Australian news, and some related international items

Western Australia’s Barnett goverment moving Aborigines off their land to benefit miners

handsoffIt is a trend that points to one thing — move indigenous people off their country so that the miners get a free hand and they can do as they will.

Michael Martinez: WA stance on indigenous Australia a worrying sign, MICHAEL MARTINEZ GEELONG ADVERTISER JULY 09, 2015 “…….. Mr Barnett and his pro-mining party members are trying to change the Aboriginal Heritage Act so that one bureaucrat can make a decision determining if a site is sacred or not.

There has already been a Supreme Court decision questioning the deregistering of a sacred site in Port Headland, and there are 22 other sites that the West Australian Government has removed during the past few years.

A government committee in Western Australia and the minister decided that the land and waters around parts of Port Hedland port should no longer be considered an Aboriginal sacred site because it had not been used for religious purposes.

Justice Chaney said in his judgment: “I conclude that the committee did not give consideration to the question of whether or not the Marapikurrinya Yintha was a place of importance or special significance because the question did not arise for consideration in light of the conclusion that it was not a sacred site.” 

Ongoing media reports from Western Australia indicate that there is great discontent among many in that state.

Do you remember the world outcry when the Taliban fanatics blew up the beautiful Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan?

According to Aboriginal elders, significant sacred sites, including sacred rock paintings and much more, face serious threat from the mining industry. These sites are the churches and temples of indigenous Australians, and the West Australian Government’s cavalier attitude beggars belief.

I have written before about the questions that should be asked about why the West Australian Government wanted to dismantle remote indigenous communities.

When you add the proposed changes to the Act looking after sacred sites, a troubling picture emerges.

It is a trend that points to one thing — move indigenous people off their country so that the miners get a free hand and they can do as they will.

This is not unique to Western Australia — it has been happening all over the world for centuries………


July 15, 2015 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, politics, Western Australia

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