February 22, 2007

Permits review - please submit something

The permit system (where you need a permit to be on Aboriginal Land) is under review and submissions are due next Wednesday! (Feb 28). All options are on the table - from no change, to removing the permit system altogether. I don't know a link that provides more info, but maybe email me or leave a comment - I'm trying to get a hold of the NLC newsletter that talks about the matter.

I urge everyone to think about making a submission. I'm against changing the system because I worry about taking away power from communities/Traditional Owners. They're oppressed enough as it is.

Any individual or organisation can send a submission. Address it to:
Greg Roche
Assistant Secretary, Land
Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination
Woden ACT 2606
Fax: 02 6282 3601
Email: greg.roche at facsia dot gov dot au

I think the government's trying to rush this through before the election and it's got me very worried.


Jane said...

Thanks for directing our attention to this. This is part of what I've written:

Dear Mr Roche
I am writing to express my deep concern about the proposal to remove the permit-system from Aboriginal land. This will mean:
(i) the only way Aborigines can stop people (e.g. grog-runners or shonky salesmen) coming onto their property is by the cumbersome and expensive process of suing trespassers. Most do not have the money to do this.
(ii) a violation of privacy
Many Aboriginal communities have large extended families, who cook and camp out in the front or back yard. Once there's a free-for-all allowing journalists and tourists free access to such communities, their rights to go about cooking, sleeping, talking in privacy will be violated. Journalists will legally be able to film them doing that. This constitutes more surveillance than most non-Indigenous people would endure, and many Indigenous people have bitter memories of such surveillance in the past.

Anonymous said...

I sent one, raising some of the same points as Jane (and pointing out things like accommodation shortages mean that many extra people would compromise resources).

Claire (I'm not anon, but blogger's signin is eating most of my comments at the moment)

Anonymous said...

That hungry, hungry blogger.

There isn't much ethical grey area to this one; any land-owner may prevent others from trespassing. The only difference here is that the land-owner is a group entity. I'm no lawyer, but it shouldn't be so difficult to accommodate that.

I hate simplifying issues, but this one calls for it. The default situation should be that anyone may refuse others permission to trespass on their property. Of course they may waive this right, and most do. But the right must exist.
Having said that, I don't know enough about the current system or any of the proposed changes to include anything other than this obvious point.

Anonymous said...

Jangari, in my experience, making obvious points is not wasted when dealing with government..