Treaty fo­cus on her­itage, land, hous­ing

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ben Wy­att has in­di­cated he is open to the idea of a treaty be­tween the Pil­bara’s tra­di­tional own­ers and the State, though work was needed to en­sure it was ap­pro­pri­ate for those call­ing for it.

The idea of a Pil­bara-wide treaty was pro­posed at last week’s Yule River bush meet­ing, but Mr Wy­att also put other op­tions such as lan­guage group-spe­cific treaties on the ta­ble.

Ya­matji Marlpa Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Simon Hawkins said a treaty with the State would ad­dress is­sues such as her­itage, land and hous­ing. “It is im­por­tant if you are go­ing to have a treaty that you ac­tu­ally in­clude prac­ti­cal steps in ar­eas which re­late to her­itage and cul­ture,” he said.

“Treaties don’t nec­es­sar­ily cost any­thing; it is leg­is­la­tion which pro­tects rights and in­ter­ests.”

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Ngar­luma and Banyjima dancers per­formed to­gether at the Yule River bush meet­ing.

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