(Fwd) Support required

Jim Duffield (staffy@omen.com.au)
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 18:59:00 +0800

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Addressees may be interested in present government action in Australia to disenfranchise the First ANtion Peoples of this continent:

------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Wed, 1 Jan 1997 18:45:06 +1000 From: <songlines@peg.apc.org> To: recoznet-l@peg.apc.org Subject: Support required






The Australian government is presently examining the option of introducing legislation which will overturn the small social justice victory in the High Court's recent Wik decision. The judges found (4-3) that native title rights may coexist with some forms of pastoral lease. This may translate into cultural and physical survival for some of Australia's First Peoples.

The government's legislative response, which is aimed at extinguishing these surviving native title rights in favour of "certainty" for farmers, will probably require amending the Racial Discrimination Act to remove existing but minimal legal protection for the rights of First Peoples.

Such racially prejudiced legislation will run into opposition in the Senate. The threat of a double dissolution of both Houses of the Australian Parliament (which would enable the government to force its legislation through) has already been made by the now Acting Prime Minister, Tim Fischer.

The forces opposed to the recognition of the continued rights of First Peoples to lands under pastoral lease are presently playing a numbers game - such as talking about a double dissolution election and talking about holding a referendum on the issue.


Having lawful access to their living countries under Crown pastoral lease is of crucial importance for the survival of First Peoples as First Peoples. This access includes:

* Access to sacred Dreaming sites which contain the sacred stories of life * access to ceremonial life making/life balancing places, * access to the foods which constitute a living link between land and people, * access to the waters of life itself * the right to be conceived and born, to live and to die on birthright country * of special importance is the right to be consulted and have opinions respected in connection with activities which take place on that living land.

First People lives represent the land itself. Birthright country is the very source of life. Peoples-and-countries are one.

It is vitally important that all people who wish to see Australia's First Peoples survive as First Peoples - and who wish to restore life's songlines - send a very clear message to the managers of Anglo-Australia that the legislative extinguishment option will be expensive to their interests.


The first step in this process is:

* for concerned people and groups in Australia and worldwide to contact the Australian Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, to let him know that there will be widespread opposition to any legislative extinguishment of native title rights in favour of pastoral leases.

Parliament resumes in February, and this matter will be top priority.

The second step in this process is triggered if the Australian government goes ahead with any legislation which extinguishes native title rights on land under Crown issued pastoral leases. If Australian beef and sheep products require genocide and ethnocide against First Peoples for their production, then consumers everywhere should be warned of the detrimental spiritual effects of eating them.


Send a message to the Australian Prime Minister without delay:

* No legislative extinguishment of the native title rights of First Peoples whose living countries are under Crown issued pastoral lease.

* No amendment of the Native Title Act and the Racial Discrimination Act to the detriment of the rights of Australia's First Peoples.

* Urge him to discharge the Australian government's international obligation to protect the well-being of Australia's First Peoples.

* Make explicit the link between respecting human rights for First Peoples and the implications for international trade in Australian beef and sheep products.

* And in the international arena, Australia is to host the Olympic Games in 2000. Is it to be an Australia dominated by Anglo-Australian farmers to the detriment of Australia's First Peoples or an Australia which acknowledges the place in life of First Peoples?


Send copies to local Members (where appropriate) and to the Opposition and key Senate parties.

Government: Rt Hon John Howard Prime Minister Parliament House Canberra A.C.T 2600

Fax 61 6 271 5414

Opposition: Daryl Melham, MP Shadow Minister Aboriginal Affairs Parliament House Canberra A.C.T 2600

Fax 61 6 277 4476

Senator Cheryl Kernot Leader, Democrats Parliament House Canberra A.C.T. 2600

Fax 61 6 277 3315

Senator Dee Margetts Greens WA Parliament House Canberra A.C.T. 2600

Fax 61 6 277 3588

Senator Bob Brown Australian Greens Parliament House Canberra A.C.T. 2600

Fax 61 3 6234 1577


Songlines Support Movement 1 January 1997

Social Justice for Australia's First Peoples




|\/\/\/| *Jim Duffield* *staffy@omen.com.au*
| o o| * 12 Hurrey Place BEECHBORO WA 6063 AUSTRALIA *
C _) Reconciliation, I feel, is impossible to achieve | ,____| in Australia while the white man has his boot on
| / the neck of the black man...So with the white man
| | looking down at you and screaming "Reconciliation,
reconciliation!" it's hard to answer until you can get the boot off your neck, shove it up his butt, get on your feet and look him in the eye. Then you can talk from a level, equal position in society.

Murrandoo Yanner Co-ordinator, Carpentaria Land Council 12 February, 1996 ************ http://www.omen.com.au/~staffy/ ************** *Ph: 61 9 377-7871 Fax: 61 9 377-7871 (Pls ring first)* *********************************************************** -------------------------------------------------- --/\-- A-Infos A-Infos / / \ \ A-Infos A-Infos ---|--/----\--|--- A-Infos A-Infos \/ \/ /\______/\ http://www.tao.ca/wind/ainfos.html

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