…exctract of thought provoking piece, zapped over earlier, from the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance…

As the dust starts to settle and Australia reflects on the outcomes of the recent federal election many Aboriginal people have growing concerns over Tony Abbotts new Indigenous Advisory Council and the agenda behind its plans for ‘real action for Indigenous Australians’.

The Council appears to be on the road from idea to institution, with scant consultation or consent from Aboriginal and Islander people. In the style that has marked so much of successive governments approaches to our issues the proposed Council is top down and unrepresentative with Tony Abbott and Nigel Scullion being joined at the table by Warren Mundine, Noel Pearson and Marcia Langton.

There may be more Aboriginal ‘leaders’ involved, but who knows – and that is the whole point. Unlike ATSIC or the newly re-elected National Congress – with all their limitations and flaws – the Indigenous Advisory Council is hand-picked by the politicians, not promoted by our people.

This is not to say that these three individuals do not have things to offer and positive contributions to make. But they do not have a mandate to represent all our views and they hold views about Aboriginal ‘development’ that are far removed from the lived experience and deeply held aspirations of many Aboriginal people. Particularly in relation to the role of the State and of the resource sector in the Coalitions new ‘open for business’ Australia…

...Mining is neither a new development nor a new answer to old problems. Mining has been around for hundreds of years. Look at Aboriginal life in Australia’s mining regions around Roeborne, Port Hedland and Port Augusta. Spend a couple of days out at Laverton, go talk to the folks at the missions in Kalgoorlie and tell us mining is pulling Aboriginal people out of poverty or reducing the rates of kidney disease and cancers. Look at the youth suicide rates, our people’s lack of representation in Parliaments and over representation in prisons. It’s not as simple as saying mining will pull us out of poverty, stop the welfare dependence and ‘save us’. It hasn’t done it in the last 200 years of occupation and excavation.

::: click here for piece in full : : :