13 November 2014
Proposed Removal from Country an International Disgrace” says ALSWA
The proposed closure of over a hundred Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia will be catastrophic for residents, who face being forced off of their land, their Country.To say that these Communities are not viable shows a blatant disregard for Aboriginal Culture, and once again, places our people in the ‘too hard’ basket.
“Western Australia is more concerned about profits, than people” said ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington. “How can you even contemplate removing people from their land, when it is the very essence of their being, through our relationship with Mother Earth? What kind of society have we become, when our most disadvantaged are targeted even more than we ever thought possible”?
ALSWA says that it is the land and connection to Culture that keeps our people strong, despite the relentless struggles and hardship that have been bestowed upon us since colonisation. “If we were pastoralists living in remote WA, we would be supported, accommodated and rewarded for our efforts. Yet, because we are Aboriginal people who perhaps don’t share the same materialistic values as our non-Indigenous counterparts, we are seen as not being ‘viable’ and we should be ‘removed – there’s that term again”.
“Mining companies have the green light to carve up Aboriginal land. We supposedly live in the ‘lucky country’ yet our poorest, and most disadvantaged are once again being targeted and shunted around, with little or no regard for the health and well-being of those Community members, or the regions that they will be moved to”.
“We are First Nations Peoples, who have survived for thousands of years by living on a land that owns us. We respect our land, we respect our Culture and to be ordered from our traditional lands is an international disgrace” said Mr. Eggington.