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Monday, 24 April 2017 08:51

Keep up the pressure on native title advocacy

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ARRCC ark150In the wake of news last week on concerns about the Adani coal mine and challenges to the integrity of the current Native Title Act, the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) is asking everyone to stand with the Wangan and Jagalingou through a petition letter.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered Adani to “fix the native title problem” saying “the issue of Native Title in Australia will soon be resolved.”

Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council Mr Adrian Burragubba said, “The Prime Minister is another in a long line of political leaders, Federal and State, who are willing to sacrifice Aboriginal peoples’ rights if a profit or a deal is attractive enough. It is extraordinary to have the Prime Minister travelling to India to tell a businessman that he will change the Native Title Act in Australia and undermine our rights so that his destructive project can proceed."

“Mr Turnbull is selling out the country and the Australian people will be horrified that the Prime Minister is in India trading away our rights in an act of national betrayal."

“We call on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to clarify if Labor has done a deal with the Government to support this sell out to Adani.”

Despite some recent legislative wins on proposed amendments to the Native Title Act, it is vital to keep up the pressure to retain the protections on land rights of not only the Wangan and Jagalingou, but also other traditional owners around the country.

A form letter is included below as well as contact details to key Labor party representatives. Please copy in the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council.

Send your messages to:

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Sample letter:

Dear Mr/Ms/Senator ……
As a constituent and ….(Christian/Buddhist/spiritual tradition)….I am concerned that the proposed amendments to the Native Title Act will reduce the already inadequate legal protections for land rights of Australia’s First Nations people. It is unacceptable that the cultural and spiritual rights of the Wangan and Jagalingou people, and their right to self-determination, are being disregarded and overridden by governments and mining interests.

I urge you to oppose the amendments to the Native Title Act proposed by Attorney-General Brandis, which would make it easier for mining companies to override the wishes of the Wangan and Jagalingou and all First Nations people across Australia.

It’s time instead that there is reform of the Native Title legislation such that it will deliver greater land justice and genuine acknowledgement of the connection of Aboriginal people to country. It’s time that we, as a nation, in truth show the “respect to Elders past and present” that we so routinely express at formal gatherings.

I look forward to hearing from you with news of what you have done to help block these ethically unacceptable amendments.

Yours sincerely...

Find your elected representative here. 

Read more on this issue through the ARRCC on Facebook. 

Read more about the background of the Native Title Act (1993).