A RALLY protesting the Western Australian government’s forced closure of Aboriginal communities was held in Kempsey and in major cities across the country and around the world today.
In September last year, the Federal Government announced the responsibility of funding remote Indigenous communities would be transitioned to the states over the next two years. The WA Government responded by marking the closure of nearly half of the state’s 274 remote communities.
March to stop the forced closure of Aboriginal communities Kempsey organiser Teminya Fernando told The Macleay Argus the closure of Aboriginal communities across the nation has meant disposition and displacement of the oldest living race in the world by white Australian governments.
“This is a continuing act of genocide of our people through prolonged and continuing assimilation policies that’s been happening for over 200 years, when are they going to stop,” Ms Fernando said.
“These 274 remote Aboriginal communities are under threat of having their municipal and essential service cut and such acts are a violation of United Nations declaration on the human rights of Indigenous peoples signed by Australia in 2009.
“The closure of these communities could create over 20,000 Aboriginal refugees in our own country.”
The call to protest began with a Facebook campaign created in the remote town of Wangkatjungka on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, and through social media, people opposing the government’s plans have been united both nationally and globally.
“We have seen these land grabs happen time and time again and in our own community of Kempsey and we know all to well the displacement and disassociating of these acts which have caused remnants of generational trauma,” Ms Fernando said.
“The issues of inequality and injustice need to be address in Australia today and this cry for help from our brothers and sisters in remote Western Australia is being heard loud and clear and we are behind them in solidarity 100 per cent.
“We need to keep that same strength of solidarity and working together to improve the lifestyles for our own mobs here in Kempsey because there is also injustice in our own communities.”