Treaty focus on heritage, land, housing
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.”
Ngarluma and Banyjima dancers performed together at the Yule River bush meeting.