Newsletter date: 18 February 2015
* Change.org Petition: Saving Aboriginal communities: Stop Colin Barnett premier of Western Australia
* Video: Eleanor Gilbert, Vimeo: Gerry Georgatos discusses the closure of WA Aboriginal homelands with Hugh Riminton
* Analysis / Opinion: Miranda Wood, Red Flag Newspaper: Closure of remote communities devastates residents
* Analysis / Opinion: Jessica Lukjanow, Global Research: Australia May Stop Providing Water and Power to Remote Aboriginal Communities
* Analysis / Opinion: Ben Collins, ABC Kimberley: Indigenous community closures: essential service uncertainty
* Video: NITV News: Planned Closure of WA Communities Highlights WA's Poor Contribution to Closing the Gap
* News: Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian: WA premier withdraws royalties help for struggling Aboriginal communities
* News: Sydney Morning Herald: Spend 'to save WA Aboriginal communities'
* News: Vicky Validakis, Australian Mining: Mining not dead in WA
* WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
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WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
Saving Aboriginal communities, Change.org: Stop Colin Barnett premier of Western Australia:
Petitioning Stop the closure of remote Aboriginal communities in Australia
"Closing remote Aboriginal communities in Australia and moving Aboriginal people into the cities will cause displacement and discourse. Aboriginal people have lived thousands of years in these remote areas,they have cultural significances to the people, yet Colin Barnett the Premier of Western Australia is making yet another excuse to remove Aboriginal people off their home lands. Colin Barnett has a purpose for this land for mining and jobs. The premier does not care for cultural history of Australia's first people, its all about economy, greed and capitalism for uranium mining investors. ... "
Eleanor Gilbert, Vimeo: Gerry Georgatos discusses the closure of WA Aboriginal homelands with Hugh Riminton
Posted 11 Feb 15: "150209 Sit In Gerry G & Hugh Remington"
- Analysis / Opinion
Red Flag Newspaper: Closure of remote communities devastates residents
10 Feb 15: "Western Australian Liberal premier Colin Barnett is closing 150 of the state’s 274 remote Indigenous communities. ... Prominent WA Aboriginal activist Marianne Mackay, speaking to Red Flag, said: "Colin Barnett just wants to open up more mining leases for big business and development. With the amount of youth suicide and children being stolen again, the amount of deaths in custody, high incarceration rate, all these kinds of things, they’re social justice issues that have impacted on our people. They are a continuation of the genocidal policies that the government continues to create. Colin Barnett should be ashamed of himself."" Miranda Wood
- Analysis / Opinion
Global Research: Australia May Stop Providing Water and Power to Remote Aboriginal Communities
12 Feb 15: "Up to 200 indigenous communities in Australia could lose access to power and water because the government says it can no longer afford to deliver the basic services. ... Rodney Dillon, an indigenous advisor at Amnesty International Australia, told VICE News that some members of the indigenous communities might not survive a move. "It would be a complete culture shock, a complete mental shock," Dillon said. "This is their homeland. It’s where they belong it’s where they are proud. ... " Jessica Lukjanow
- Analysis / Opinion
ABC Kimberley: Indigenous community closures: essential service uncertainty
10 Feb 15: "Concern is growing about essential services provision to West Australian Indigenous communities when the State Government takes over from the Federal Government in July. ... But with five months to go until the Federal Government stops providing services to communities, the Pilbara Regional Council's CEO, Tony Friday, is concerned at the lack of information from the State Government about what is going to happen. ... The WA Department of Local Government declined to answer ABC North West WA's specific question about what preparations have been made to plan for the change to municipal services, instead providing the following statement: ... " By Ben Collins. Ben joined ABC Kimberley in 2004 as a guest zoologist on the Kimberley morning program. Since then he has worked as a radio producer and presenter and is now exploring the creative potential of being a cross-media reporter.
NITV News: Planned Closure of WA Communities Highlights WA's Poor Contribution to Closing the Gap
12 Feb 15: "Over in Western Australia the biggest threat to the Indigenous community has been the proposed closure of remote communities. 150 are to be assessed by the WA Government for their financial viability. Ben Wyatt, WA Shadow Indigenous Affairs Spokesperson, outlines to NITV News’ Craig Quartermaine, how WA current policies have contributed to the underwhelming result of the Close The Gap Report."
The Guardian: WA premier withdraws royalties help for struggling Aboriginal communities
3 Feb 15: "Mining royalties will not be used to keep open “unviable” remote Aboriginal communities, the Western Australian premier, Colin Barnett, has said. The move scuttles a lifeline thrown by WA National party leader and regional development minister, Terry Redman, in December. Redman said in December the $1bn "Royalties for Regions" fund, which is drawn from 25% of the forecast mining royalties paid to the state, could be used to support 274 remote communities threatened with closure after the federal government withdrew funding for essential services in November. ... " Calla Wahlquist
Sydney Morning Herald: Spend 'to save WA Aboriginal communities'
8 Feb 15: "Remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia should be kept alive by Royalties for Regions, Labor says. Up to 150 communities are facing foreclosure after the state decided not to fill a gap in essential services funding left by the federal government. WA opposition spokesman for Aboriginal affairs Ben Wyatt said $25 million set aside by the scheme for Aboriginal initiatives should be used to keep remote communities open."
Australian Mining: Mining not dead in WA
9 Feb 15: "The West Australian government received more mining applications in the December quarter of 2014 than at any time since 2011." Vicky Validakis
WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
(last updated: 8 January 2015)
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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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'WGAR News' monitors the media, including alternative media, focusing on:
* The Freedom Summit's National Freedom Movement;
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