Geelong Advertiser 10 May ‘Activist targets Incitec Pivot’

Activist targets Incitec Pivot
Geelong Advertiser (Regional Daily), Edition 1 – First  Edition
TUE 10 MAY 2011, Page 010
AICHA Dahane says people in her  native Western Sahara are hurting and Geelong’s  Incitec Pivot phosphate operation is multiplying the pain.
The human rights  activist visited Geelong yesterday, sharing a plea for awareness and action  over what she branded as illegal exporting of rich phosphate rock from  Moroccan-occupied West Sahara by Pivot and other  companies.

She said the trade supported Morocco and she wanted her homeland  and its people to benefit from the sale of its own natural resources.
“I  want everybody to know about the issue in general and for the issue in  Australia phosphate is the main thing,” Ms Dahane said.
“We want them to  put pressure on these companies and stop import of phosphate from Western Sahara.”
Ms Dahane, 37, was  born into a family of 10 the year before Moroccan forces took occupation of  the west African colony.
Her brother and human rights defender Brahim  disappeared when she was 12. His whereabouts remained a mystery for four years  and he has spent long periods in prison.
Ms Dahane sought asylum in the UK  at 28 and now devotes herself to her homeland.
“We want to live with  dignity on our land and take over the natural resources,” she said.
Ms  Dahane is visiting Australia as a guest of the Australia Western Sahara  Association.
Her time in Geelong included lunch with union leaders at  Geelong Trades Hall and a visit to Incitec Pivot’s North Shore  plant.
Incitec Pivot Limited spokesman Stewart Murrihy said yesterday the  company had “sought to fully discharge” its Australian and international  legal and ethical obligations on securing phosphate from Western Sahara.
Australia’s foreign  affairs department had not prohibited trade of natural resources with  Morocco.
“IPL has closely monitored and continues to monitor the overall  situation and has engaged in dialogue and enquiry with many parties on this  matter,” he said.
IPL had secured phosphate rock from China, Jordan, Togo,  Nauru, Vietnam and Christmas Island as well as Western Sahara for manufacture of single  superphospate at its Geelong and Portland plants.