The Australian Council of Trade Unions Executive has voted unanimously to condemn the Abbott and Barnett Governments’ moves to forcibly close Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.
Unions call on the Abbott Government to restore funding for Aboriginal communities and the Barnett Government to end the political funding games and work with communities to maintain their connection to traditional lands.
Australian Unions will support campaigns driven by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The union movement has a proud history of standing alongside with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities in the struggle for civil rights, and remain committed to the values of self-determination, equality and fairness for all Australians.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:
“The union movement supports, and will defend, the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to live on traditional lands and continue their cultural connection which is an invaluable part of Australia’s identity as a nation.
“If the Abbott Government is serious about closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, why have they cut funding for services to Aboriginal communities?
“Tony Abbott’s insensitive “lifestyle choices” comment demonstrates his disconnection from the Aboriginal communities he purports to represent as the self-appointed Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
“It is interesting to note that the Prime Minister’s position reflects capitalisation and the sectional interests of corporate miners such as Reinhart and Forrest.
“Indigenous Australians must be consulted and involved in decision making rather than the paternalistic approach of the Abbott and Barnett Governments.”
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS TO Shelly Frances Kershaw