Thousands of people in the wilderness of Malaysian Borneo are set to lose their homes, as a controversial plan to build a string of huge hydro dams gets under way.
In the state of Sarawak, the Bakun Dam has already flooded an area the size of Singapore, displacing indigenous communities, some of whom say they’ve never received the full compensation they were promised.
On Tuesday’s Dateline, David O’Shea has a special investigation, looking at the relationship between the energy company behind the project and Hydro Tasmania’s contract to work on it.
David also examines links between the logging industry in Sarawak and Tasmania.
In Sarawak, some communities say they’ve been intimidated and threatened in an attempt to force them off their land.
And could Australia’s wilderness also be under threat? Forestry Tasmania has a 20 year contract to supply the same logging company David is investigating in Malaysia.
David meets the campaigners in Borneo and Tasmania, and hears the companies involved deny any wrongdoing.
WATCH – See his investigation on Tuesday’s Dateline at 9.30pm on SBS ONE.
• HYDRO’S SHADY SARAWAK VENTURE IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Greens Call for Minister to Recall All Hydro Staff
Kim Booth MP
Greens Energy Spokesperson
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
The Tasmanian Greens today called on the Minister for Energy to direct Hydro Tasmania to recall all of its employees currently involved in environmentally and socially destructive dam building practices in Malaysia.
Greens Energy spokesperson Kim Booth MP said Tasmania’s involvement in the environmental destruction and displacement of indigenous people in Sarawak and is to be exposed tonight on the SBS Dateline program.
“The Tasmanian Greens are seriously concerned about the work that Hydro’s consulting arm Entura has been undertaking in Sarawak,’ Mr Booth said.
“We know that the Bakun dam has displaced thousands of families in Sarawak and flooded thousands of square kilometres of land, much of which is critical rainforest.”
“Tasmania has no place getting involved in such shady ventures, and unfortunately we are now in the national and international spotlight for all the wrong reasons.”
“Our office recently received a copy of a letter sent by the chairman of an ENGO in Sarawak called Save Rivers to the company in charge of the project, Sarawak Energy Berhad, expressing concerns about Hydro’s involvement.”
“Save Rivers is extremely concerned about comments contained in Hydro Tasmania’s Annual Report stating that practices in Sarawak reflect ‘how Australia did things a few decades ago’.”
“A Tasmanian taxpayer owned company should not be supporting dodgy environmental and human rights practices, whether it’s in Tasmania or elsewhere in the world.”