The Gurindji people of Daguragu and Kalkarinji in the Northern Territory released the statement below on June 11.
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The Gurindji people at Daguragu and Kalkaringi are today calling on the government to get rid of the “Stronger Futures” laws.
This intervention must be abolished, not extended for another 10 years. It is racist and has caused so much suffering in our community. We have lost everything and have no control. We are supporting the statement of the Yolngu nations calling for an end to the intervention, the Shires and the policies which deny funding to Aboriginal homelands. Like the Yolgnu we are strongly demanding self-determination and proper funding our communities.
We can not sign any leases with government over Daguragu. This is Aboriginal land, handed back by Gough Whitlam to Vincent Lingiari forever. Not to be taken away again by leases. We say no to the bribe being offered for a 40-year lease. We want control of our land. The Government Business Manager (GBM) put in by the intervention must leave Daguragu.
Since CDEP [Community Development Employment Projects] and the Daguragu Council were taken away from us, there are hardly any jobs. And so many of the jobs like Night Patrol are being done now by white people.
We do not want to work for the dole and Basics Card. We are the people who went on strike for equal wages and for land rights. We are still fighting strongly. It clear the government wants us to leave our lands in search of work but we will keep fighting until we get the message through — our land is our life and we will not leave.
We call on the unions who have helped us in the past and all supporters of Aboriginal rights around the country to keep fighting to get rid of the Stronger Futures laws and to win self-determination for our people.