I listened to this last night, then again today. It’s worth your time.

BBC From Our Own Correspondent – March 2013 (MP3 file here)

Australia’s mining boom and Aboriginal lands

Duration: 10 minutes | First broadcast: Thursday 07 March 2013 | BBC website

Pascale Harter introduces a special edition of From Our Own Correspondent dedicated to Australia’s mining boom and its implications for Aboriginal lands.
Nick Trevithick travels to Western Australia, and to the mining heartland that is fuelling the country’s economic boom. He asks whether it’s possible to put a monetary value on these ancient Aboriginal lands, as they are increasingly being taken over by mining companies.
The minerals beneath the surface can be bought and sold in global markets – but what about the memories, of the colonial era, the prehistoric past and the mythical dreamtime, which also lie embedded in this earth?

“The question of aboriginal land rights and heritage is a canker in the heart of modern Australia. You can diminish Aboriginal numbers statistically to two percent of the total population but in the rural North West … they’re more like thirty percent. Before the mining boom this burning vastness was their last line of retreat. But now they’ve been thrust into the frontline of global economics and the land is being stolen from beneath their feet, yet again…”

– P