Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

I recall vividly how horrified people were when the Notre Dame went up in flames. It was a tragedy and the world mourned with the French people. It is more than just a sacred place. It is history. If a developer is able to legally destroy sacred historical sites, there should be a huge uproar, don’t you think? Anyway, that’s what international mining company, Rio Tinto, has done this week. It destroyed two Aboriginal rock shelters in the Juukan Gorge. The rock shelters date back 46,000 years and are significant cultural heritage sites.

It was reported that one of the shelters was Australia’s only inland site showing human occupation continuing through the last Ice Age (see The Conversation and The Guardian). I’m completely at a loss as to why such wanton destruction of such a culturally significant site for First Australians, indeed all the people of the world, could have been permitted, and even if legal, how Rio Tinto could have thought it acceptable. I guess Rio Tinto don’t know their place.

As they say in the classics, “You’re welcome.”

Here’s national treasure, Archie Roach.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

37 thoughts on “Is Nothing Sacred?

  1. Archie Roach’s song is beautiful and haunting. Buffy Sainte-Marie ironically commented on the ‘hard row to hoe‘ faced by male mining executives. ‘’These men have a hard time knowing the right thing to do” said Buffy with her ‘ tongue in her cheek!’ Buffy Sainte-Marie Fallen Angels on YouTube sings about “great powers but junky minds. Thank you Tracy.
    Buffy is an indigenous Canadian and knows too well the evils of cultural appropriation And its destructiveness.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for touching on this. I saw the headlines and couldn’t bear to read the articles. My husband did and swore explosively.

    So tragic.

    I can stop shopping at retailers like Amazon or Woolworths if I feel they are behaving unethically. But what can an individual do against Rio Tinto?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think only shareholders (including institutional investors) and big customers can influence the big corporations. It shames me that my superannuation fund has probably invested in them and yet does not require them to go above and beyond the law to protect the environment and important heritage sites. Government appears only to want to cave into their demands/requests.

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      1. Yes, Super is tricky. We tried to switch all ours over to a green-focused company last year. Even that proved tricky. I was okay because I don’t have a paid job so I could do what I like. But my husband’s employer, it turns out, has control over where he is allowed to have his Super. That was very frustrating. The government does seem (in most situations) to be unable to think about anything except money in the pocket. It’s a disturbing side-effect of capitalism (in my opinion) and the ongoing erosion of democracy by the super wealthy.

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      2. Apparently in neatly one third of cases, the enterprise agreement prevents the employee having choice in where their super is deposited. He was able to transfer a small portion only. He began working there fifteen years ago and they’re holding him to that signature. 🤷

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  3. It was unbelievable that they got away with it. I think they got in under the cover of the Coronavirus wall to wall coverage in the media. I read they have been fully aware of the significance of the site for 6 years, so they were just waiting….

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    1. Yep, I’m with you, Pauline. The timing of that explosion was no coincidence. Unfortunately for them, they forgot about NAIDOC week otherwise we would still have been none the wiser. The complete disregard is disgusting. I notice that Rio Tinto is funding rock art research on the Dampier Peninsula. Good corporate citizen or buying respectability? The Juukan explosion indicates the latter.

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  4. A very beautiful song, Tracy. I can’t believe it’s legal what they did with destroying the rock shelters. 😦 Here in Europe many prehistoric sites like rock shelters and caves are being preserved. I visited quite many in the south of Spain on an archaeological excursion, and know that France is even more protective.

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    1. Yes, I do not know why Rio Tinto and other mining companies have been permitted to get away with such wanton destruction, when clearly it is common practice to conserve our natural history, even if it wasn’t also a sacred site. I think the song highlights the importance of conservation with its powerful but gentle message.

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  5. It is so stupid for them to ruin the rock shelters. If they preserve them they would have so many more people in their corner when it comes to mining. Such a shame, thanks for reporting this.

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