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LABOR GOVERNMENT BETRAYING DUNSTAN LEGACY SAYS APY Print E-mail
Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

LABOR GOVERNMENT BETRAYING DUNSTAN LEGACY SAYS APY

The government has announced draconian changes to the APY Land Rights Act. The effect of these changes is that the Minister will be able to suspend the elected APY Executive Board for ‘any reason, he or she thinks fit’ and appoint an Administrator.

It means that the state government can seize control of the APY Lands at any time and without regard to the wishes of Anangu, who own the land.

“We believe there is no reason for the Minister to change the Act,” said APY chairman, Mr Bernard Singer.

“The Minister has not even tried to exercise his current powers under the Act by giving a direction to the Executive Board.

The Minister has provided no evidence of any maladministration by the board - and just because The Australian says there has been, doesn’t mean there has.

“There has been no misuse of taxpayers money,” said Mr Singer.

Minister Hunter met with six members of the APY Executive last Friday in Adelaide. The Minister told the APY Executive that he wanted to work with them to choose a suitable General Manager.  He did not tell the Executive that he was intending to introduce this provocative legislation next week which would effectively strip them of their powers.

The state government has turned the clock back more than 30 years to take control of the APY Lands back from Anangu. In doing so it is betraying the legacy of Don Dunstan who worked so hard to give control of this country to its traditional owners.

“The APY Executive is supported by all Anangu and was democratically elected. The Minister has no mandate from Anangu to make these changes.

“We believe there is no reason for the Minister to change the Act,” said Mr Singer.

“In fact we say that to change the Act will take South Australia back to the days of the Aboriginal Superintendent,” he said.

“We call on all Members of Parliament to reject the proposed changes to the APY Land Rights Act,” said Mr Singer.

 

 
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