WORKING GROUP ON INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS
24th Session, Geneva 31 July to 4 August 2006
I am here to represent the Wamba Wamba Nation, which includes all of Australia's Victoria and New South Wales clans.
On behalf of Garry Murray, president of the Wiran Aboriginal Corporation and Wamba Wamba Nation, I appeal about the genocide by stealth of both Commonwealth and State Governments in Australia who continue to erode Indigenous rights to self determination, the protection of their cultural heritage and the rights to their lands and waters.
The Traditional Owners rights and interests are being violated in cultural heritage matters and we draw to the attention of this Assembly that the Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2006 will create uncertainty for all Citizens of the State of Victoria, Australia, undermines the cultural authority and obligations of all Traditional Owners to their respective Country and will create conflict and divisions for all Stakeholders.
The Wamba Wamba therefore request that the United Nations lobby the Parliament of the State of Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia to amend the Bill so that Traditional Owners are specifically recognized by statute, have exclusive rights to managing cultural heritage and native title rights in their respective Country. Alternatively, the State of Victoria should seek to amend the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 Part 11A that relates to Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage for the benefit of all Traditional Owner Groups.
Thank you Mr. Chairperson.