Newsletter date: 24 November 2014
Last updated: 26 November 2014
WGAR News Public Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!forum/wgar-news
WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
* Statement: Croakey: "Do not turn our people into fringe dwellers once again": Fitzroy Crossing groups on threats to close WA remote communities
* Analysis / Opinion: Larissa Behrendt, The Guardian: Shutting WA's remote communities is a false economy. It will cost Indigenous people far more than it saves the state
* Audio: Verica Jokic & Cameron Wilson, Bush Telegraph, ABC RN: Kimberley Aboriginal communities condemn Colin Barnett's plan to close small communities
* Analysis / Opinion & Audio Interview: Indymedia Australia: Open Letter from Nyungah Land and Culture Protector Iva Hayward-Jackson
* Media Release: Michael Anderson, Sovereign Union: Australia is committing genocide on a scale unequalled anywhere in the modern world
* Analysis / Opinion: Amnesty International Australia: WA Government must abandon "traumatic" plans to close Aboriginal Homelands communities
* News: Alex Salmon, Green Left: Protests against closure of 150 Aboriginal communities
* Analysis / Opinion: Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: South Australia's remote communities could face closure
* News: CathNews: Bishop fears 'catastrophic' result of WA town closures
* News: ABC News: Labor says anger and frustration brewing over possible closure of remote Aboriginal communities
* News: Gian De Poloni, ABC News: WA's PGA head Tony Seabrook backs closure of remote Aboriginal communities
* Background: WGAR News: Government Buck-Passing Could Force Aboriginal People Off WA Homelands: Amy McQuire, New Matilda
Croakey: "Do not turn our people into fringe dwellers once again": Fitzroy Crossing groups on threats to close WA remote communities
19 Nov 14: "Indigenous organisations of the Fitzroy Valley in Western Australia have issued a powerful statement against the threat last week by State Premier Colin Barnett to close "100 or more" remote Indigenous communities. They warn it could be "as devastating" as the eviction of Aboriginal people from pastoral stations in the 1960s, in the wake of the equal wages case, into squalid camps at Fitzroy Crossing, Hall’s Creek and Derby. See their full statement below. ... " Marie McInerney
- News Analysis
Croakey: PM's "Nothing but bush" & threats from WA and SA to close down remote Indigenous communities
19 Nov 14: " ... two states also threatened to close remote Aboriginal communities in a dramatic funding stoush with Canberra. Guardian Australia yesterday published a joint statement from a number of groups representing people in Fitzroy Crossing and surrounding communities saying they were "deeply fearful" about the potential impact on Indigenous people and communities of the Western Australian Government’s threat. ... " Marie McInerney
- Analysis / Opinion
The Guardian: WA plan to close 100 remote and Indigenous communities 'devastating'
18 Nov 14: "Traditional owners savage Colin Barnett's government, saying 'we are deeply fearful about the potential impact'
Plans by the West Australian government to close more than 100 remote and primarily Indigenous communities is the "biggest threat to our people since the shocking events of the 1960s", traditional owners and native title holders of the Fitzroy Valley have said in a joint statement. ... " Helen Davidson
- Analysis / Opinion
The Guardian: Shutting WA's remote communities is a false economy. It will cost Indigenous people far more than it saves the state
19 Nov 14: "The federal government has been looking to quit the field on Indigenous welfare for some time. Now they can do so - but only by ignoring past policies that worked
After making the decision to "shut" up to 150 of WA’s 274 remote Indigenous towns, premier Colin Barnett has come under a barrage of criticism. But the debate over the "economic viability" of sustaining regional and remote communities predates Barnett. ... " Larissa Behrendt, an academic, writer, film maker and Indigenous advocate
Bush Telegraph, ABC RN: Kimberley Aboriginal communities condemn Colin Barnett's plan to close small communities
20 Nov 14: " ... The decision has prompted a backlash from Indigenous communities who say the move is 'appalling' and could have devastating social impacts on those suddenly left homeless. Dean Gooda is the Chief Executive Officer at the Ardyaloon community, at One Arm Point. It's an Indigenous community about 200km north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula, with a population of about 400 people. Mr Gooda says the Premier has deeply upset the community. ... "
"Presented by Cameron Wilson ...
* Dean Gooda, CEO, Ardyaloon Community Centre, One Arm Point, WA
* Eddie James, Ardyaloon, One Arm Point, WA
* Ivan Deer, Ardyaloon community resident, One Arm Point, WA
* Fr Hilary, Parish priest, Sacred Heart Church, Beagle Bay, WA
Credits: Producer, Verica Jokic"
- Analysis / Opinion & Audio Interview
Indymedia Australia: Open Letter from Nyungah Land and Culture Protector Iva Hayward-Jackson
Indymedia Australia: https://indymedia.org.au/2014/11/17/open-letter-from-nyungah-land-and-cu...
Green Left: https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/57860
17 Nov 14: "Recently The Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, committed to closing down approximately one hundred and fifty remote Aboriginal communities in the State of Western Australia. The Premier has claimed that the closures would be in the best interest of Aboriginal people in the State of Western Australia. He has followed the old uninformed line that demonises Aboriginal men by insinuating that Aboriginal women and children are under great threat by the men in the communities. ... " Iva Hayward-Jackson, Nyungah Land and Culture Protector
- Media Release
Sovereign Union: Australia is committing genocide on a scale unequalled anywhere in the modern world
24 Nov 14: "... The announcement by Barnett to close more than half the state's 274 remote communities, is another example of how the government and Big Mining work hand in hand to steal Aboriginal land without compensation. There is a thinly veiled agenda to remove Aboriginal people from their homes so the mining industry can have easy access to land.
Western Australia is being sadly reduced to a mining pit, with much of the state’s economy being from mining revenue. Despite the many billions of dollars being removed from resource rich WA Aboriginal lands every year, the government is now refusing to continue to provide basic infrastructure such as drinking water, roads and access to health services. The Australian economy is based on stolen Aboriginal land and wealth. By rights, Aboriginal people are entitled to have the first say over the future of their lands.
In 2011, an east Kimberley community, Oombulgurri, was closed down. ... " Ghillar Michael Anderson, Convenor and Joint Spokesperson of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic
Sovereign Union homepage: http://www.sovereignunion.mobi/
About 'Sovereign Union'
"This is the official website of the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia. The Sovereign Union was first formed at a meeting on 12-14 June 1999 on Mt Kaputar, near Narrabri, NSW. A delegation was sent to Geneva to the UN Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to take our sovereign voices to the international community. The Sovereign Union was further formalised with a Foundation Meeting of the 'Sovereign Union - interim Unity Government' at the Kuradji Tent Embassy, near Wollongong, New South Wales on May 25 2012. As First Nations Peoples it is now imperative that we unite and rebuild as sovereign independent nations, in order to assert our sovereign title and rights throughout Australia. This will be a major political and legal fight, but it is our future for not just us, but for our children and our grandchildren. ... "
- Analysis / Opinion
Amnesty International Australia: WA Government must abandon "traumatic" plans to close Aboriginal Homelands communities
12 Nov 14: "Amnesty International has urged the WA Government to drop plans to forcibly evict Aboriginal peoples from up to 150 homelands communities, saying that demolishing homes and denying Indigenous peoples their right to practise their culture would be an illogical move, in breach of international law. ... "It’s hypocritical for Premier Colin Barnett to admit that closing communities would be traumatic for people involved, while still moving ahead with plans to evict traditional owners from their homes, break their connection to land and culture, ... " said Tammy Solonec, Indigenous Peoples Rights Manager at Amnesty International Australia. ... "
Amnesty International Australia: WA Government must stop Oombulgurri demolitions after forcibly evicting community members
23 Sep 14: "The WA Government must stop the demolition of an estimated $30 million worth of homes, public buildings and infrastructure in the Oombulgurri community in WA's Kimberley region, said Amnesty International. The organisation’s public action calling for a stop to the demolitions has attracted over 16,000 supporters since it was launched last Wednesday."
Amnesty International Australia: Oombulgurri demolitions: your questions answered
17 Sep 14: "The Government of Western Australia plans to flatten the Aboriginal homelands community of Oombulgurri within days. Amnesty International Australia is calling on the WA Government to stop the demolitions and here we explain why. ... What is happening to the people of Oombulgurri is illegal under international law. You can help by sending an email to the State Government calling for the community to be returned to their homelands."
Green Left: Protests against closure of 150 Aboriginal communities
22 Nov 14: "Aboriginal activists rallied on the steps of parliament house in Perth on November 12 to protest against the Western Australian government’s plan to close 150 remote Aboriginal communities. The rally also condemned the federal government’s plan to cut funding to 180 remote indigenous communities in Western Australia. ... Bropho, from the Swan Valley Nyungah community, told the rally: "Closing down these communities will only make more people homeless and [in] despair. ... "" GLW author Alex Salmon, Perth
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: South Australia’s remote communities could face closure
15 Nov 14: "South Australia’s Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Ian Hunter is making the future of remote communities all about money. There is no certainty for the communities of First Peoples according to Mr Hunter. He is warning that the State will not pick up the tab for municipal services, water and power as it does for White communities and towns. Mr Hunter warned the communities of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands may be closed unless the Commonwealth keeps on funding the essential services." By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
The Stringer: Redneck Western Australia 2014
15 Nov 14: "Western Australia and the Northern Territory are home to the majority of remote communities and camps. Many of these towns and camps were conceived by Australia’s historic and not-too-long-ago apartheid. Many of the townships and camps are former missions where children were removed to as part of the Stolen Generations. Towns were created by moving people off their Country, so their Country could be stolen, pastoralised, mined and turned into freehold land." By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
CathNews: Bishop fears 'catastrophic' result of WA town closures
19 Nov 14: "The research by the Catholic charity, titled Return to Country, backs the claim by the Bishop of Broome, Christopher Saunders, that the town of 16,000 already faces a significant homeless problem. Bishop Saunders said that closing remote communities en masse would be "catastrophic" for centres such as Broome and the Aboriginal people themselves."
ABC News: Labor says anger and frustration brewing over possible closure of remote Aboriginal communities
20 Nov 14: "The WA Opposition spokesman for Aboriginal affairs says he has seen first-hand the distress caused by the potential closure of more than 100 remote communities. ... WA Labor's Ben Wyatt and Kimberley MP Josie Farrer visited Kununurra, Broome, Mowanjum, Looma, Fitzroy Crossing, Balgo and Halls Creek this week. Mr Wyatt said the confusion and anger he witnessed stems from a lack of consultation."
ABC News: WA's PGA head Tony Seabrook backs closure of remote Aboriginal communities
19 Nov 14: "The head of the Pastoralists and Graziers' Association (PGA) has backed the possible closure of remote Aboriginal communities, describing residents' circumstances as "miserable". ... PGA president Tony Seabrook said it was time for a "frank and open discussion about the future of those communities without fear of incrimination". Mr Seabrook said it was foolish for people to remain in the communities with no job prospects and poor health outcomes." By Gian De Poloni, a journalist based in WA's Pilbara region. He joined ABC News in 2012 after completing journalism studies at Curtin University.
WGAR News: Government Buck-Passing Could Force Aboriginal People Off WA Homelands: Amy McQuire, New Matilda
16 Nov 14: "Contents:
* News: Amy McQuire, New Matilda: Government Buck-Passing Could Force Aboriginal People Off WA Homelands
* Analysis / Opinion: Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Outrage at prospect of closing down communities
* Analysis / Opinion: Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Redneck agenda to close down communities
* News: Nicolas Perpitch & Anna Vidot, ABC News: Cost of closing remote communities greater than tackling issues, Aboriginal leaders say
* Audio: Ryan Emery, World News Radio: Fears over WA community closures
* Audio: ABC News with NIRS: WA Greens: Closure of remote communities will be harmful
* News: Nicolas Perpitch, ABC News: Jigalong would struggle to cope with influx if nearby communities closed, says chairman
* News: Anthony Stewart, ABC News: Alice Springs to be hit hard by WA community closures, NT Indigenous leader Alison Anderson says
* News: Patricia Karvelas & Paige Taylor, The Australian: WA remote closures 'apartheid', says Warren Mundine
* Analysis / Opinion: Alex Bainbridge, Green Left: Aboriginal communities resist government attacks"
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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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