking "Who's Eddie Mabo
and what's all this about?"

"This is going to fundamentally
change the way that we work."

I remember him saying to
my Managing Director "This is huge.

"We will no longer be able to work
the way we have been

"for the last two or three decades."

The 3rd of June, 1992.

Mabo wins.

Two centuries of Australian law
is overturned.

I just starting ringing people
saying, can you believe it?

It was incredible.

It was a history-changing decision.

Well the fundamental change
is that the Aborigines

were recognised by the highest court
in the land as landowners.

No mine could proceed in many parts
of Australia

without a recognition
of Aboriginal ownership

and a realisation that you had
to deal with them.

The breakthrough has been made.

Australia has changed.

It begins, I think, with an act
of recognition.

Recognition that it was we
who did the dispossessing.

We took the traditional lands

and smashed a traditional way
of life.

We committed the murders.

We took the children
from their mothers.

We practised discrimination
and exclusion.

But for the second time in a decade,

mining spearheads a campaign

that whips Australians up
into a fearful frenzy.

There are stark warnings
that Aboriginal people

will now make land grabs
right across Australia.

From farms to people's gardens.

Mabo to me

is ultimately
as bad as I see it to be

because of its potential to destroy
our society.

The economic and political future
of Australia has been put at risk,

and our territorial integrity
is under threat.

It's not only every lease,

it's every property in Australia
that could be at risk.

The scaremongering
that was going on,

and reaching out to the court
of public appeal

and trying to, you know,
get the farmers onside with us,

and the small town councils
and caravan park owners

and fishermen and, you know,

anyone else who had any interests
in the outback Australia whatsoever.

Well actually
and/or urban Australia.

I mean, people were deliberately

the potential for native title
to, you know,

reach into the backyards of every
suburban dwelling in Australia.

It was just dreadful.

It was so ugly, it was so vitriolic.

You know, from my point of view
it was laughable.


It was beyond comprehension, really.

Despite the backlash,
the principles of Mabo are made law.

The First Australians
now have the right

to negotiate with big mining
over the future of their land.

But this war is far from over.

A new era is about to begin

as thousands of environmental
protesters from across Australia

are drawn to this battlefield.

a new battle is brewing.

An iconic struggle that will spread
from the remote Northern Territory

into the lives and homes
of all Australians.

Ranger uranium mine
has already been up and running

for almost 20 years.

For the local Mirarr people,
its impact has been clear.

In the first instance,
you had the construction of a mine,

you had the construction
of a mining town at Jabaru,

you had the influx of a large
white population

compared to the small Aboriginal

You know, a flood of money into
the area and immediately inequity.

Rich white people
in the Jabaru township,

poor Aboriginal people
living in their outstations,

Aboriginal people marginalised
on their own land.

Royalty payments have been made
by the mining company since 1978.

But all there is to show for it
is a fractured community.

Over the years, the mining company,

the Northern Territory government
and the Federal government

had done a great job
in convincing people

that mining had been agreed to

by the Aboriginal people
in the region,

that it delivered wonderful

that it took place
contained by pristine wilderness.

And this absolutely was not true.

And now, a new uranium mine,

just a few kilometres from Ranger,
has been opened up.

The site is Jabiluka.

Under pressure,
the traditional land owners

signed a second deal after Ranger.

The mining company believes
this deal means

they can mine at Jabiluka
without any further negotiation.

But the next generation
of Mirarr elders

are ready to make a stand.

They're led by Yvonne Margarula.

Money is not gonna fixing

It's going to kill us.

They can take it back,
the white man money,

not blackfella money.

From her point of view,

what she was witnessing
was the destruction of her people.

And she said again and again,

over the subsequent years

that if Jabiluka went ahead,

that would mean
the end of her people.

Yvonne and her family are not alone.

Jacqui Katona is working
in the Northern Territory

and has family connections
to the Mirarr.

She immediately joins the fight
to stop Jabiluka.

The mining company,
the Northern Territory government

and the Federal government
hadn't allowed

for people to disagree with them.

They hadn't allowed for the issues
to be debated.

And really, that's what
the Mirarr were saying.

Ask us what we think about it.

Ask us what we've enjoyed
over the last 20 years.

Ask us what the outcomes
have been for our people.

We don't think it works,
and we don't want it.

Yvonne and Jacqui were a perfect

Yvonne provided the cultural
and the moral authority.

Yvonne provided the link
with Aboriginal occupation

and connection
to that country forever.

And Jacqui provided an articulate,

feisty, skilled
and passionate advocate.

This is fantastic.
Thank you!

So you had this deep sense of place

with this strong sense
of message and story.

We will not tolerate
the actions of police

in trying to intimidate people

from protecting the future
for this country.

The future of this country
rests with us.


We weren't sure how we were going
to do it,

but we were sure
it had to be stopped,

and that really was the only basis
that got us up every morning

to continue to find a way
to solve the mystery

about how we were going to protect
Aboriginal rights

in the face of a history
that said it wasn't possible.

Jabiluka is another David and Goliath

But there's a difference.

A new battleground has opened up...

the environment.

On an international scale,

green campaigners come out to support
Aboriginal people against mining

in an iconic struggle.

Dave Sweeney is one of those

and leads the anti-uranium movement.

Here's this beautiful country,
here are the traditional owners,

here's this big mining company
want to dig up a horrible mineral.

Traditional owners say no,
people come to help.

Mining company says yes,

government does what it can

Old fashioned fight.


Thousands of environmentalists
pour into Kakadu

and blockade the Jabiluka mine.

But this is just part of the story.

Thousands more hear the message

and take the protest to the streets
of Australia's major cities.

What began as yet another battle
between Aboriginal people and mining

in a remote corner
of a vast continent,

has arrived on the doorstep
of every Australian.

What we wanted to do was to let
middle Australia,

let eastern seaboard Australia,
let urban Australia

know that this mine proposal
was happening,

because too often
Australia literally

is out of sight, have a mine.

It literally is seen as, out there,

don't worry about it,
it doesn't affect us.

There was the added irony

of going to the Australian public
and saying,

yes you agreed land rights should
happen as an act of justice,

but we're here to tell you
that it didn't.

So it's not just our responsibility
to stand up for our country,

it's your responsibility also

to stand up for the rights
of all Australians,

and we ask that you join us
to do that.

As protesters mobilise,

the tactics of the First Australians
become ever more sophisticated.

The Mirarr led campaign

now targets the mining company's AGM
and its shareholders.

It was important for us to make
absolutely clear to them

where their money was invested

was certainly in the misery
of Aboriginal people,

and we wanted them to know
that any future development

which might increase the income
that they enjoyed

certainly wasn't going to make life
better for us.

After years of persecution
and vilification,

Aboriginal people are winning
the hearts and minds of Australians.

But once again it's the historic
and fundamental question

of who owns the land beneath our feet

that proves pivotal.

We entered the proposed
mine site area

and sat on top of a shipping

but we didn't realise that sleeping
in the security guards' donga

was the Tactical Response Group.

For me, it was such a stark example

of the difference between law
and justice.

There was no way that Yvonne
Margarula should have been treated

with anything but the utmost respect
on her country,

particularly how she
conveyed herself

and how she conducted
that entire campaign.

And to be arrested for trespass
on traditional lands was an insult.

Yvonne being the senior traditional

and being arrested on her own land

was an incredible irony,

and I'm sure it was an incredible
embarrassment to the mining company.

I know it was an embarrassment
to the Federal government.

The Mirarrs' voice is rising,

and when Rio Tinto take over
the Jabiluka lease

after a mining merger in August 2000,

a new era beckons.

Rio, as one of the biggest mining
companies in the world,

is very much aware
of its public image.

Having traditional owners lie down
in front of bulldozers

is not good for your public image.

And it quite quickly

started to make public

to the effect that it would not
go ahead with Jabiluka

without the consent of the Mirarr.

Through direct action,
and tireless negotiation,

the Mirarr finally get the deal
they want.

And on August the 12th, 2003,

something extraordinary happens.

Work begins to backfill Jabiluka.

100,000 tonnes of earth
are returned underground.

For the first time
in Australian history,

Aboriginal people
have closed a mine.

Jabiluka, one of the richest uranium
deposits in the world,

can never be opened unless
the Mirarr people give their consent.

The Jabiluka campaign shows

that the perseverance, patience
and energy of anybody

can stand against multinational

Have no doubt that people
who are prepared to persevere

will beat the mining company.

Here we have, for the first time

in Australia,

a mining company voluntarily
mothballing a project

because it doesn't have the consent
of the local Aboriginal group,

and therefore does not have
the social licence to operate.

Today, the traditional owners
continue their bitter opposition

to the Ranger mine

and stand firm against any pressure
to reopen Jabiluka.

But the Mirarr's victory did herald
a new era of reconciliation

between big mining
and the First Australians.

Royalty payments are now
carefully invested from Ranger

in the hope of securing a better life
for the next generation.

And in 2011,

the longest running dispute
in history

between mining and the First
Australians is finally resolved.

We celebrate an agreement between the traditional owners
of this land and a mining giant.

We celebrate jobs and investment
for this region.

Almost half a century
since the elders of Yirrkala

took their famous bark petitions
to Canberra,

they're finally invited to give
their consent to the local mine.

Chief negotiator
is Galarrwuy Yununpingu,

a veteran of the infamous
Ranger mine agreement.

Yunupingu and the traditional

sign a deal guaranteeing investment
in education and employment.

It's believed to be worth
$700 million dollars.

The past is a different country.

If ever you wanted to see
that this country is changing,

it is in seeing the negotiations,
the discussions

and the relationships between
significant mining companies

and Aboriginal people
and Aboriginal communities.

For generations the First Australians
and big mining

have done battle over who owns
the land beneath our feet.

Ironically, this conflict
helped bring

fundamental rights
to indigenous people.

And today, some of the poorest and
most remote communities in Australia

now see their former enemy as the
best chance for a brighter future.

Well what I've seen in my lifetime

is the transformation
of the mining industry

from the pillagers to, you know,

the major corporate investors
in the indigenous world.

In my experience, when you go
to Aboriginal communities today,

what they want is opportunity.

What they want is choice.

What they want, like all of us,

is a life for their young people.

The reality is, mining
is what provides that opportunity.

What's the point of having
indigenous rights

if we remain poor with high
mortality rates,

insufficient housing.

Surely our rights must serve
a practical purpose.

One would think that
the practical purpose

is to bring us out of poverty and
to join the mainstream of society.

I know that there are, you know,
leftists, anarchists and greens

who think that this is treachery.

I ask them to live in a house
with 30 people living in it,

with their children
at risk of dying.

Then you can lecture me
about indigenous rights.

Even today, the First Australians
do not have the legal power

to stop a mine on their land.

But they have won the right
to negotiate the best deal they can.

It's a crucial victory

because mining is not going away.

We're not doing any of this
for charitable good intent.

Only people need to know

we're doing this because
we're a profit making entity.

We make no bones about that.

Why would people trust us if we're
gonna say, we're here to help you?

You know, that's the last reason
why people would want to trust us.

So we're very clear
that this is a way forward for us

with the least amount of fuss,

the highest potential for profit
and mutual gain

and as we describe it,
enlightened self-interest.

For 150 years,
this boom and bust business

has ignited bitter battles
over who gets the money.

It's sparked power struggles

that have helped topple
prime ministers.

And it's even determined

who owns the land beneath our feet.

Mining has made Australia.

And it will continue to forge
and divide the nation

for years to come.

To find out more,

go to

Captions (c) SBS Australia 2013

When the last war ended,

our governments told us
that fascism had been defeated

and all the war criminals
would be punished for their crimes.

But neither of these assertions
turned out to be true.

Secretly, our rulers entered
a maze of moral hypocrisy.

and the war criminals

to fight against the threat
of communism

and ultimately shape
the world we live in today.

The darkest corner
of this dark enterprise

was the use and protection of men
whose expertise was simply

the hunting down and destroying
of other human beings.

Klaus Barbie was one of these.

This is his clandestine history

showing how
with the help of the Western powers,

he transplanted his special skills
and unwavering ideology

from Europe to Latin America

and dreamed
of raising the swastika again

over a Fourth Reich in the Andes.

I don't think Barbie was destined

to be an evil monster
from the word go at all.

He was a poor boy.

His father
was a village schoolmaster,

ferocious disciplinarian...