Minister's plan for First Nations People is a trap to counter the Sovereignty Movement

The Minister for Environment Greg Hunt and Prime Minister Tony Abbott may claim that their Direct Action plan for Indigenous people has unintended consequences, but from a First Nations perspective Hunt's plan is an evil act, a cunning immoral act of bastardry designed with intent to cheat Aboriginal people of their inherent rights as pre-existing and continuing sovereign Peoples.

The Minister for Environment Greg Hunt and the PM Tony Abbott. Picture: Kym Smith. Source: News Limited

16 February 2014

Sovereign Union illustration
adapted from Cathy Wilcox cartoon

On 3 February 2014 'The Australian' reported that Commonwealth Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, proposed a Direct Action plan 'in which Indigenous people could be given work planting trees and scrub and restoring degraded government-owned land in rural areas of Queensland, NSW and Western Australia, under the Coalition's Direct Action scheme to cut greenhouse gas emissions'.
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We must warn our people that this seemingly benign program has a deceitful intent. International lawyers have advised me that the sleight of hand we are witnessing from Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, is that if our people accept the government's plan to work on Country to plant trees and effect bush regeneration, then the Commonwealth government can claim our people have acquiesced and are no longer resisting, nor asserting usufructuary rights to land.

Under international law our pre-existing and continuing sovereignty means that we hold usufructuary rights in the land in common ownership. Usufructuary rights are a proprietary/property right, held in common, to use all the natural resources in and on one's Country. It is the right to enjoyment and the right to gain benefit from the trees, to harvest medicines, gather food, hunt animals, fishing etc. without destroying or damaging the property. It is an allodial title, an absolute property right, which does not originate from a Crown grant.

If the lawyers took their legal obligations more seriously, rather than maintaining the status quo, they will find that the High Court Mabo No.2 judgment held that usufructuary rights are part of the Australian common law, which is in line with Canadian Supreme Court cases (eg. Guerin v. the Queen [1984] 2 S.C.R. 335) where the court describes and defines that Aboriginal proprietary rights and interests are generally of a usufructuary nature, which includes the beneficial right to use all natural resources.

Some time ago I was advised in a diplomatic circle that the Commonwealth government's main way to defend themselves against our assertions of continuing sovereignty was to claim our people have acquiesced.

Greg Hunt and PM Tony Abbott may claim this is an unintended consequence of their new scheme, but from our perspective Hunt's Direct Action plan is an evil act, a cunning immoral act of bastardry designed with intent to cheat Aboriginal people of their inherent rights as pre-existing and continuing sovereign Peoples.

On the positive side this move tells us that we are winning the sovereignty argument and our claims to continuing sovereignty over our lands, waters, airspace and all things natural are standing up well in legal circles.

It is hard for our people to understand the legal and political nature of these programs. When you are riddled with poverty and dependency, and when you live in absolute despair and oppressive conditions, easy job opportunities with a pay packet are hard to refuse. Not only that, but in most cases the Commonwealth government makes our people work for their dole on these programs. It is these enslavement terms and conditions that bludgeon our people into doing what the big bosses say.

Our people are generally not aware of the intent behind these policies of government. These sophisticated strategies of trickery are publicised in the mainstream media, with the appropriate spin, as the government Closing the Gap, caring for Aboriginal peoples' wellbeing and creating employment for the people in remote areas, but the hidden agenda is what is evil and designed to counter our sovereignty movement.

It seems the Abbott government is speeding up its campaign to counteract the Aboriginal Sovereignty Movement and is now trying to come in through the back door to take away our Peoples' inherent rights and to shut down all aspects of our arguments on our sovereign status. In the words of Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) about the cowardice of Germans after the Nazi's rise to power:

  • First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.
  • Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
  • Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.
  • Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

It is time Australia stood up and looked carefully at what is really going on within this country to Aboriginal Nations and Peoples holding the oldest cultures on earth.

Ghillar Michael Anderson

Convenor and Joint Spokesperson,
Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia
Head of State of Euahlayi Peoples Republic
0427 292 492,