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land rights – not tourist rights

The 1992 high court decision of mabo 2 was welcomed by all aboriginal and torres strait islanders, along with many others of sound and moral mind. the decision would put all of australia on the same terms as land rights in the nt whereby traditional owners had control of their lands and communities from exploitation and access to some individuals and organisations were barred from entry. and i believe for good reason. although the pm of the time, bob ‘silver budgie’ hawke had sobbed that he could not wait to do justice for the aboriginal peoples of the many sovereign nations he gave way to the miners and pastoralists instead. and especially of wa. it took paul keating to give us a measure of land rights and the setting up of the indigenous land corporation (ilc) to buy land back for those whose rights to claim had been extinguished, paid for out of land taxes.  the article below explains, with some surprise i feel, that a geneologic mapping showed most clearly and without argument that our peoples still living on their traditional lands in nsw were still practicing, even if at a limited level, the old ways and customs and especially when it came to family and marriage issues. the study by anthropologist ken lum had mapped the links to some 60 000 families of the gomeroi nation from the 1830’s to the present. this nation went from singleton to moree and out to walgett.  this is the same nation that michael anderson comes from and he has called for a rent strike for those in aboriginal housing in the moree area. this act is to further the claims of the sovereign union and national unity government of which michael is the convenor. the national call is “why should we be paying to live on our land?” an important question, i think, and one that shire councils and governments need to seriously answer. as do, of course, the relevant land councils. we are, after all, not tourists in and on our own lands and nations!  Moree Gomeroi go on rental strike, slam Land Council Inverell, northeast NSW, 1 June 2012 – – Gomeroi tribal people in the Moree area have been advised by their clans to stop paying rent for houses they live in as part of an assertion of sovereignty. They have also slammed the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for “contemptuously” and “tyrannically” doing lease deals with state and commonwealth governments. Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union and National Unity  Government, whose father was a Gomeroi man, says in a statement released here this morning that “Gomeroi ancestral owners of the Moree region have asserted ancient sovereign title over the Gomeroi owned lands within and around the Moree town’s precinct, effective as of today.” Mr Anderson, leader of the Euahlayi nation, is the last survivor of the four young men who founded the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra in 1972. At its 40th anniversary in January a new sovereignty push was agreed. The Gomeroi nation now rejects any foreign ownership of their real estate and assets in the Gomeroi nation, the statement says. “Why should we be paying to live on our own land?” The statement speaks of “Aboriginal traitors and collaborators who worked with the Wran NSW Labor government to defraud the Aboriginal people of NSW, by corruptly suggesting that the NSW Land Rights Act of NSW 1983 as amended was compensation for dispossession.” The Sovereign Union National Unity Government would address this at its national assembly in Moree on 28-29 July 2012. Moree Gomeroi accuse the NSW Aboriginal Land Council of arbitrarily imposing a change of status on Aboriginal communities, without their prior and informed consent, when they signed a head lease agreement with Commonwealth and state governments to transfer administration of all NSW Aboriginal Land Council houses to foreign rental agencies. “This was done to meet Minister Jenny Macklin’s criterion of leasing Aboriginal properties to foreign agencies, in order for renovations and additions to be made to those houses with government appropriated funds,” the statement says. The full statement is below: The Gomeroi ancestral owners of the Moree region have asserted ancient sovereign title over the Gomeroi owned lands within and around the Moree town’s precinct, effective as of today. The Gomeroi residents of the houses located on the areas known as ‘Top Camp’ and ‘The Old Mission’ have been advised by their respective Gomeroi clan groups to no longer pay rent for their occupation of these houses and the Gomeroi nation now rejects any foreign ownership of our real estate and assets in the Gomeroi nation. This move is appropriate because why should we be paying to live on  our own land? This is confirmed when we consider the Aboriginal traitors and collaborators who worked with the Wran NSW Labor government to defraud the Aboriginal people of NSW, by corruptly suggesting that the NSW Land Rights Act of NSW 1983 as amended was compensation for dispossession. This is so far from the truth. The Sovereign Union National Unity Government will be addressing this at its forthcoming national assembly in Moree on 28-29 July 2012. I have been advised that the Gomeroi people of Moree, who live in ‘Top Camp’ and ‘The Old Mission’, will defend their position to the utmost. Mr Alf Priestly, the elected representative said, ‘Enough is enough.’ Alf Priestly said that the NSW Aboriginal Land Council has arbitrarily imposed a change of status upon Aboriginal communities, without their prior and informed consent, when they signed a head lease agreement with Commonwealth and state governments to transfer administration of all NSW Aboriginal Land Council houses to foreign rental agencies. This was done to meet Minister Jenny Macklin’s criterion of leasing Aboriginal properties to foreign agencies, in order for renovations and additions to be made to those houses with government appropriated funds. I have been advised that the residents will assume total responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of their own houses and the community over the years has acquired the necessary skills to make this possible. Nowhere in the world, except here, are they able to do this. The fact that the NSWALC system have little to no capacity to conduct major renovations or to provide new housing for Aboriginal people on Local Aboriginal Land Council lands is a sad indictment against the NSW Aboriginal Land Council . To sign head lease arrangements with government without informing the NSWALC constituency is an act of absolute irresponsibility of the highest order, not to mention their contempt for their membership without first having state wide and regional discussions in order to gain consent for the head lease arrangement. This contemptuous act clearly demonstrates the tyrannical dictatorship that is so prevalent on Aboriginal affairs throughout this country. ————————————————————————– Contact:  Michael Anderson  0427 292 492       ghillar29@gmail.com of course we wish michael and the national unity government well in their endeavours but this exercise is not going to be easy as we move away from 224 years of invasion history but the operative word is ‘unity’ in action, word and deed. no doubt a big ask but not unachievable. we have continually fought, one way or another, for our rights, our lands and our humanity, this is but a new battle in an old war against colonialism.

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