Aboriginal people and Traditional Owners have the right to make decisions about what happens on our land and we take our responsibility to protect country seriously.
The Senate, with full support from Labor, yesterday voted to weaken land rights in this country, despite outcry from people like you. This is outrageous, but we can’t give up hope.
These attacks on Native Title are just the beginning. George Brandis said it himself that this is part of broader changes to land rights that the government is looking at dismantling in the coming months.
This government and the Labor party have proved that they can’t be trusted to act in our best interests. If they see our land rights as a “hurdle” in approving giant coal mines, the week after the anniversary of the Mabo decision, they can’t be trusted with any Aboriginal affairs.
But we will not give up. Since colonisation our people have been fighting for land rights. These changes are a set back. But together, we can show this government that there are tens of thousands of people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous that demand land rights come before mining rights.
Senator Ian MacDonald has called these changes to Native Title 'the Adani Bill’ multiple times, and Bill Shorten even placed a call to Mr Adani telling him that he will ‘deal with’ Native Title. Make no mistake, this government has put the wishes of a multinational corporation over Indigenous human rights.
Aboriginal people and Traditional Owners have a very important role to play in climate action in this country. We have the right to make decisions about what happens on our land and we take our responsibility to protect country seriously.
The Native Title regime as it currently stands only gives us opportunity to negotiate. It hamstrings many Traditional Owner groups in their decision making process, especially those who do not want fossil fuel companies on their land. It is broken because successive federal Governments have taken it apart piece by piece, weakening it like they did again yesterday.
But we can’t afford to let this get us down. We must work together to protect our land rights, so our people can protect their country from destructive projects and stand together to stop dangerous global warming. Together we will continue to put pressure on the government with creative protests, powerful messages and the important work of organising our mob to fight back.
Thank you so much to everyone who took action to stop this bill. 20,000 of us wrote submissions, hundreds of us made calls and posted on social media to get politicians to take notice, and it made the government scared. That’s why I believe that we can protect land rights in the long term.
Larissa, on behalf of the whole Seed and AYCC team.