Oombulgurri demolition a slap in the face for Community

Monday 22nd September 2014


The State Government’s decision to commence demolition of buildings previously occupied by the Oombulgurri Aboriginal community is a slap in the face of a people who have already suffered so much.

Greens member for Mining and Pastoral region Robin Chapple MLC said he was deeply disturbed by the callous treatment of people who have already endured so much at the hands of successive governments.

“Starting with the brutal Forrest River mission massacre in 1926, through the evacuation to Wyndham fringe camps in the 1960s, the 1970s social experimentation of the Chicago-based Ecumenical Institute, to the present day, this community has endured wave after wave of maladministration and inept attempts at ‘dealing’ with them.

“Of course there have been triumphs too, but in this hard place they are over-shadowed by the so-called ‘epidemic of dysfunction’.

“An observant and caring Government would have seen this coming decades ago but, instead of being offered a helping hand, the survivors have been given their marching orders.

“To bulldoze a whole community and deny them access to their traditional and familial homelands in order to punish a few offenders makes no sense. The majority have done no wrong and are having to suffer all over again at the hands of government oppression.

“If someone commits an offence in any township or suburb in Western Australia, you don’t raze the entire settlement!” Mr Chapple said.

“I am shocked and saddened that the State Government would abandon the people of Oombulgurri for the sake of what looks like expedience, because they can’t think what else to do..

“Where’s the justice in forcing people out of their houses and away from their homeland?

“It is the role of Government to care for its citizens, to encourage them, to help them create a future of their own design, not one determined by an assimilationist government.”

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