Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Patrick Dodson warns Aboriginal people will be refugees in their own country if communities close

Dan Harrison Sydney Morning Herald November 21, 2014

‘We're talking about a living culture’: Professor Patrick Dodson. Photo: Damian Kelly
Eminent Aboriginal elder Patrick Dodson has lashed the Abbott government's decision to cease funding for essential services in remote communities, a move that has contributed to one state government proposing to close 150 communities.
Professor Dodson, known as the father of Aboriginal reconciliation and who authored a review of small communities known as outstations or homelands, for the NT government in 2009, said the move would make Aboriginal people refugees in their own country and threaten ancient living cultures……..
‘I think that the Commonwealth has got a clear responsibility,’ Professor Dodson said……..
‘The Federal Minister has to understand that the states have got their own unique issues and problems,’ he said.
‘[Mr Barnett] now has to face up to the reality that these citizens in Western Australia need to be dealt with properly and he needs a proper financial, strategic plan that copes with their cultural and social aspirations. For that the feds ought to give him a bit more time and help phase in a better budget to enable this to happen.’
………Professor Dodson said the consequences of relocating people from their traditional lands would be disastrous, increasing access to drugs and alcohol and exacerbating social tensions, which would flow on to antisocial behaviour and incarceration………
Read more http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/patrick-dodson-warns-aboriginal-people-will-be-refugees-in-their-own-country-if-communities-close-20141121-11ri5r.html

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