WGAR News: PM Gillard on the call for Treaty: "There will be no bits of paper!" (Gerry Georgatos)

Newsletter date: 10 November 2012

* By Gerry Georgatos: Prime Minister Gillard on the call for Treaty: "There will be no bits of paper!"
* Background to the Aboriginal sovereignty movement
* ABC: NZ group says NT Indigenous education decades behind
* Background to the use of Aboriginal languages in NT schools
* ABC: NLC in talks on additional nuclear waste dump site
* Background to the proposed Muckaty nuclear waste dump
* Petition: Justice for Kwementyaye Briscoe - lay charges against police
* Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation: Whistleblower reveals FMG Mining deal bombshell
* SBS Living Black: Aboriginal Stakeholders Left Out on Murray Darling Plan
* Background to the Northern Murray-Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN)


- Analysis / Opinion

Indymedia Australia: Prime Minister Gillard on the call for Treaty: "There will be no bits of paper!"
21 Oct 12: ""There will be no bits of paper," said Prime Minister Julia Gillard, as Acting PM, on December 28 2010 in response to a call for a Treaty by SA’s Kaurna Elder and national CEO of the Aboriginal Political Party, Lynette Crocker. ... Ms Crocker said to The National Indigenous Times, “I called upon Julia Gillard to recognise the need for a Bill of Rights or Treaty with Aboriginal peoples however she rejected this, and said to me 'there will be no bits of paper'. That Australia does not need this and more paper and I was surprised by the manner of her response,” said Ms Crocker." By Gerry Georgatos - (courtesy of The National Indigenous Times - nit.com.au)

- Related Media Release

Sovereign Union: First Nations Elder Appalled by UN vote
19 Oct 12: "First Nations Elder and activist Michael Anderson says he’s incredibly disappointed that Australia has been successful in its bid for a temporary seat on the United Nation’s Security Council.
Mr Anderson, one of the founders of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, spokesperson for 'Sovereign Union' and the elected leader of the Euahlayi Nation, says he’s surprised that the UN’s member states have failed to see that Australia continues to be, under law, a colonial state of England.
And he argues that Australia has now placed itself in a very precarious situation in respect to ensuring that it has the potential maturity to deal with the true sovereign status of Aboriginal Nations and Peoples within its borders."

- Related Analysis / Opinion

Age: Australia should use its UN position to make human rights core business
20 Oct 12: "AUSTRALIA should commit to using its seat on the United Nations Security Council to promote and protect human rights around the world, given that respect for human rights is essential to the Security Council's mandate of promoting international peace and security. While the Australian government deserves to be warmly congratulated on its successful campaign, the real value of the $25 million invested in the candidacy will be determined by whether Australia can focus the council's attention more sharply on global human rights issues and situations of concern."

- Related News

Sovereign Union: Donations needed to challenge sovereignty
22 Oct 12: "One of Australia’s best known Aboriginal activists is calling for donations to fund a legal challenge to Australia’s sovereignty. Michael Anderson, Leader of the Euahlayi and spokesperson for 'Sovereign Union' says he needs $150 000 to commence the legal proceedings. "The research for the statement of claim and evidentiary material has been concluded and it is now time to locate appropriate legal firms who would be interested in running this most important case. ... "


Last updated: 5 October 2012



- News

ABC: NZ group says NT Indigenous education decades behind
5 Nov 12: "The head of a New Zealand parliamentary committee says Australia is lagging behind in its education of Indigenous children. The Maori Select Parliamentary Committee has been touring central Australia. The group is comparing the treatment of Indigenous children with Maori children in New Zealand. Committee chairman Parekura Horomia says he is shocked by the lack of bilingual education in central Australia. He says combining western and traditional languages through education is a staple in New Zealand."

- Related Analysis / Opinion

Fully (sic) - Crikey's language blog: Maintaining Indigenous languages: revering a distant past or contributing to a better future?
1 Nov 12: "Special guest Dr. Bill Fogarty argues that Indigenous language maintenance and education is not about reverence for some distant past for esoteric reasons. Rather it is an important asset that can play a role both in developing a future for Indigenous communities and in benefiting the socio-economic fabric of the Australian Nation."

Fully (sic) - Crikey's language blog: Anderson and CLP at odds on Bilingual Education
25 Oct 12: "NT Minister for Indigenous Advancement Alison Anderson says traditional languages should not be taught at school, but Chief Minister Terry Mills has reasserting that the government is still firmly in favour of Bilingual Education. Aidan Wilson remains cautiously optimistic."

- Related News

National Indigenous Times: Anderson rejects call to teach native language in class
7 Nov 12: "The Northern Territory's Indigenous Advancement Minister Alison Anderson has rejected calls by other Northern Territory Indigenous leaders declaring Aboriginal languages should not be taught at remote Northern Territory schools. She said Indigenous schools should have the same learning requirements as those in capital cities."


Last updated: 5 October 2012



- News

ABC: NLC in talks on additional nuclear waste dump site
6 Nov 12: "The Northern Land Council has confirmed it is about to start formal talks about a new site for a proposed nuclear waste facility in the Northern Territory. ... NLC chairman Wali Wunungmurra has confirmed that formal consultations will begin this week about a proposed second site on a different section of land on Muckaty Station. ... Opponents of any nuclear waste facility being built in the Territory say Aboriginal traditional owners have not been told about a meeting to discuss a new site."

- Related Video

SBS: Traditional owners reject Muckaty proposal
8 Nov 12: "News is starting to surface from yesterday's closed meeting on a possible alternative nuclear waste dump site on Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.The Northern Land Council called traditional owners together to propose an different location to the original site which is embroiled in a legal fight."

- Related Media Release

Greens MPs: Government got it wrong on Muckaty, commission needed to reach radioactive waste solution
7 Nov 12: "The Greens have called on the Federal Government to come clean on whether it is behind moves by the Northern Land Council to nominate a new site on Muckaty station for a Radioactive Waste Dump.
"The Government is clearly terrified it may lose a Federal Court action launched by Traditional Owners of the area. Remarkably, just when the Commonwealth's desperate proposal finally comes apart at the seams, NT Chief Minister Terry Mills has surrendered and now claims to support the dump. Chief Minister Mills has met with Minister Martin Ferguson - cutting a deal in Canberra to the exclusion of the local community.
"In March 2012 the Greens moved amendments for an independent commission on radioactive waste but hit a wall of opposition from the Labor Party and the Coalition. ... "

- Related News

Tennant & District Times: NLC seeks new nuke dump site at Muckaty
9 Nov 12: "A team from the NLC organised a clandestine meeting at Muckaty on Wednesday, with only selected traditional owners invited. Around 20 people attended the meeting despite there being more than 400 members of the Warlmanpa Land Trust. As news of the meeting leaked out, the organisation admitted formal consultations to select a second site on Muckaty had begun. One of the traditional owners who is opposed the dump said she is furious with the NLC. Bunny Nabarula said Aboriginal people weren’t as stupid as the NLC hoped they were."

ABC: NLC pledges more talks with waste dump opponents
8 Nov 12: "The Northern Land Council says people involved in a legal dispute over a site earmarked for the construction of a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory will be consulted about plans to nominate a second site. The NLC says about 60 people attended a formal meeting yesterday to discuss the nomination of a second site at Muckaty Station, north of Tennant Creek. Lawyer Elizabeth O'Shea, who is representing the people challenging the first site, says her clients were shut out of the meeting."

Traditional Owners divided over Muckaty plan
newsTracker: http://tracker.org.au/2012/11/traditional-owners-divided-over-muckaty-plan/
9 News: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2012/11/07/20/02/nt-traditional-owne...
8 Nov 12: "Traditional owners of the land earmarked for a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory remain divided on the plan, despite another location for the dump being put forward. Dianne Stokes, an elder with the Yapa Yapa people from Muckaty Station, was one of about 20 traditional owners who met with the Northern Land Council (NLC) and federal government on Wednesday. She told AAP that one of the five Aboriginal clans that formed part of the Muckaty Land Trust continued to support the proposed waste dump, but other clans were opposed."

news.com.au : Mills slammed over NT dump comments
6 Nov 12: "ENVIRONMENTALISTS and opposition politicians are criticising the Northern Territory government after Chief Minister Terry Mills appeared to accept a nuclear waste dump would be built in the jurisdiction. ... Nuclear-free campaigner at the NT Environment Centre, Cat Beaton, said her group was outraged at the latest comments from Mr Mills. "We were very disappointed for him to say we should accept a waste dump," Ms Beaton told AAP."

Tennant & District Times: Muckaty tops agenda at ANFA conference
12 Oct 12: "ANTI-NUCLEAR dump activists from Tennant Creek were amongst the keynote speakers at a national nuclear free conference in Alice Springs last weekend. The Federal Government’s planned radioactive waste dump at Muckaty was one of the big issues on the agenda at the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) which attracted delegates and environmental groups from throughout Australia. Penny Phillips, Isobelle Phillips, Marie Rennie, Penny Williams, Betty Corbett, Belinda Manfong, Ronald Morrison and Sandra Morrison ran a workshop about the Muckaty campaign ... "


Last updated: 21 August 2012



- Petition

change.org petition: Justice for Kwementyaye Briscoe - lay charges against police
"On 4 January 2012, my nephew T. Daniels Briscoe died in police custody. ... The Coroner’s findings are, in our view, sufficient for the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate and pursue charges for negligent manslaughter. On behalf of our family and community, I’m asking for charges to be laid against police for what was done and for real changes to be implemented, rather than empty words. Please sign the petition, and encourage everyone you know to help and lend their support."

- Related News

Briscoe family starts online petition
newsTracker: http://tracker.org.au/2012/11/briscoe-family-starts-online-petition/
NT News: http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2012/11/05/314857_ntnews.html
6 Nov 12: "THE family of an Aboriginal man who died in custody is starting a petition in an effort to have charges laid against police officers. ... "I'm asking for charges to be laid against police for what was done and for real changes to be implemented, rather than empty words," Mr Briscoe's aunt Patricia Morton-Thomas said in the petition. According to the website hosting the petition, more than 8300 people have supported it."

Stand for Freedom: Justice for Kwementyaye Briscoe - lay charges against police now
26 Oct 12: "On 4 January 2012, Kwementyaye Daniel Briscoe joined the ranks of hundreds of Aboriginal people who have died in police custody in Australia. Yet with well over 200 deaths in police custody in Australia, in only two cases have police officers been charged with a criminal offence, and none convicted. We are supporting the call by the Briscoe family upon the Northern Territory Department of Public Prosecutions to review the case immediately and prosecute the appropriate officers."

- Related Statement

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
Congress calls on Federal politicians to get smart on justice
30 Oct 12: "Moving the Australian justice system from being tough on crime to smart on crime is the basis of Congress’s call for a national inquiry into Justice Reinvestment.
"We have written to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee requesting they investigate the implementation of Justice Reinvestment in Australia especially in relation to dealing with the substantial over‐representation of our people in the justice system," said Congress Co‐Chair Jody Broun.
"Measures such as Justice Reinvestment - which diverts funds into programs focussed on crime prevention, early intervention, diversion and rehabilitation - will save money and keep people away from prisons," she said. ... "

- Related Media Releases

ANTaR: ANTaR backs call for justice reinvestment strategy
30 Oct 12: "ANTaR supports the call for a parliamentary inquiry to explore the potential for Justice Reinvestment to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prisons and create safer communities.
"A Federal parliamentary inquiry would provide an opportunity to explore in detail the potential benefits of a Justice Reinvestment model in Australia," said Jacqueline Phillips, National Director.
Justice Reinvestment is an innovative fiscal framework involving a shift in the focus of criminal justice spending from prisons to prevention. It is about smart investment in programs and services shown to reduce imprisonment rates. The model has been adopted with considerable success in a number of states in the US.
"By reviewing available research, inviting submissions from across the community and considering jurisdictional differences, a parliamentary inquiry could significantly deepen public and political understanding of the model and its application in Australia." ... "

Aboriginal death in Katherine after release from custody sparks calls for inquiry and justice
IRAG: http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/deaths-in-custody/
24 Oct 12: "Another death of an Aboriginal man potentially involving police in the Northern Territory has sparked calls for an inquiry and urgent action to stop police harassment and brutality.
Mr E Lewis, a Warlpiri man living in Katherine, passed away shortly after being released from police custody on September 23.
Mr Lewis was a diabetic amputee, who was held in custody for more than 24 hours. He died in his sleep shortly after being released.
Family of Mr Lewis say there are many witnesses alleging he was treated roughly during his arrest, which occurred during a large card game in Katherine.
They also say that before his death, Mr Lewis had complained about being dragged and kicked in custody, along with being denied food, water and medication.
Mr Lewis’ sister Dorris is demanding a coronial inquiry to examine the circumstances of the death. She has been unable to find out the cause of death: ... "

- Related Campaign Action

ANTaR: Justice Campaign
"Campaigning for a smarter, more humane approach to crime that saves lives and builds safer communities.
Reducing Imprisonment Rates
Australia’s First Peoples are dramatically over-represented in prison statistics. ANTaR is campaigning to change this unacceptable situation and to end Aboriginal deaths in custody. Join us!"

- Related News

Treaty Republic: Aboriginal death in Katherine after release from custody sparks calls for inquiry, justice
"Yet another tragedy coming from police intervention in the Northern Territory but this time in Katherine where Mr. Lewis, an Aboriginal man and an amputee with major health problems, was arrested at a card game and held for 24 hours in the Katherine police cells. Like Mr. Briscoe, there are claims by witnesses that Mr. Lewis was ill-treated and brutalised by the local police. He himself complained to his family that he had been treated roughly by the police and over the 24 hours he had been given no food or drink and, worse, no medication for his diabetes. He was released after the 24 hours in cells and he went home and then died."

National Indigenous Radio Service: Legal group turns to Greens for justice reinvestment support
8 Nov 12: "The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (NATSILS) is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the implementation of justice reinvestment strategies. The group says the call is supported by the National Congress of Australia's First People's, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation and Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright. NATSILS CEO Eddie Cubillo told 98.9fm non-government organisations and communities want better crime prevention strategies for Indigenous Australians."

National Indigenous Radio Service: New jail highlights prisoner over-representation: ANTaR
8 Nov 12: "The head of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation says the opening of an Indigenous-only prison in Western Australia recently demonstrates the soaring numbers of Indigenous detainees. The Kimberley prison will aim to incorporate ideas from the Northern Territory correctional system with a focus on culture, rehabilitation and reintegration. National Director of ANTaR Jacqueline Phillips says the idea is still new and more research is needed into the approach."


- News

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation: Whistleblower reveals FMG Mining deal bombshell
"Today Solicitor Kerry Savas, who spent more than a year representing the interests of the splinter Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, told The National Indigenous Times that the organisation was a "quickly formed front" to enable the Fortescue Metals Group to circumvent negotiations with the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation to secure mining rights on Yindjibarndi lands in the Pilbara worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He said FMG created the Wirlu-Murra because they would comply with Fortescue’s wishes for land access for a fraction of the compensation reasonably sought by YAC on behalf of the Yindjibarndi People for the damage that would be caused to their country, society and culture as a result of FMG’s Solomon Project."

- Related News

National Indigenous Times: The truth about Wirlu-Murra and FMG
7 Nov 12: "The twelve directors of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) and the15 members of the YAC Elders Council make the following statement in response to the statements made last week on behalf of the Wirlu-Murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation ("Wirlu-Murra"); and, on behalf of the Fortescue Metals Group ("FMG"): ... "

National Indigenous Times: Native Title threatened by miner’s "war of attrition"
7 Nov 12: "By National Indigenous Times West Australian reporter Gerry Georgatos. Fortescue Metals Group has embarked upon a "war of attrition" using the legal system against the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and initiating 25 separate actions through the courts and tribunals of Australia and engaging seven firms of solicitors and seven barristers in a strategy designed to destroy the Yindjibarndi's ability to... "

National Indigenous Times: Fortescue responds to allegations on Yindjibarndi mining deal
7 Nov 12: "The National Indigenous Times last week published allegations Fortescue Metals Group had actively participated in the formation of a breakaway group from the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation to advance its negotiations for mining rights on Yindjibarndi land."

National Indigenous Times: Mining deal bombshell - Exclusive
7 Nov 12: "By National Indigenous Times west Australian reporter Gerry Georgatos. A lawyer who spent more than a year representing the interests of the Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation has claimed the organisation was a "quickly formed front" to enable the Fortescue Metals Group to circumvent negotiations with the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation to secure mining rights on Yindjibarndi lands in the Pilbara worth... "

National Indigenous Radio Service: Woodley accuses FMG of avoiding Native Title process
6 Nov 12: "The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation in Western Australia's Pilbara is accusing Fortescue Metals Group of abusing the Native Title process and disrespecting Prescribed Body Corporates. The allegations arise after three former staff and consultants who worked with the mining group revealed that the company sidestepped negotiations with the YAC and instead established an organisation which would see mining permits being passed."

National Indigenous Radio Service: 'They continue to lie to us': Yindjibarndi on latest FMG allegations
2 Nov 12: "The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation in Roebourne in Western Australia's Pilbara says it's not surprised by the latest allegations made against Fortescue Metals Group (FMG). A former solicitor with the Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation has claimed the organisation was set up to serve the interests of the mining company Fortescue Metals Group. The National Indigenous Times reports solicitor Kerry Savas has claimed Wirlu-murra was set up as a breakaway group from the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation ... "


- Audio Interview

SBS Living Black: Aboriginal Stakeholders Left Out on Murray Darling Plan
By Michelle Lovegrove
2 Nov 12: "42 Aboriginal Nations along the Murray Darling river and not one consulted. Inclusion. It's a theme that Aboriginal environmental leaders say hasn't been utilised in the federal government's latest plans for the Murray Darling basin. ... Fred Hooper, Chairman of the Northern Murray Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations says ignoring the river's plight further north will only see the issues reoccur in the south. And he says, including Aboriginal Nations' views and needs hasn't happened."

- Related Audio Interviews

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane:
Fred Hooper
7 Nov 12: "Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations"
Listen to this interview on-line:

SBS Living Black: Environmental Risks for the Murray Darling Basin Plan
By Marc Tong
29 Oct 12: "How effective is the Murray Darlin Authority's plan? New research has found the government's Murray Darling Basin Plan left out environmental risks and despite a sizable spend, will only maintain small areas of habitat. This comes after controversial debate and concern earlier this year from farmers, irrigators, Aboriginal cultural stakeholders and wildlife experts. ... But a new study by a team of scientists led by Dr Jamie Pittock from the Australian National University has found that to date, the plan has only watered 0.06 per cent of the Basin's wetlands."


[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-the-aboriginal-sovereig...

Who we are - Northern Murray-Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations
[NSW & Qld]

3CR Community Radio 855 AM:
Earth Matters - 30 Apr 2012
[download this program] http://pod.3cr.org.au/pod/3CRCast-2012-04-29-94126.mp3
[Interview with Fred Hooper, Chairperson of NBAN.]

Sovereignty claimed over Murray-Darling rivers
Sovereign Union: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/sovereignty-claimed-over-murr...

WGAR News: Aboriginal Nations assert sovereignty over the Northern Murray Darling Basin (19 Apr 12)

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