Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 30 November 1993



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 30 November 1993

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Parliamentary Record 23


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 30 November 1993 order to bring some natural justice to the matter. However, nothing has happened. Another amazing little story is that the Aboriginal people at Kintore arranged and signed a petition. They have in the order of 57 signatures on that petition asking that the Parkers receive the support of Aboriginal Legal Aid to attempt to obtain natural justice. I am told by Mr Parker that, when this petition was put to a meeting, an officer of the Central Land Council told a large number of the Aboriginal people to remove their names from the petition. Given some of the little games that are played there, these people are in some fear. The Central Land Council officer there determines the allocation of houses and can put considerable pressure on the people. Despite being less educated than some of the Aboriginal people, that officer completes the Jobsearch forms for the Department of Social Security. If he does not do that, the people will not receive their cheques. This is subtle pressure - or perhaps I should say that it is not very subtle at all. Mr Parker told me that many of the people who removed their names felt threatened that, if they did not do that, they would be disadvantaged by actions that they knew the Central Land Council officer could take. They approached the Parkers and apologised for having removed their names from the petition. This is abominable behaviour. As well as the letter from the Central Land Council, Mrs Parker provided me with 2 letters from the member for MacDonnell. I will seek leave later to table these letters. However, one thing is certain. The member for MacDonnell does not stand up for the natural justice that these 2 people and their family deserve. It has not affected only themselves. When the Parkers demonstrated that they could operate a private store that offered a quality service and goods at prices as close as possible to those offered in Alice Springs, many Aboriginal people in other areas showed great interest in attempting to learn from their enterprise. Mr Reed: Perhaps they were not on the side of the land council. Mr COLLINS: That would seem to be the way of it. However, this is simply amazing. In one of his letters, the member for MacDonnell wrote: Dear Jilau, You have written to me a lot of letters and sent me copies of a number of letters. I am genuinely very sorry that you and Paul and your family are no longer at Kintore, and I hope you will come back. There are 2 separate issues or at least 2 issues that need to be kept separate: (1) you and Paul and your family living at Kintore; (2) you and Paul and your family running a shop at Kintore. Re (1) I hardly need to say anything about this. You and your family belong to Kintore. That is fairly clear and supports the claims that Jilau and Paul have made. It is their country. They have a right to be there. I would like to think that any Australian can go to any part of the country and establish themselves there. We realise, of course, that that would be difficult for white people in Aboriginal areas. However, when it comes to Aboriginal people and people who are accepted by the local Aboriginal community as having every right to be there, obviously the member for MacDonnell is not prepared to support them against the land council. The Parkers have the right to run a store at Kintore. Do we want Aboriginal people to stand on their own feet? Perhaps there is a question about that. Does the Central 10 707

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