Australian Aborignal Presidents Statement

press release
MEDIA STATEMENT for the 1996 Australian Federal Elections Yaluritja (Clarrie Isaacs) PRESIDENT, Aboriginal Government of Australia

Policies of the Government and the Opposition are the same old worn out policies rehashed and represented. The Australian election offers nothing progressive or worthwhile for the indigenous peoples of Australia, nor for the Islanders of Australia.

Maintaining the status quo: The barriers of dispossession and dismemberment. The false notion, sold like snake oil to the indigenous Australians, is that the whites-only referendum of 1967 gave them citizenship and allowed them to vote and to drink alcohol. This in fact implemented a policy of dismemberment, re-enslavement and poverty which handed the white Australian Government the power to make laws to govern the indigenous people of Australia.

This apartheid policy has been systematically continued right up to present days in Australia.

The blacks of Australia have been contained in a welfare mode. Only a few politically acceptable changes have been allowed to happen, provided of course they take effect slowly enough to preserve the control of Australia's neo colonial regimes and to allow the use of the services of black puppets to give the illusion of indigenous authenticity and to promote the impression of black empowerment and advancement.

The major concern that has not been addressed by the two major political parties is racism, which is prolific within Australian society and which mainly flows from the Houses of Parliament.

Equally serious issues are the legal and judicial system in Australia, a country of all white judges. the portfolios of Aboriginal Affairs that are held by the Government and the Opposition number about 20. Of these, 19 are held by people of non-Aboriginal status.

Health, education, unemployment, personal and community development and tourism are the major areas in which most Government policies are directed and these have produced a proliferation of Governmental controls. The most obvious is the Federal Labour Government's welfare agency, the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders Commission (ATSIC) which fraudulently holds the status of being a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) under the umbrella of the United Nations. The direct result of this Federal Government manipulation is to control all facets of opportunity that may become available to the indigenous peoples of Australia. Such controls constitute Australia's Apartheid barriers.

We expected Native title, but we got Native welfare Flowing from the land mark decision of the case of Mabo and others, the notion of terra nulius was dispelled. Therefore the neo colonial regimes in Australia have no legitimate status of claim to land on this continent. In 1993, in Canberra, 700 indigenous people attending an indigenous gathering to discuss important matters of indigenous land ownership, marched against the Federal Labour Government's policy of Native Title, tore up and burnt the Government policy document at the front of the Federal Parliament building and then symbolically removed the centre piece of an indigenous mosaic, with the statement that Parliament is no longer a place where people can meet as equals. Regardless of this, the Federal Labour Government of Australia with the help of their black puppets pushed on with the Native Title policy which has delivered nothing.

Native Title Tribunal > From the very beginning, and throughout its whole operation, the Native Title Tribunal has been a farce and served the Federal Labour Government by stalling any positive outcomes in reclaiming the land willed to them by their foremothers and forefathers. While at the same time the Native Title Tribunal has been an instrument to coerce the indigenous peoples of Australia to accept the Labour Party's policy of compensation which, as at the 1st September 1994, amounted to a grand sum of less than $124 for each indigenous person of Australia. (The equivalent of half a dozen cartons of hot beer.)

Not a republic, but a democracy of consensus The ownership status of the land mass of Australia changed because of the invasion of the British, with their intention to set up a penal colony, not another British nation. Because the theft of the land was committed by the British, the return of the land must be through direct consultation with the British.

The neocolonial regimes in Australia today can only be legitimately seen as squatters in possession of stolen property.

Indigenous sovereignty and self determination The indigenous people of Australia have a legitimate right to sovereignty and self determination, a right to speak for themselves, a right to be recognised in their own identity as nations of indigenous peoples. None of the issues of fundamental importance to these people can be resolved until they are given the power to exercise their authorities as they choose.

As the election approaches, each of the major political parties has the opportunity to come into the real world of the 21st Century by presenting policies that provide these fundamental and natural rights to indigenous peoples.

In dealing with international experiences of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, common ground has been identified and implemented. Nobody has been dispossessed of their quality of lifestyle. Everyone's contribution and personal commitment to the nation in which we live can be enhanced.

Yaluritja (Clarrie Isaacs)
Aboriginal Government of Australia