Pechiney has violated the agreement for at least 15 years and has “parked” this precious mineral resource for itself, while investing in new refineries in other parts of the world. This legislation annulled the Auruku Association Agreement in 1975 and annulled The Mining Lease 7032, rendering the Supreme Court`s trial unnecessary. The State will also bear an amount of the cost of assessing, on a standard basis, the procedure initiated by the State before the Supreme Court, in order to obtain the surrender of the lease. Mr President, I would like to point out that the action of today`s government is by no means an indicator of sovereign risk and that the mining industry can be certain that this is a particular case that is only related to the Aurukun Associates Agreement of 1975. Ladies and gentlemen, members will recall that on 22 October 2003, the Prime Minister and I asked the French mining company Aluminium Pechiney Holdings Pty Ltd to forego the mining lease it has held since 1975 on the huge Aurukun mineral reserves in Cape York. In 1975, the Queensland government, led by Prime Minister Bjelke-Petersen, passed legislation facilitating bauxite mining on the Aurukun Aboriginal Reserve. The Aurukun Associates Agreement Act (1975) (Qld) required a mining consortium to pay 3% of the profits to an Aboriginal Welfare Fund in compensation to the inhabitants of the Aurukun mission.  The government claimed to have consulted with the community of Auroukun and agreed to the compensatory measures contained in the legislation.  Another controversy over land rights arose in Aurukun when the Queensland government blocked the sale of the Archer River cattle station to the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission in 1976. The property was to be purchased on behalf of traditional owners under the direction of John Koowarta, a man from Winchanam of Aurukun.  The Queensland government eventually took the Queensland government to the Supreme Court, successfully claiming a violation of the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975.
 The Queensland government responded by asserting that the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 was constitutionally illegal, leading to the case being referred to the High Court. Koowarta`s assertion was confirmed in May 1982, but not before the government rebuilt the property as a national park.  We requested the lease to be resealed because Pechiney had not begun construction of an aluminum oxide refinery until December 31, 1988 – which was a key condition of the 1975 Aurukun Associates Agreement it signed with the Bjelke-Petersen government. Mr President, in the course of this Thursday, I will pass legislation repealing the Aurukun Association Agreement Act 1975. During World War II, the people of Aurukun were encouraged to “walk in the bush” in anticipation of a Japanese invasion.  In his diary, MacKenzie wrote that he passed on the youngest dormitories to their parents and that the decision was made to marry all the older girls who lived in the dormitories.  Like most missions in Queensland, Aurukun has been poorly funded throughout its history.  In the 1920s, missionaries raised additional income by selling sandalwood and sea beche, which were collected by locals, but these industries became unreliable.  Poor sanitation and housing shortages have caused disease, and parasitic infections such as hooked worms were widespread in the population.  None of this changes with Alcan`s recent acquisition of Pechiney. The people of Aurukun, including Donald Peikinna, then chairman of the Aurukun State Council, disagreed and obtained a Supreme Court injunction against Killoran, director of the State Department of Aboriginal and Islander Advancement.  This led 1978 to the case corporation of the Director of Aboriginal and Islanders Advancement v Peikinna – Ors.
 The matter was handed over to the Privy Council of London, and mining in the region was suspended for three years until the Security Council`s decision.