This was another thing that I was working on and he supported to the extent of introducing me to Minister Scullion and the CEO of the Office of the Registrar of Indiginous Corporations.
In addition Senator Xenophon asked questions in Senate Estimates on these issues for me.
I wonder whether he has had another Cardinal Pell moment , choosing to forget how closely associated we were on human rights and equitable issues
and decided that there is not enough votes in supporting minority represented Aborigines.
Just as he has decided there is not enough votes in speaking out against Islamic FGM, underage marriage and terrorist activity, as I continue to do so.
What is Senator Xenophon's position of the attempt to further disenfranchise grass roots traditional Owners? Or are there not enough votes in it?
This is what I say. about the February 2016 SA Bill. What does Xenophon say?
Aboriginal Heritage Act Amendments. Ease of Governance is the point.
It is true that experience is not a right to perspicacity but as one of the few “Native Title and Aboriginal Heritage Lawyers” in South Australia with 20 years experience in the jurisdiction I do claim right to comment on the proposed Heritage Act Amendments.
I have worked with and for the State Government, Peak Industry Bodies, Independent Individuals and various and numerous Aboriginal individuals and groups.
Over the last two decades I have seen individual Aboriginal people progressively dis-empowered in order to create “ease of governance”.
Before this “ease of governance” movement began Aboriginal people could wander and camp over all crown parks and lands and over all pastoral leases exercising their traditional rights including hunting, camping where they reasonably liked, and lighting fires. Various amendments to the State Laws and “access agreements” have seen individual Aboriginal rights traded off.
the incorrigible Eddie Mabo wrought massive changes to some fundamental “radical” or underlying native title rights. It is a continuous disappointment that these rights and benefits such as mining royalties have not flowed down equitably to individuals. That is a work in progress.
“What is the point.” of the amendments? They attack the power of individual Aborigines who have in traditional law special association with particular important heritage sites.
Under the current act it is those “Traditional Owners” T.O.’s who are given the ultimate “say” over what happens with the sole exception of being over-ridden by the Minister after consultation.
Because it is particular T.O.’s who are usually the most religiously and emotionally attached to sacred sites dealing with them has always been politically difficult and fraught with time and effort. Hindmarsh Island Bridge for instance.
The State’s amendments move the power away from individual T.O.’s and empower the “aboriginal governance” bodies. These are the same sorts of bodies which are criticised constantly for failing to ensure equity of distribution of benefits and “fair say” about sacred sites. Infamously the Jarwoyn chairman’s use of helicopters to take his girlfriends for joy rides while old ladies miss out on grocery money.
It is easier for Government and easier for developers and mining companies to deal with governance bodies than individual T.O.’s. who may well be on the sidelines of their own peak body.
That is the point. Ease of governance.
Barrister and Solicitor
Gawler, SA 5118 0417862201