NT Aboriginal voices oppose ‘Stronger Futures’ law
The Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition released the statement below on June 21.
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Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory have spoken out against the Stronger Futures laws, which they say continue the discriminatory and racist laws launched with the NT intervention 5 years ago today.
Maurie Ryan, of the First Nations Political Party said: “The First Nations political party does not support the Stronger Futures legislation. There are no stronger futures unless we are part of it. The legislation takes away our autonomy; it’s just empty words.
“How can there be Stronger Futures if we aren’t in control of our own communities? This is why we oppose the Shires system, which has forced distant communities together and taken away community control.
“Stronger Futures is just the intervention under another name.”
Helen Nyomba from Galiwin'ku community on Elcho Island said: “As a Yolngu woman I am strongly opposed to this law. Things will only get worse if the government tries to punish us for our situation. We need a way forward that is based on a solid partnership. We want control of our land and our communities, not this blackmailing TO’s for houses.”
Matthew Dhulumburrk from Ramingining said: “We have made it very clear that we don't want the government to pass this law. When will Jenny Macklin listen to us? We are sick of being pushed around. We demand to have our law recognised, we want real employment and to be treated as equals in this country.”
Joy White from Bagot Community said: “The government needs to look to its own parliament before condemning us mob about our actions does ... (he) ... Have a sign in front of his house saying no alcohol and pornography?”
“These people need to account for what they do themselves before judging us.”
Phillip Goodman from One Mile Community said: “Some aspects of the intervention have not been offensive and I have no problem with these. But why has it just been rolled out in the NT and only for Aboriginal people, there are people all over Australia dealing with the problems we face, why was it only rolled out in the NT and let us not pretend that this is not racial discrimination when the racial discrimination act had to be suspended for the measures of the intervention to come into place.”
Judith Donald from Kalkarindji said: “We’re not going to have it.” She supports the statement put out by the Gurindji people available here: http://concernedaustralians.com.au/media/stronger_futures_yolngu/Gurindj...
These voices join those of the 43,000 who signed a petition opposing the Stronger Futures laws, which was accepted by Australian Greens MPs on June 18.