Culture

First Nation communities should not be closed: International academics weigh in

For over two centuries, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia have had to endure brutal agression against their societies. Every year on Australia Day, Australians celebrate the arrival of the First British Fleet, on 26 January 1788, on the coast of Eora Country. But today, the first peoples of Australia still call it « Invasion Day ». This difference in perceptions bears witness to the political and cultural gap which separates Aboriginal people from other Australians. [node:read-more:link]

Sacred sites may now have some protection ... but First Nations people remain vigilant

Supreme Court of Western Australian

The Barnett govt's power to remove Aboriginal sites from the state's heritage register has been thrown into doubt by a landmark test case handed down in the Supreme Court. The court has quashed a decision by the WA Liberal government’s powerful Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee to de-register the land and sea surrounding the iron ore export hub of Port Hedland as an Aboriginal sacred site, in a test case that creates uncertainty about the toughening stance on sacred sites. [node:read-more:link]

Funding cut signals the destruction of Aboriginal life in Australia

Nigel Scullion Maralings Atomic Bombs Aboriginal Homelands

In the announcement made in recent days, Aboriginal communities in South Australia have suffered a 90 per cent cut to their funding. APY Lands – including Amata, Pukatja (Ernabella), Indulkana – have received no funding at all. These include big settlements as well as smaller communities and homelands. There is no funding for the Maralinga Lands. WA has accepted a one off $90 million for their 'transfer' grant and consequently announced 150 communities would be closed down. This has received much publicity, and the South Australian situation is much less known. [node:read-more:link]

Aboriginal heritage test case overturns decision to deregister Port Hedland site

Aboriginal heritage test overturned: WA supreme court

The Supreme Court has quashed a decision by a WA Government committee to deregister a Port Hedland Aboriginal sacred site, in a test case that opens the door to a class action by traditional owners ... "I conclude that the committee did not give consideration to the question of whether or not the Marapikurrinya Yintha was a place of importance or special significance because the question did not arise for consideration in light of the conclusion that it was not a sacred site," Justice Chaney said in his judgement. [node:read-more:link]

Rinehart and shale gas companies licensed to frack Indigenous and Pastoral Land

Fracking in the NT

The NT gov't has just granted permission to frack significant parcels of 'Country', including the iconic Bitter Springs region and surrounding Elsey Station, to a subsidiary of billionaire resources giant Gina Rinehart, Jacaranda Minerals. The deal comes at a time when the NT govt's recent Hawke Inquiry into the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' confirmed that effective laws and regulations governing the shale gas industry were not yet in place, but it continues the granting licenses. [node:read-more:link]

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