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Musgrave Park — Sovereignty!

Aboriginal Deed of Grant in Trust at Musgrave Park, South Brisbane

In 1998 the Qld government handed over a section of land at Musgrave Park to the Yaggera people.

FOLLOWING a struggle that lasted more than 20 years, the Musgrave

Park Aboriginal Corporation (MPAC) secured a portion of Musgrave Park in South Brisbane to build a cultural centre.

The Queensland Government handed over a Deed of Grant in Trust to the Brisbane City Council, which was supposed to negotiate a lease with the MPAC.

In 2012 the freshly sworn-in LNP government of ” Gammin’ ” Newman* took away the rights of aboriginal people to have sacred fire in Musgrave Park. Two months previously Aboriginal nations sung their ancestors spirits into the sacred fire that was lit 40 years ago at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. The state government took away the rights of aboriginal people under the Federal Heritage Protection Act to observe ceremony and culture in this sacred place. Then MPAC President Selwyn Johnson said

Tidalik (the floodmaker)

“Every Murri knows that Musgrave Park, in Brisbane, is where you go to meet the Murris . . . It is also spiritually significant . . . as is well known, as is well documented “Selwyn Johnson said he was “very proud” to accept the long-term lease from the Council but the struggle had “been going on for much more than 20 years” and that the decision was “well and truly overdue”.”After all the kicks in the guts, and after all the opposition”, the MPAC had finally been given the go-ahead to develop and establish a cultural centre “on our own piece of land”, Mr Johnson said. “The significance of Musgrave Park to Murri people is well known . . . right throughout this country.

The Qld Police Force unlawfully arrested 35 people observing culture and ceremony around that sacred fire in Musgrave Park – cultural practices that have gone on for over 60,000 years. They charge those people with ‘obstruction’. This is a technical offence that requires the police to assert to the court that they were acting lawfully. The police were acting unlawfully because aboriginal people were observing cultural business around that sacred fire. The Qld government should immediately withdraw those charges against the 35 people arrested and charged.

The Qld government should assist the return of the sacred fire and sovereign rights of aboriginal people in Musgrave Park. But they will not, despite the unlawfulness of the behaviour of police and Brisbane City Council that replaced the bora and sacred fire with an amusement park. The Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Alderman Quirk,  instructed the Panyiri festival chairperson Chris Kazonis to write a letter to Brisbane City Council asking for the Sovereign Tent Embassy to be removed. Chris Kazonis complied with this request citing safety reasons. Last Saturday (12 May 2012) the Lord Mayor of Brisbane refused to guarantee the safety of the occupants of the Aboriginal Tent embassy. He initiated the unlawful use of force against the tent embassy people. This is documented in the video below.

* Name given to Campbell Newman by Aboriginal man on 16 May 2012 after he was sworn in at parliament house the day before. “just gammin ya” means “Just joshing/joking/tricking”

References
Investigating Queensland’s Cultural Landscapes: CONTESTED TERRAINS

Embassy film night: Ningla A-Na (Hungry for our land)
Made in 1972, this documentary records the events surrounding the establishment of the Aboriginal tent embassy on the lawns of Parliament House. It incorporates interviews with black activists, the work of the National Black Theatre, Aboriginal Legal Service and Aboriginal Medical Service, plus footage from the demonstrations and arrests at the embassy. Ningla A-Na presents an inside view of Aboriginal political life and the struggle for justice in our own land…Read more

Indigenous interests
A conditional agreement to lease is provided by the trustee of DOGIT land to the potential lessee before the lease is granted. The conditional agreement to lease document outlines any conditions that the lease applicant must satisfy before the trustee will grant the lease. For example these conditions could include the negotiation of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) or survey of the land. The conditional agreement to lease document will also outline any conditions that must be satisfied after the grant of the lease. The conditional agreement to lease will also outline the rent and other financial considerations associated with the lease.

5 responses to “Musgrave Park — Sovereignty!

  1. Woomera Sovereign Rights Union

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  2. URGENT COMMUNITY NOTICE

    URGENT COMMUNITY NOTICE – NEWMAN HAS CUT THE MONEY FOR THE MUSGRAVE PARK CULTURAL CENTRE.

    HE HAS ALSO CUT THE MURRI COURT AND HE HAS SLASHED OUR FUNDING ACROSS THE STATE !!

    URGENT COMMUNITY MEETING CALLED FOR 12 NOON ON THURSDAY AT JAGARA. MAYBE IN THE CAR PARK OR AT THE EMBASSY.

    PLEASE BE THERE.

    WE HAVE TO RALLY & MARCH ON THE STATE PARLIAMENT !!
    sam watson 0401227443.

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  3. Public meeting: “After the Crackdown on Musgrave Park: Trade Unions and the Fight for Aboriginal Rights”

    Tuesday 29 May at 6pm, TLC Building, 16 Peel Street, South Brisbane

    Speakers:

    Sam Watson: Murri community leader and defender of the Sovereign Embassy
    Peter Simpson: Electrical Trades Union, state secretary
    ALL WELCOME!

    Proudly presented by Socialist Alternative, http://www.sa.org.au. Tel: 0401 785942.

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  4. From litle things, big things grow

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  5. Indigenous business is Union business

    Indigenous business is Union business – Musgrave Park Tent embassy
    Posted 17 May 2012 by Celeste Liddle (Indigenous)

    As many are no doubt aware, on the 16/5/12, 200 Police Officers, on the orders of QLD Premier Campbell Newman, and Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk descended upon Musgrave Park to forcibly remove the Aboriginal Tent Embassy that had been there since March 2012. The reason given by both parties was that the area needed to be cleared for a festival. The attitude of these politicians towards the Tent Embassy participants was appalling and offensive, with Newman referring to them as “squatters”, and the BCC threatening arrest for “trespassing”… read more @ http://www.nteu.org.au/indigenous/article/Indigenous-business-is-Union-business—Musgrave-Park-Tent-embassy-12725/replySubmit/1

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