I'm trying to imagine what might have happened if Rio Tinto had blown up the Sphinx or Stonehenge or even a big arse chunk of Uluru instead of those rock shelters in the Pilbarra.
Hard to do, because of course even those greedy fucking vandals wouldn't dare. They might be put to some inconvenience beyond a grudging apology which was less an actual expression of regret and repentance than it was that weird and torturous form of PR contrition that really says ‘we're sorry you feel bad.’
“We are sorry for the distress we have caused,” Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said... “We will continue to work with the PKKP to learn from what has taken place and strengthen our partnership." - The New Daily & AAP.
The phrase 'what has taken place' is doing some sterling work up there. Almost as if the rock shelters and their forty-six thousand years worth of archeological deposits blew themselves up.
Almost as if this doesn't happen all the time.
Which it does.
Since 2010, mining companies have applied 463 times for ministerial consent to damage or even destroy aboriginal heritage sites.
Approval has been granted, as it was in this case, every single time.