Despite the benefits of remote communities, the WA Government plans to deny funding to around 100 communities, and develop 10 into towns which will introduce new regulations.
This plan violates the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states that people have the right to remain in their own communities, and be supported to do so.
The Story So Far
In 2014, WA Premier Colin Barnett announced that up to 150 remote communities would be closed.
“I want you to stop and think about this sacred land that has been home to our people for tens of thousands of years – our land that is central to our culture… We are part of the earth and it is part of us.”
– Dennis Eggington, CEO, ALSWA
Benefits of Remote Communities
Aboriginal Western Australians have been living on their lands for more than 50,000 years. Being part of the oldest living culture in the world, their sites are older than the Egyptian pyramids.
As Amnesty International Australia and others have found, traditional lands are proven to be beneficial to physical and mental health in adults and children alike.
Sign the Petition to Prevent Community Closures
As the WA State Government has agreed to take responsibility for service provision to support Aboriginal communities, I urge you to ensure that, in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
1. Aboriginal communities are not forcibly closed or residents relocated without their free, prior, and informed consent; and,
2. Aboriginal people are not deterred from living in their communities due to the inadequate provision of municipal and essential services.
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Want To Do More?
Tip-Offs on Closures
If you have any information on the closures of remote communities or services in Western Australia, we would like to hear from you. Please get in touch through our anonymous tip-off form below.
Bill to Prevent Closures
Robin Chapple MLC has introduced his Prevention of Forced Closure of Remote Aboriginal Communities Bill 2016, which seeks to prevent community closures and allow residents to contest closures which take place without consent.