Concerned Australians are asking for signatures on a petition calling on the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to act to restore the full protection for Aboriginal people of the Racial Discrimination Act in Australia.
Legislation currently before the Commonwealth Government includes plans to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act which was suspended when the Intervention was introduced into the Northern Territory in June, 2007.
However, this new Act will be a very restricted version to the one which was suspended in 2007. It will NOT have the powers to protect Aboriginal people from the consequences of so-called special measures.
For example, when the RDA was suspended, Aboriginal people had no means of appeal against compulsory acquisition of their land by government on 5-year leases. When this new Act is reinstated, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. There will be no legal avenue to address this issue, or any other issue related to the measures.
Regarding the 5-year leases, former High Court Justice, Michael Kirby, said, “if any other Australians, selected by reference to their race, suffered the imposition on their pre-existing property interests of non-consensual 5-year statutory leases…….it is difficult to believe that a challenge to such a law would fail….”
If this new legislation is implemented, the government will have again failed to keep its promise to Aboriginal people.
Calls to the Australian Government to reinstate an uncompromised Racial Discrimination Act have been ignored.
For Australia to be classified as a racist country is shameful for all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
If you wish to assist by conducting your own hard-copy petition, please indicate this in the comments column Thank you.
“This Is What We Said”
Australian Aboriginal people give their views on the Northern Territory Intervention
“This Is What We Said” was launched in February 2010. Using pictures and quotations taken from footage of actual consultations at Bagot, Ampilatwatja, Utopia and Yirrkala, this book provides a graphic account of the depth of frustration and despair of many Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory regarding the Intervention. It is therefore tragic that legislation, about to be debated in Parliament, pays scant attention to the views expressed by many Aboriginal people during the consultations process of 2009. Also included in “This Is What We Said” are quotes on the Intervention from other well known Australians and UN representatives.
The hard back book is available at A$15 + A$2 packaging and post, per copy, within Australia. Packaging & postage is free for orders of 4 or more copies. Please note for orders larger than 4 it is best to order in groups of 9. e.g. 9, 18, 27 etc.