Newsletter date: 12 March 2015
* Urgent Action: 'concerned Australians': Remote homelands and Outstations in WA: Will You Help to Prevent a Crisis?
* Audio Interview: CAAMA Radio: Aboriginals becoming refugees, following WA community closures [Featuring Nicole Culbong from the Nyoongar Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Perth]
* Urgent Action: Jennifer Kaeshagen, The Stringer facebook: "You may wish to consider coming down to Matargarup, ... Residents of the ... refugee camp have been warned that they must move on by midday tomorrow [12 Mar 15]"
* Media Release: Ghillar Michael Anderson, Sovereign Union: Abbott rejects compliance with international law and rebuts the UN's standing
* Analysis / Opinion: Amy McQuire, New Matilda: Tony Abbott's Australia: From 'Nothing But Bush' to 'Brimming With Choices'
* Audio: Annie Hastwell & Bonnie Parker, The Wire: 'Lifestyle choice' or connection to country? [Featuring Rodney Dillon, Amnesty International Indigenous Rights Campaigner & Jon Altman, emeritus professor, ANU]
* Media Release: Senator Rachel Siewert: Greens: Remote indigenous communities are not a 'lifestyle choice' and should not be treated as such
* News Analysis: SBS News: Labor slams PM over 'highly offensive' remote communities comments
* Analysis / Opinion: Amy McQuire, New Matilda: Barnett Plays 'Abuse Card' To Defend Closure Of Remote West Australian Communities [Featuring comments by Amnesty International’s Indigenous rights campaigner Tammy Solenec & Noongar activist Marianne McKay]
* Analysis / Opinion & Photos: Calla Wahlquist in the Kimberley, The Guardian: Of three remote communities here, why are only the two Aboriginal ones under threat?
* Video: Sovereign Union: Djurin Nyoongar Swan River Treaty
* WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
WGAR News Public Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!forum/wgar-news
WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
- Urgent Action
'concerned Australians': Remote homelands and Outstations in WA: Will You Help to Prevent a Crisis?
Respect and Listen: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/Misc/Outstation-closur...
Respect and Listen: http://www.respectandlisten.org/landrights.html
10 Mar 15: "The Commonwealth’s commitment to Homelands and Outstations was surely sealed by the 1967 Referendum. How can it be then that the federal government can consider abandoning their long-held responsibilities by cutting essential funding to these especially vulnerable areas? ... We strongly believe that the Federal funding decision should be reversed. For this we need your urgent help. Can you either send letters or telephone Tony Abbott and Nigel Scullion and tell them that it would be totally unacceptable for funding to Remote Communities to be cut."
- Audio Interview
CAAMA Radio: Aboriginals becoming refugees, following WA community closures
10 Mar 15: "Aboriginal rights campaigners who have set up a camp for displaced people in Western Australia say they feel like refugees in their own country following the removal of essential services in many remote communities across the state. Nicole Culbong from the Nyoongar Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Perth says her people are being denied essential human rights and are still in the dark about the future of their remote communities. Calling the removal of essential services another form of ‘genocide’, ... "
- Urgent Action
The Stringer facebook: Jennifer Kaeshagen
[scroll down page] https://www.facebook.com/TheStringerNews
11 Mar 15: "Anyone free around midday tomorrow, you may wish to consider coming down to Matargarup, to bear compassionate, responsible witness to wholesale disregard of the urgent concerns of First Nations people of this continent. Residents of the Matargarup First Nations refugee camp have been warned that they must move on by midday tomorrow ... of course meaning - or else .. The more witnesses the less the likelihood that campers will be hurt, in any of the many ways that people can be. Please come. With respect, Jennifer Kaeshagen. [phone number supplied]"
- Media Release
Ghillar Michael Anderson, Sovereign Union: Abbott rejects compliance with international law and rebuts the UN's standing
11 Mar 15: "Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, Head of State of the Euahlayi Republic and co-founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy said from Goodooga today:
Clearly Tony Abbott has been fully briefed on a Queensland Supreme court decision Ngurampaa v Balonne Shire Council where the judge agreed with the Balonne Shire Council submission that Australia is not bound to the UN Charter
The most recent media comments by Tony Abbott, self-styled 'Prime Minister for Indigenous Australia' demonstrate the voice and opinion of a tyrant, dressed up in a liberal suit. The racist comments by PM Abbott in response to Aboriginal opposition to being forcibly removed form their lands resonates in the most negative of ways. As the ABC reported:
"Yesterday, Mr Abbott backed a plan in Western Australia to close more than 100 remote communities and move more than 12,000 people, saying "what we can't do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices"."
[ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-11/abbott-defends-indigenous-communit... ]
We all know that the Western Australian government and Tony Abbott seek to clear the interior land mass of any and every resisting Aboriginal person, so they don't have to deal with Land Rights issues, water rights issues and environmental issues. ... "
- Analysis / Opinion
New Matilda: Tony Abbott's Australia: From 'Nothing But Bush' to 'Brimming With Choices'
11 Mar 15: "If you 'choose' to live on the lands that hold your stories, and which sustained your ancestors for 60,000 years, then you're on your own. Amy McQuire weighs in. If Tony Abbott’s claim that he is a friend of black Australia wasn’t already dead, it’s now well and truly not only cremated and buried, but the gravestone has gone up and the flowers are wilting. The obituary of ‘the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs’ follows his comments yesterday that taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to fund the “lifestyle choices” of Aboriginal people living in remote regions. ... " By Amy McQuire, a Darumbul woman from central Queensland, the former editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine
The Wire: 'Lifestyle choice' or connection to country?
11 Mar 15: "The Prime Minister has inflamed indigenous Australia and come up against his own chief indigenous adviser after saying that remote outstations were a 'lifestyle choice' that could no longer be supported by Australian taxpayers. His critics point out that the rights of indigenous people to occupy their lands are part of international agreements to which Australia is signatory. Research into the Homelands Movement which began with a change in government policy in the late 1970s have showed measurable increases in health and well being." Produced by Annie Hastwell and Bonnie Parker
"Featured in story:
* Rodney Dillon, Amnesty International Indigenous Rights Campaigner
* Jon Altman, emeritus professor, Australian National University"
- Media Release
Senator Rachel Siewert: Greens: Remote indigenous communities are not a 'lifestyle choice' and should not be treated as such
10 Mar 15: "Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has slammed comments by Tony Abbott referring to remote indigenous communities in Western Australia as a ‘lifestyle choice’, referring to the comments as ‘unbelievably racist and completely out of touch with reality’.
"The comments were made whilst commenting on the WA State Government’s proposed closure of remote communities, which stand as a cheap, racist and unethical budgetary measure", said Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues.
"This is just another example of gross deep-seated racism by the Prime Minister, who is completely out of touch with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in both Western Australia and nationally.
"The cultures that exist within these communities are thousands of years old and stretch far beyond the Prime Ministers bizarre idea of a ‘lifestyle choice’.
"There are massive social and economic costs in closing communities.
"We don't go around closing small rural towns half the size of many of these communities, this short term cut and will have huge short and long term consequences. ... "
"I urge the Prime Minister to apologise and retract his unthoughtful comments which downplay cultures that have stood the test of time. We should be working with communities rather than smashing through them". ... "
- News Analysis
SBS News: Labor slams PM over 'highly offensive' remote communities comments
11 Mar 15: "Labor is demanding Prime Minister Tony Abbott apologise for telling indigenous Australians in remote communities taxpayers shouldn't fund their 'lifestyle choices'. ... Opposition indigenous affairs spokesman Shayne Neumann demanded a public apology to all Australians for the "deeply disturbing and highly offensive" comments. "This is a prime minister who doesn't understand the importance of these people to their connectivity to their land," he told AAP. ... " Source: AAP
- Analysis / Opinion
New Matilda: Barnett Plays 'Abuse Card' To Defend Closure Of Remote West Australian Communities
10 Mar 15: "The West Australian Premier was arguing 'money' was the reason for closing remote Aboriginal communities. Now he says it's 'abuse'. Amy McQuire reports. Just months after using the tragic suicide of a 12-year-old Aboriginal boy as justification for moving people off their homelands, WA Premier Colin Barnett has tried to justify his government’s plans to close down up to 150 remote communities by claiming a review will uncover cases of child abuse and domestic violence. ... " By Amy McQuire, a senior reporter with New Matilda
- Analysis / Opinion & Photos
The Guardian: Of three remote communities here, why are only the two Aboriginal ones under threat?
11 Mar 15: "Tony Abbott says living in remote communities is a ‘lifestyle choice’. For the thousands of Indigenous people who actually live in them, it’s a matter of life and death. ... There are three small communities within 30km of each other in the Kimberley, the isolated north-western corner of Australia. Because of a new funding deal struck between Australia’s state and federal governments, two of those communities could be closed. Two of the communities are Aboriginal. The third is not. It will not be closed." Words and photographs by Calla Wahlquist in the Kimberley
Sovereign Union: Djurin Nyoongar Swan River Treaty
Eleanor Gilbert, Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/121815708
Bruce Skewes, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba3-jyRqIK4&feature=youtu.be
11 Mar 15: "At Matargarup (Heirisson Island) in the Swan River adjacent to Perth City various groups of the Djurin Republic and Nyoongar Nation came together to sign the Swan River Treaty on 1 March 2015."
WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
(last updated: 10 March 2015)
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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
About WGAR News:
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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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