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Aussie campaign against Hydro Tasmania in S’wak

A campaign to mobilise Australians to pressure their
government into forcing Hydro Tasmania to withdraw
its support of the mega dams project in Sarawak
has achieved its first success.
KUCHING: The Australian Greens political party has thrown its wholehearted support behind calls to pull out state-owned Hydro Tasmania from Sarawak.
Hydro Tasmania is involved in the controversial proposals for the construction of dams in Sarawak. The Greens are in a formal alliance with the Australian Labor Party in the Tasmanian Parliament.
Yesterday, Greens Senators Christine Milne and Lee Rhiannon together with Sarawak indigenous leaders launched a national-level campaign calling for Hydro Tasmania to pull out its support of the dams in the state.
Rhiannon, who is also Greens overseas development spokesperson, said: “Momentum Energy [part of the Hydro Tasmania group of companies] is in NSW [New South Wales] , Victoria and South Australia busily promoting themselves as a champion of green energy but Hydro Tasmania’s record in Sarawak shows the opposite.
“The Australian Greens will work with community groups and state MPs to send a decisive message that Hydro Tasmania must walk away from supporting dams in Sarawak.”
In an e-mail statement to FMT, Milne noted that the dams, when built, will “displace tens of thousands of people from their homes and flood large tracts of forests and farmland”.
“Hydro Tasmania cannot walk away from its responsibility for the damage these dams will cause to thousands of villagers in Sarawak.
“Hydro Tasmania continues to supply staff and technical expertise to push these projects along despite a growing campaign in Sarawak against the dams.
“I am calling on Hydro Tasmania to walk away from this destructive project,” Milne said.
Forests, villagers will be wiped out
Meanwhile, a coalition of Sarawak NGOs, Save Rivers, whose leaders are currently in Australia campaigning against the construction of these dams, said that Hydro Tasmania is “turning a blind eye” to human rights and the impact of the constructions.
Its chairman Peter Kallang said: “People in Australia need to be aware that an Australian state-owned company Hydro Tasmania is involved in massive dam proposals that stand to affect up to 20,000 people who live along the Baram River in Sarawak.
“Hydro Tasmania is turning a blind eye to the human rights and environmental impacts of these dams,” he said.
James Nyurang, a village headman from the Baram River region, said that if the dams were built, he would lose his home and his land.
“I have no idea where my family will be moved to or how we will make our livelihood.
“Hydro Tasmania’s involvement in Sarawak will flood thousands of hectares of land belonging to the indigenous peoples of Sarawak. This will spell the end of our heritage, our means of livelihood, custom and culture.
“We will not stand by while our homes, our rive fields, our fruit trees go under water,” he said.
In the next 20 to 30 years, Sarawak is expected to build 12 more mega dams to generate electricity for the use of smelting plants in the SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy) area.
Virtually all the land and villages belonging to the Kayan, Kenyah, Penan and other Orang Ulu communities will be wiped out.

1 comment:


    The Australian Fed. Gov't has recently issued a White Paper on "Australia in the Asian Century" which goes viral about what benefits it can reap from trading with Asian countries.

    But nowhere in this documents is there any mention that such engagement should be a responsible one whereby they have to be accountable for any adverse impact on to the people of countries where they intend to be engaged in trade etc

    You cannot trade with the lives and well being of the poor in these countries!

    GOOGLE "Australia in the Asian Century"


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