the following information provided by both ms. michelle harris of the concerned australians group and the attached letter from dr. djiniyini gondarrra shows without equivocation the very clear message that the collaboration of the federal government and the northern land council is utterly wrong at law. the aboriginal law that has been in place for tens of thousands of years. that law, as explained by dr. gondarrra is the madayin law. a system of interconnecting customary balances that, to me, appears to allow for the safety of ownership to and between the various clan groups over those lands.
i am by no means attempting to pass myself off as having any deep knowledge and understanding of such a complex law system as put by dr. gondarra as i most certainly do not. but the good dr’s letter (Djiniyini and The Australian.pdf)easily explains a complex system. my somewhat simplistic understanding of the term ‘traditional owners’ has now been widened to include significant others, the law men and women, who whilst not necessarily residing on the land or country in question must culturally have an ongoing involvement in any future process or uses of the country in question.
since the howard inception of the nt intervention, based mainly on lies and an infamous land grab, the push for aboriginal lands and 99 year leases has been inexorable. these practices were enlarged by subsequent labor governments and so to the abbot government. since 2006 the main bludgeon used by governments has been to offer tax payer dollars for the subsequent profits of the multinationals. this money transfer seems to have escaped the interest of most australians. when our nt mobs proved not to be prostitutes, as the governments assumed they would be, the additional bludgeon of divide and rule was increased. governments went overboard in their divide and rule tactics by attempting to enrich some against others. the disaster and debacle that is the government plan to dump allegedly low level uranium at muckaty station in the nt is but one example of this disgusting practice.
the northern and central land councils were set up, initially, in an attempt to make sure that those living on country in an area of govt/mining interests were not picked off.as all deals had to go through the council and decisions could only be made after extensive consultations. now it seems that that concept of self-determination has changed to one whereby the nlc at least wants now to make decisions for the land groups. this simply turns the original concept and process on its head. as an analogy i refer to the whitlam government initiative of handing the block at redfern, after its purchase, to a designated aboriginal housing cooperative that was managed by the aboriginal families who lived there. many self-managed not-for-profit organisations were set up and the block thrived until it was allowed to be overtaken by drugs and crime by redfern police and nsw governments. in the interim however the management of the block changed from co-op to company. that move blocked the residents out and the emphasis turned from openness to secrecy. the block has turned from a dream to nothing, to ashes, to where the block has now stood empty for years awaiting finance to fund the dream of a secretive board.
i do not even pretend to know or understand what is behind the seemingly change of heart, and rules?, of the nlc but a reading of dr. gondarra’s eloquent letter shows that the actions of the nlc in not respecting the ancient but still very applicable laws of country merely to try to inveigle the groups to accept 99 year leases that would only satisfy the abbott government and their voracious for profits mining mates, just do not make any sense.
of course, throughout these nefarious negotiations to grab the land, the government can always rely on its media camp followers, the australian and the daily telegraph, to help it in its machinations. the australian is well known for its complete obedience to the murdoch view of how the world should be based solely ontye diktats of the world murdochracy. murdoch has gone full circle from the time of his ownership of adelaide’s,’the news’ when he publically fought against the wrongful conviction and gaoling of arreente man, max stuart in 1958 to rape and homicide, to now accepting that his paper is to be used only for propaganda purposes and the most outrageous spin. mundine, pearson and others can attest to that. over the years both reporters and self-appointed columnists pushing the boss’s view have become normal. the latest reporter is patricia karvalas but the good dr. explains her sins of omissions far better than i so i leave it to him to do so.
the voice of this much respected man must be listened to. he has pleaded his case with much truth and humanity several times over the intervention/invasion years and it is more than time for the white noise to be muted. we respectfully offer our full support to his pleas for whatever that may be worth.
i also give the last words to dr. gondarra, “we want the shameful march of colonialism to end.”
indigenous social justice association
(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
address 1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017
we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.
sovereignty treaty social justice
Djiniyini and The Australian.pdf