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Aboriginal land rights further threatened by Minister for Indigenous Affairs

Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory appear to be further threatened by recent moves by Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, to abolish the access-by-permit system.

At Architects for Peace we are currently discussing and drafting a response to the Indigenous Land - access permits. This is a new legislation introduced by the Howard government, in what appears to be a "swift" move and without consultation or debate. The legislation diminishes the land rights granted by the 1976 Aboriginal Land Rights Act and the premises used to justify these changes are questionable.

Last night (Nov 2, 2006), at words.@.bldg50, we heard of the previous agreements between aboriginal leaders - representing their communities - and the governments of that time. These agreements were celebrated with dance and music with government and communities sharing in the achievement. The documents recording these agreements were framed by works of indigenous art symbolising an understanding between cultures.

What is patently different today is that there is no joy as a result of this new legislation, there are not thousands of Aborigines celebrating nor a sincere Prime Minister joining in any kind of dance or ceremony. The main feature of this process is secrecy, haste and the display of disrespect for a democratic consultative process and for the rights of the traditional owners of this land.
Join us in this task and assist the indigenous people of Australia to shed light on this issue.

Join in the discussion here
Find below a letter to Australians from Makinti Minutjukur. Or go directly to that page here


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