Thursday, 15 August 2013

If Tony Abbott wins government does he intend to dissolve a number of Local Aboriginal Land Councils in regional Australia?

Can Opposition  Leader Tony Abbott follow through on his desire to abolish scores of statutory indigenous governance bodies?

Are there more than twenty Australian Government statutory indigenous governance bodies? To date I can barely find twenty entities to which that description might possibly apply.

Or is Abbott including Local Aboriginal Land Councils [LALCs] on his 'to abolish' list? 

If this is the case then hopefully LALCs in regional New South Wales will be exempt (unless Premier O'Farrell agrees) as these councils were apparently formed under state law.

The Australian 10 August 2013:

Mr Abbott said the Coalition had to stop the boats, fix the budget and address infrastructure spending, which was seriously neglected. But, if elected, he wanted to add taking "reconciliation to a new level" and embedding the idea of personal responsibility as he had in government with the work-for-the- dole program and the Job Network.
In promoting indigenous affairs to one of his top priorities, Mr Abbott said there was no longer institutional racism in Australia and he believed most Australians saw Aborigines and Aboriginal culture as an "adornment" to the nation.
Mr Mundine, who quit the ALP six months ago after becoming disillusioned with Labor's failure to recruit an indigenous representative in parliament, supports Mr Abbott's vision for Aboriginal Australia and is prepared to work with any prime minister to end indigenous disadvantage.
He will today reveal a radical four-tiered plan to rewrite Aboriginal affairs by abolishing scores of statutory indigenous governance bodies, which he says hinder development, opening up communities to the outside world and excising townships from the communally owned land system to create private home ownership and business development. Mr Mundine, the executive chairman of the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, will deliver a keynote speech at the Garma Festival, in which he calls for dramatic changes to land ownership to create more economic opportunities.
Mr Mundine's steadfast view that commercial development offered the only chance for indigenous communities to escape poverty has long stood in opposition to the rights-based agenda of the Labor Left.

Edited version of Warren Mundine’s 10 August Garma Festival Corporate Dinner Speech.

Excerpt from this speech:

When Europeans came to Australia, indigenous people were grouped in nations, each with a distinct geography, language and culture. The identity of indigenous people was tied to the culture and language of their own nation, not to the Australian land mass as a whole.
Most statutory bodies created to govern indigenous people are not aligned to indigenous nations. In NSW there are twice as many land councils as nations, and land council members do not need to be descended from a nation that the land council services. In the Northern Territory there are four land councils and dozens of nations.

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