A community hunted onto the streets in the name of Redevelopment

In May 2003, Robert Bropho, (Now deceased) was charged with rape at the Swan Valley community.

On the same day Bevan Carter, the deputy Mayor of the Town of Bassendean, said he 'suspected a link' between closure of the camp and government plans to develop the land.[1]

In The Australian an article by Paul Toohey reported that 'The idea is to break Bropho's grip on the community and put the residents into ordinary suburban housing'.[2]

Whether Robert Bropho was guilty or not, does not give the government the excuse to close the community down. There was so much mud thrown at the community through the media over the years, thus providing the vindictive government general community support for their actions.

The Swan Valley Nyungar Community
MEDIA RELEASE

We ask you to stand and witness with us and support us any way you can, and to ask Mr Barnett why is his government inflicting this damage and desecration on us and on our traditional homegrounds where our people have lived and died since time began.


Housing before demolition


Demolition of houses

On 19 March 2014 the WAPC (and the Minister?) ordered in contractors for the destruction and desecration of our Sacred Land of Lockridge Camps, and bulldozed our Sacred Community and Dome and Homes we had designed and built ourselves, and caused immense suffering. This was done with absolutely no consultation and no notice, in breach of the Aboriginal Heritage Act, 1972.

On Tuesday eveninng the Government moved in and tore down the fences around the Lockridge Camp Site. 'They desecrated the vegetation that was hand planted by community members when they knocked down the fences. There is no protection. There are Ancestral Burials in this Sacred Area. Our Ancestors' Graves are now open to desecration,' stated Bella Bropho, Spokesperson for the Swan Valley Nyungah Community.

Once again, the Community was not notified or consulted.

'Barnett Government – why are you doing this to us?' asked a distressed Bella Bropho 'It's another cowardly act. They took the fence down at approximately 5:00 pm without notifying or consulting with us, the recognised Custodians of this Site.'

'SWALSC (South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council) and the Native Title Act has recognised us as the Traditional Owners of this Land. Glen Kelly recognised us as the Traditional Owners of this Land and he agreed to us moving back on this Land as the Traditional Custodians', stated Ms Bropho.

'Is our Community now public open space and why?'

Ms Bropho contends that 'The Barnett Government is ignoring the Aboriginal Heritage Act, 1972'.

'The Barnett Government is ignoring their own laws in order to persecute us, the members of the Swan Valley Nyungah Community'

'This government seems intent on damaging our Spirit and Souls through lack of any consultation on this our Sacred Site. This is further theft, marginalisation and attempts to assimilate us, the First People.

'This is our Sacred Land and Waterways and we will never give up our right to our Sacredness' promised the Spokesperson.

For further info contact:
The Swan Valley Nyungar Community
BELLA BROPHO 0467 329 047

[1] 'State may sell Swan land: Housing proposal shows camp closure was a land grab, says Bropho', The West Australian, 16 May 2003.
[2]'Gallop acts to break black leader’s power', Australian , 16 May 2003.

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