Statement from Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM
(Aboriginal elder of Arnhem land)
Dated: 6th November 2013
‘Dismantling the Land Rights Act (NT) 1976’
I express my deep concern at the actions of the Abbott Government as evidenced by the behaviour of the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Scullion, in hastily procuring MOUs on township leases for 99 years in Gunbalanya and Yirrkala in recent weeks. He is quoted as saying that this was part of a blitz to encourage other communities around the country to sign similar deals.
There is no evidence of general consultation with the communities concerned and the haste associated with the process would suggest that there has been no time for reflection or the obtaining of legal and other advice as to the advisability of what the Government proposes. The process therefore places unfair pressure on the communities concerned.
What these leases involve is the…
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