Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia Limited


29 May 2012



29thMay 2012

Premier Barnett’s decision to name the Perth foreshore redevelopment Elizabeth Quay reeks of colonial cringe. The fact that this decision was made in secret, without any consultation with his fellow Western Australians also demonstrates great arrogance.

The Premier excuses such secrecy by citing the need to follow royal protocol in seeking permission from Britain to name one of Australia’s iconic natural wonders.

Had the Premier extended the same courtesy to the Nyoongar People he would have been informed that this spiritually significant natural feature has had a name for tens of thousands of years.

Derbarl Yerrigan existed long before any British royal reign and will still exist thousands of years following. It is far bigger than any individual and to have its traditional name stolen and replaced with that of a figure-head of a foreign monarch is both sycophantic and offensive.

Perhaps the Premier’s forelock tugging will result in a knighthood, however it would be more appropriate for the Queen to name her latest lap dog, Colin the Corgi.

Adjunct Professor Dennis Eggington

Chief Executive Officer

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (Inc)

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