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Today at the National Press

Club, the Kimberley Land

Council boss, Wayne Bergmann.

As negotiations intensify over the development of multibillion

dollar gas reserves off the

Kimberley coast, the Land

Council's playing a crucial

role in balancing environmental

and cultural concerns. From the National Press Club in

Canberra, Wayne Bergmann.

Ladies and gentlemen,

welcome to the National Press

Club and today's National

Australia Bank address. It's a

great pleasure to welcome Wayne

Bergmann, Executive Director of

the Kimberley Land Council. He

grew up in the Kimberleys, and

has very strong community

associations there going right

back. The Kimberley Land

Council's a very interesting

organisation. It's helped

Aboriginal traditional owners

in that part of Australia to

obtain native title over

something like 210,000 square

kilometres. That's more than

45% of the Kimberleys. And of

course, that region is one of

the crucial areas of our export

oriented resource development.

The Kimberley Land Council sits

in the middle of the whole

process of negotiating the

expansion of that industry

between some of the world's -

in fact, THE world's big est

mining companies, the various

environmental groups and the

Aboriginal traditional owners

in the region, and how they sit

in that position, how it feels

and what it's likely to lead to

is what Wayne will talk to you

about today. Please welcome

Wayne Bergmann.

Well, thank you, Ken. Thank

you for the invitation to speak

here today. It's a privilege

and an honour to be able to

talk and tell our story about

our struggle to improve

Aboriginal people's well-being.

First of all, I want to acknowledge the traditional

owners of the land on which we

stand, the Ngumberi people. On the day that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered the

government's apology to the

Stolen Generation, I gathered

at Sun Pictures in Broome with

my family and community, white

and black. People were smiling.

But tears were in their eyes.

The apology created a sense of

new beginning. But the reality

for many Aboriginal people at

Sun Pictures that day is that

they continue to struggle to

access the same opportunities

as other Australians. Our

people are determined to do

something about this. Last week, the Kimberley Land

Council hosted a big meeting of

Aboriginal leaders across the

region. Our senior cultural

bosses were there, along with

leaders from Indigenous service

delivery organisations and

communities. Some of those

leaders are here with me today.

I acknowledge them, because

they are also at the beginning

of the journey I am to talk to

you about today. The journey to

improve Aboriginal people's

social and economic well-being.

We call this gathering in

Broome the Kimberley Futures

Meeting and it was also to

discuss resource development

and the opportunities for our

future. We looked hard at the

possible futures of our people.

We agreed that clearly, things

can't continue as they are.

Because nothing will change. We restated the role governments

must play in delivering

equality of services and

opportunities and education to

our people. And we reflected on

the Prime Minister's recent and

welcome apology to the Stolen

Generation. And this invitation

to embark on a new beginning in

race relations in Australia. It

is these three strands, the

challenges that confront our community, the opportunities

our land presents to us, and

this promise of a new national

beginning that makes such an

exciting moment in the

Kimberley. First, I want to

tell you about myself, my

people, and about the Kimberley

Land Council. And about the

vision we have nor our future.


for our future. My own story

reflects challenges facing many

Kimberley Aboriginal people. I

was born in Derby, struggled at

school, and completed my

so-called education barely

being able to read and write.

Like many young Aboriginal men,

I got in trouble with the

police. I was sent out bush,

out of trouble, doing contract

work with my dad on cattle

stations. I got to realise the

real value of hard work. I left

the Kimberley and completed a


apprenticeship. When I came

home I grabbed an opportunity

to work at Fitzroy Crossing at

Munkaja arts as a trainee ard

co ordinate or. Later I was

employed as a manager. It was

in begin those roles that I

began my cultural education and

discovered core values of my

senior cultural leaders. I

began to appreciate how deeply

and connected to the land my

people are. Some Aboriginal

people in the Kimberley still

alive walked off the desert for

the first time 40 years ago.

This is an incredible living

history for Australia. I was

taught how to be part of my

country, my culture. I learned

to listen. And I also learned

to be the mouthpiece of my

senior people. I learned to

amplify their concerns to the

outside world. This new

understanding led me to study

law at Murdoch University. This

is somewhat of a challenge

given my poor literacy. I think

my readings took twice as long

as many people. After a lot of

hard work I completed my law

degree and worked in private

practice and in chambers for a

legal firm in Perth, before

returning to the Kimberley.

Talking to you today proves you

should never write off any illiterate young

ratbags. (LAUGHTER) One day

Kimberley Land Council and they might be directing the

talking to you at the Press

Club. (LAUGHTER) The Kimberley

Land Council is a real grassroots community

organisation. It was founded on

the banks of the Fitzroy River,

30 years ago, during one of the

biggest confrontations between

Aboriginal people and resource

developers in our country's

history. In the 1970s, the

State supported a multinational

to drill on Nukanbar Station on

sacred ground. The Yungara

people had only recently

secured the lease to Nukanbar

after walking off the station

because of the appalling work

and living conditions. The way

of doing business with

Aboriginal people back then was

to ride roughshod over us. This

joint government and industry

invasion of our country was

unprecedented. But so were the

things that flowed. Nukanbar

was clearly the catalyst for

land rights. In the Kimberley,

it crystallised our efforts to

protect our cultural identity.

In the end, the drilling went

ahead and nothing was found.

But at Nukanbar, Kimberley Aboriginal people became

organised in our struggle to

protect the things most

precious to us. Our leaders

established the Kimberley Land

Council and 30 years later, it

is this grassroots engagement

that keeps the Land Council

strong and alive. I know when

the Land Council talks up for

people, thousands of Kimberley

Aboriginal people stand behind

us. Today native title has been

recognised over 50% of the

Kimberley including Nukanbar

Station and there is more on

the way we have built ourselves

a solid foundation for securing

rights and title to our land,

but recognition of native title

is only the beginning of a much

bigger process. With land,

other opportunities open up.

The Browse Basin off the West

Kimberley coast is a site of

massive gas reserves, reserves

that have the potential to be

the biggest resource

development in Australia's

history. Bigger than the Snowy

River hydro. Bigger than the

Pilbara's iron ore or

Queensland's coalmines and

bigger than the North West

Shelf itself. A number of

resource companies involved

have annual turnovers bigger

than the GDP of some countries.

The annual value of gas

production could be eventually

$20 billion a year. And the

reserves could last for 50 to

100 years. All of this gas

could come ashore on the

Kimberley coastline. This

coastline is precious. It

provides our people with food,

with cultural strength, and it

is our home and identity. It is

also recognised as having

unique environmental values of

global significance. We

understand that all Australians

have an interest in protecting

what is special about the

Kimberleys. This gas project is

a huge challenge, as well as a

huge opportunity for Kimberley

Aboriginal people. The old way

of dealing with an opportunity

like this would be simple -

marginalisation of Aboriginal

people. That's what happened at

Nukanbar. Today, native title

has at least entrenched the

right to be consulted about

what happens on our land. But

the historical record gives Indigenous people good reason

to be unwilling to rely on

government. From the flooding

of communities during the Ord

River project to the bulldozing

of the barramundi dreaming site

in Argyle Diamond Mine, the Western Australian Government

has granted approvals to

companies to damage or destroy

cultural or environmental sites

that are important. But today,

things are different. Our legal

rights and our traditional and

contemporary connection to

country places us in a strong

position to determine what

happens on our land. We are

able to negotiate real and

lasting benefits. Commercial

activities that occur in our

region. It is also true that in

general, the general community,

Australia will no longer accept

mining and development at the

cost of people and the

environment. The resources boom

must deliver for all

Australians, and in particular,

the Aboriginal people on whose

land it takes place and who are

directly affected. We cannot

have world-class resource

development in our region and

our people live in third-world

conditions. This is not

acceptable. This is why the Kimberley Land Council wants to

forge new relationships with

all sectors ensuring long-term

benefits for Aboriginal people.

We are finding a new way of

doing business. The Land

Council helped traditional

owners negotiate many

significant agreements. Over

recent years, delivering employment, training and

community development outcomes

for Aboriginal people. These

agreements have set benchmarks

in Australia for what

Indigenous people should expect

in a modern economy. Big

companies like Argyle Diamonds

and smaller companies like

Tanamai Gold, Kimberley Nickle,

Aztec Resource s, have worked

with us to break new ground in resource developments in partnerships. Companies are

accepting principles such as

"no means no". They are signing

up to agreements that provide

greater protection than the

West Australians' own cultural

heritage legislation. There are

also environmental insurance

clauses, and employment and

training and business

opportunities. Companies have

entered into true partnerships

with Kimberley Aboriginal

people. Another example is the

Argyle Diamond Mine agreement,

brokered by the Kimberley Land

Council with traditional owners

of the Gidja and Merriwong

people. It allowed for

underground expansion of the

Argyle Diamond Mine when no

right to negotiate existed. It

includes Indigenous employment

targets, seed funding for

small-business proposals,

strong accountability

mechanisms, and a

sustainability fund to go

beyond the life span of the

mine. The Argyle Diamond Mine

now employs 192 Indigenous

people, including 62

apprentices and trainees.

That's around $12 million a

year going into our

communities. I must say that

Argyle is small in comparison

to the gas potential

developments. Spread these

kinds of opportunities across

50 to 100 years, the life span

of a gas project, and you begin

to see the potential for

change. So the change is so incredibly needed. At the

moment, a lot of our people

don't have the education or the

skills that are needed to

engage in this modern economy.

Kimberley Aboriginal people

still face huge barriers in grasping these opportunities

that could be created by gas

development because the overwhelming disadvantage of

most Aboriginal people grow up

with and experience daily.

Basic levels of health and life

expectancies lag behind

mainstream Australia. The

suicide level in the Kimberley

is among the highest in the

country. In 2006, there was

almost two suicides every month

in our communities. Our people

are significantly

overrepresented in the justice

system and our prisons. Our

children's education is way

below acceptable standards. Our

living conditions remain closer

to Third World than to the

standards of a wealthy country

in the middle of a boom. Unless

this situation is addressed,

Indigenous people won't be in a

position to take advantage of

the opportunities arising from

future economic growth. We will

remain dependent on welfare. I

don't believe anyone in

Australia wants this to

continue. The Argyle agreement

shows us that real benefits are

possible from development if we

do it right. It is a radical

departure from the old ways

which saw sacred sites

destroyed in order to build the

original open-pit mine in the

early 80s. Debate in the past

has centred on Aboriginal

rights versus so-called

practical reconciliation. It

doesn't have to be one or the

other. The choice doesn't have

to be between human rights and

improvements in living

standards. They are part of the

same thing. The Kimberley Land

Council is advocating for

Aboriginal people can and must

have both. The question is: how

do we make sure that happens?

How do we deal with the

resources in a way that

respects the traditional owners

of the land? It's not just a

matter of debating

compensation. What we are

trying to do is to empower

Aboriginal people to make an

informed decision about their

resources. A decision that

delivers lasting benefits. The

notion of informed consent is

the key. The informed consent

makes traditional owners real

economic partners in their

land. We are no longer victims

of compensation. This is our

new way of doing business. This

is not a debate about being for

or against development. We are

balancing our cultural,

environmental and economic

concerns. This is about the

long-term future of our people.

That is why, in our discussions

with resource companies, our

focus is on building economic

partnerships that give us

greater control and

responsibility and means we

don't rely on government the

way we do today. The aim of

such an economic partnership

would be to establish a

benefits package to create

long-term, sustainable capital

base, to underpin the social

well-being of our people. This

would see the development of

services in health, housing,

education, land management,

delivered by local communities

where Aboriginal people would

run, administer, make

decisions, critically create an

employment base in our region.

We aren't letting governments

off the hook from these

responsibilities. But we will

lead the way in securing the

future for our people. How

would this work? I'll give you

a practical example. Currently,

there is $40 million allocated

to housing in the Kimberley.

But no Aboriginal company

building it. The trades people

fly in, and fly out from our

communities. Under an economic

partnership, we would implement

our own trades training

programs in the Kimberley,

skill up our own kids and have

them work on projects. Then,

when there are repairs needed,

we have the skills to fix them.

Fix them locally. That creates

local economic activity while

cutting the costs of running

our communities. This isn't

rocket science. It's just about

thinking strategically and

having the resources to set up

the training. In some areas, we

are doing these things already.

Kimberley Aboriginal organisations and communities

have built up partnerships,

initially without government,

with the plumbing and

electrical unions in Victoria.

We currently have 47 young

Aboriginal people doing

apprenticeships, and we are

looking at growing this to over

100 by the end of the year.

It's time that government and

industry recognise Aboriginal

people are capable of bringing

about positive change in a

practical way with our own

resources, our own resource

base, we could do more of these

kinds of programs with a

regional focus, and a regional

accountability to make sure we

address our needs. This is the

model under which the Kimberley

Land Council operates. The Land

Council is directed by our

people, responds to our people,

and reports back to our people.

These ideas don't seem radical

on the surface, but they are

based on a principle that

requires a quantum leap in the

attitudes towards Aboriginal

people. With the Kimberley, -

within the Kimberley, there is

strong support for the Land

Council's position. It's not me

running off making decisions

about my people's well-being.

Kimberley traditional owners

have come together to face this

challenge head-on. Under

instructions from traditional

owners, the Land Council has

embarked on a process to ensure

our people have full

understanding of the potential

opportunities and negative

impacts that could come from

gas development. From this

informed position, we will be

able to make the right decision

for our culture, for our

heritage, our children, our

environment, and our future. The premier of Western

Australia has publicly stated

that Kimberley gas development

cannot proceed without the

informed consent of Kimberley

Aboriginal people, and our

substantial economic

participation. These are no

longer the old days. Or the old

ways that existed when Nukanbar

was the centre of conflict.

This is our opportunity to

carve out our place in

Australian society. This is our opportunity to lay the tracks

for the future of our children,

and the generations to come.

But there are challenges we

need to meet to get there. The

first is with some resource

companies who are yet to fully

recognise and accept our role

in development. I invite them

to sit down with us to explore

ways that development can

really deliver for our

communities. The second is with

those who have reservations

about the proposed project, including environmentalists and

others. Our rights to country

are communal. It is about our

country and our people. What we

do is based on respect for the

land and future generations. We

understand the decisions we

make today will be with us

forever. But I am convinced

that this needs to be a

conversation and not a fight.

That is why we are working in

partnerships with environmental

groups. And we have joined with

them to create a set of agreed principles for appropriate

development in the Kimberley.

This is our opportunity to find

the right balance between

environmental, cultural and

economic. We of all people

treasure the Kimberley. Our

land. For its environmental

significance. Not just our

people. Not just the nation.

But to the entire planet. To

this end, we will demand

cultural and environmental

outcomes from any development,

and if traditional owners are

not satisfied with these

outcomes, then there will be no

deal. The way to make the

mining boom pay, to allow

Aboriginal people to look after

country and to have an economic

stake in the development, to

ensure - is to ensure social

and environmental benefits for

our region. The time challenge

is the attitude of the Federal

Government and its preparedness

to undertake its own journey

with us on behalf of the

Australian people. It is a

journey towards improving

Aboriginal people's social and

economic well-being. The

journey begins with government

recognising three principles.

First, that traditional owners

have an economic stake in

resource development on their

country. Secondly, that

informed consent of traditional

owners is integral to the

go-ahead of any development.

And finally, that economic

development must occur hand in

hand with respect for people's

country and culture. Why do I

call this a new approach?

Because we are moving beyond

the compensation debate.

Because we are entering a new

phase, where the focus is on

the opportunity and the shared

benefits. Because we are not

seeking a deal at any cost. We

are becoming partners on our

terms, for the long term, for

future generations. The

national apology marked a

beginning, and our approach is

part of it. For us to be

successful, I think it is

critical that all Australians

understand that we are

embarking on a different

journey. Where we move beyond

past injustices. This is why I

have travelled to Canberra, to

speak to you. The people who

report about our nation to the

broader population. So what is

the challenge for the new Rudd

Government? For industry and

for all the Australian

community? First, to ensure

that these principles of

informed consent are respected,

and that resource companies are

not simply allowed to roll over

the top and the wishes of

tradition yap owners. Secondly,

that the Prime Minister and his

government will work to

understand this new approach to

economic partnerships. We are

pioneering and actually work

with us to see it succeed. The

Prime Minister is always

welcome in the Kimberley to

discuss these initiatives. And

finally, that the new national

government will bring its

expertise and resources to this

partnership. I do not think

what I am proposing is at odds

with what all Australians

expect. As a nation, we know we

have immense resources. We also

have immense needs. How do we

bring these things together to

build a better society? I get the feeling that most

Australians are uncomfortable

with the notion of a resources

boom that leaves people behind.

We cannot just take the easy

option that will only deliver short-term benefits. We must

not leave the cupboard bare for

future generations. To bring

about lasting benefits requires

vision and leadership. It is a

leadership that we, at the

Kimberley Land Council, are

providing our community. It is

one that I hope our new

national government displays on

our collective behalf over the

coming years. I began this

speech talking about the

Kimberley Futures Meeting. The

meeting was significant because

we all realised that, in the

Kimberley, we are making

history. As one of our senior

women said, the changes that

need to happen need to happen

whether development occurs or

not. Most importantly, at that

meeting we agreed that it was

up to us to change the future.

The challenges we face in

negotiating with gas companies

in the Kimberley will be the

first step in our journey

towards a better future for our

people. How we deal with these

challenges is crucial to the

way Australia makes peace with

its Indigenous people. I

understand that the apology

means beyond - I understand

what it means beyond the

national significance. On a

personal level, I understand it

because it touched my family.

(Voice breaks) My grandmother.

My granny. She was taken from

her mother when she was 8. The

apology means we have a chance

for a new beginning. Now, the

hard work begins. Thank


Thank you very much, Wayne

Bergmann. As usual we have our

period of questions starting

today with Chris Johnson. Chris

Johnson from the 'West

Australian'. You mentioned in

your speech that the attitude

of the Federal Government was

key to this new approach. Last

week the government announced

the establishment of the office

of northern Australia, a new

office to be headed by

Parliamentary Secretary Gary

grey, and that the northern

land and water task force would

now report to him. Given that

Mr Grey is a former mining

company executive, do you feel

good about this appointment,

and about these changes? Were

you consulted about these? And

what are you expecting that

this new office and task force

will deliver for the

Kimberley? Thank you for that.

I don't have any details about

the exact set-up of the new

office. I've been aware of the

discussion. We're happy to have

any any engagement at this

stage. Prior to the federal

election, the Land Council's engagement with the

Commonwealth was lacking. So

any engagement that we have to

deal with the issues that are

important to us is welcome. I

don't - at the end of the day,

we're all people, and we've got

to deal with the baggages that

we bring. And I have to learn

how to work with people from

industry, from environment,

from our communities. We all

have our things and I think

that's the melting pot and the

challenge has been more clear

from our side about what we

want out of any

discussion. John Bruce from the

Financial Review. You've spoken

about the extraordinary

resource that your community

has a stake in. Other

Indigenous communities around

the country aren't so lucky.

Are you considering sharing

some of the proceeds with other

Indigenous communities, are you

under pressure to do so, and

can you imagine this being a

source of tension as things

move forward? Well, there's

different - our only focus is

on the Kimberleys. The

Kimberleys - the population is

about 50% Aboriginal

population, 75% of the

long-term population beyond 6

years is Aboriginal. We have

about 30 different language

groups. We're pulling a process

together where we're getting

the 13 traditional owner groups

along the coast together. We're

creating a task force. And

we're looking at, within that,

how we share those benefits.

We're also looking at how the

rippling - because it's not

just where the footprint of the

development happens, we

understand quite clearly there

are ripples that will go out to

the broader community in the Kimberleys, and that is part of

the process we're setting up,

if you call it a sharing

relationships, we're saying

it's a responsibility also from

our culture, we have a

connection to everybody, and we

think that this is the new way that we should be doing

business, is looking after all

our mob as much as we can. So

we are looking at sharing relationships. I'm from Australian associated press.

You mention the Browse Basin in

your press. There's also the

Marat Islands which I believe

you have jurisdiction over,

which is also home to turtles,

migrating whales and dugong.

Considering the Indigenous

people of this country's

connection to the land and the

problems of poverty that you

face, how difficult is the

balancing act between

protecting these species and

things that are dear to your

people, and netting some

benefits for your people? This

is a huge challenge. But before you can make an informed

decision, you gotta have

accurate information. And the

first step is to get

information on the table so we

can understand what that

development means. Marit

Islands is part of a

negotiation that was

established before the State

Government established their

task force. It is north of the

Browse basen but when I talked

about that basin I generally

referred to the whole area in

capturing all the gas out

there. We are really concerned

about turtles, dugong, marine

life. They don't know

boundaries. The Land Council

has carried out turtle tracking

programs. Our turtles we've

tracked them going to

Queensland and overseas. So

there is a huge network of

connections of marine life. But

before you can make an informed decision, we're trying to

understand what does this

development mean? Because from

our understanding, there's

different ways the development

can proceed that minimises

impact. So the more we get that

information on the table, the

better we are able to work out

how we balance it. There are

turtles all along the Kimberley

coast. It's not just Marit

Islands, so we're trying to

work out in our own minds where

are the best place, how are

they better managed from our

cultural and environmental

concerns? 'Cause it's not just,

like, culture and environment.

We've got cultural

environmental values as well.

Our dreamtime stories about

creations of turtle, people

birth spirits are about

turtles. So there are numerous

connections that we

have. Hello. I'm from the 'Sydney Morning Herald'. My

question follows on from that.

How do you intend to reconcile

the conflict between advancing

mining in the Kimberleys with

advancing another potential

long-term economic engagement

opportunity for the Aboriginal

people there, that is,

tourism., and some operators

have already called for no

mining in the region. How will

you balance that? Well, we've

got to really understand those

impacts. And I think the

resources sector, unlike the

tourism sector, provides a

structured way in which you can have each project take account

of its impact on the

environment. Whereas tourism

has been allowed to develop all

over the place without any

central control of impact. We

have a number of traditional

owner groups very concerned

about tourism happening in the Kimberleys, without the consent

of traditional owners. This is

the challenge. That's the heart

of what we're trying to do, is

weigh up and balance that

environmental, that economic

base, and those developments as

they most appropriately - how

can we fit them in our country?

We're not afraid to say "no".

If anyone knows anything about

the history of the Land

Council, we've said "no"

often. Hello, I'm from the

'Australian' newspaper. There's

been a lot of talk recently

about setting up a new national representative body. Do you

think the government should be

consulting with a lot of

Aboriginal people and people

other than Mick Dodson, and do

you think it's a priority that

any new model is low cost?

Well, I don't even know if

anyone's spoken to Mick

yet. (LAUGHTER) So, look, I'm

really disappointed about the

leadership about how this has

been bandied about. We need to

work out a regional basis to

get the views of our people at

a national level. I think this

is all part of the melting pot,

and Warren Mundine, Mick

Dodson, and everybody else who

have an opinion need to get in

the same room and put their

ideas in the same melting pot.

I think there's no question

about it, that after - for all

the faults and good things that

ATSIC brought, we need to find

a way through it because it's

gotten worse since there hasn't

been a national voice. Not to

say that I've endorsed those

exact models, but I think that

there needs to be that

conversation, that dialogue has

to happen. Sarah Smiles from

the 'Age'. You mentioned before

that the gas reserves could

potentially be worth $20

billion a year, and that these

reserves could go on for 50 to

100 years. That's an enormous

amount of money. How much do

you expect Aboriginal groups

will receive from this, and

what frameworks need to be put

in place to ensure that the

mine --

money is properly spent on what

you were talking about,

building on economic

development within communities?

Are you concerned that such a

huge amount of money could in

the end compound some of the

problems in communities? I

think that's the process we're

going through at the moment. I

have a strong sense of belief

of my mob in the Kimberley that

we do the right thing. That is

reflected in other agreements

where Aboriginal people have

put aside their private

compensation money to use for

dialysis machines, training

opportunities, when there are recognised State and

Commonwealth responsibilities

to provide those services. I

believe this is the challenge

of a people, how we've got to

make the decision for the best

interests of our people. And I

see this on a daily basis.

We're not happy with the

conditions we live in. We don't

choose to live like this. We

are trying to do something

about it, and I think that's

the challenge. I believe that

our people will find the

balance, and will find a

sustainability fund or a

benefits fund for the future,

and that's what our leadership

is talking about and saying to

us. David Spears from Sky news.

Just getting back to the new

national body, what's your view

on this? Do you think it should

be an elected body or do you

think it should be a body

appointed by the minister, and

do you think whatever the body

is, it should be answerable to

the minister? I think we are actually doing this through

this process already. We're creating a representative

structure to deal with the gas.

We're engaging with traditional owners throughout the region,

so we're doing elements of

Aboriginal people talking up

for our benefits. That was the

basis of the Kimberley Futures

Meeting. I think the government

needs to support us to sort out

our own backyard s to create

the structures we need and it's

gotta have accountability based

on where leadership is

accountable at the local level.

That's what makes, I think, the

major difference. We've gotta

at least have that dialogue and discussion with the

Commonwealth, and the State,

about how they fit. Because

there are a lot of overlapping

responsibilities, I think, in

Aboriginal affairs with the

State and Commonwealth, and

they need to be streamlined in

a way that nobody pass the

buck. I think there's been a

lot of buck-passing over the

years and we need to get down

to doing it and I guess that

was my message, is that we're

frustrated.0 like, forget about

everyone, we're gonna go ahead

and do these things ourselves.

So whether our structures that

we establish in the Kimberley

talks up for the region will be

a decision our mob will make in

our region. Glenn Milne from

News Limited Sunday

publications and the

'Australian'. You've spoken a

lot today about process,

information, interconnectedness. In terms of

the Kimberley gas resources,

how long are you prepared to

let this process run before you

come to a final decision, be it

yes or no? And a second

question, if I may. Can I take

you back to your days as a

ratbag, and ask you, Noel

Pearson has recently suggested

that in terms of Aboriginal

communities, they must start to

embrace the idea of sending

some kids away to whiteboarding

schools in the city to actually

get a decent education and come

back and provide leadership to

their beam. I wonder what you

think of that idea? Well --

to their people. Well, two

things. I think we're working

hard to try and meet some deadlines, some economic

deadlines for companies. At the

end of the day, the process

will deliver the time lines

that we can meet. We're

expecting to give indications

to the companies and the state

after June, September, end of

the year this year. So there

will be a clearer position from

Aboriginal people on the coast

about locations we're prepared

to talk about. I was sent away

to boarding school, too. Didn't

really know. It was kind of - I

don't think I learned anything

educationally by going, but it

was an incredibly experience to

pull me out, to experience the

wider world. I think those

decisions happen in families

and communities. Not by someone

imposing them. So I think that

people should have the option

to choose how to do that. And

if young people and if families

want to help their kids, like

anyone else in Australia, want

to send their kids to boarding school, we should have that opportunity and choice and I

think it is an incredible learning curve for people and

that experience can benefit our

people by bringing back those

skills. A number of my senior

people here have grand children

in boarding schools, and I

think they have benefitted

people. Laurie Wilson,

freelance journalist and

director of the Press Club. Two

questions. If I could, first of

all, in terms of the mining

companies, there's the general

impression they've moved a long

way over the years, individual

leaders like Robert Decrety and

last year the head of the Minerals Council talked about

the significant changes that he

believes are happening,

attitudinal changes that have

occurred in the Minerals

Council but you mentioned that

some companies still - I'm not

quoting to you - but aren't

playing ball. I'm interested in your perception of what's

actually happening in terms of

the mining industry and their

preparedness to deal with you.

And the second thing, you said,

to quote you, one of our

answers, that things have

become worse with the demise of

ATSIC. Could you be a bit more

specific in terms of your

specific areas of concern about

what has occurred since its

demise? Well, the - I missed

your first question. Sorry.

Auto The first question is

... Changes in attitude of the

mining company. Massive.

Massive change. Jubbo here held

the flag at Nuk anbar, was

dragged away by police to be

locked up. Massive

confrontation. I mean, that's

the contrast that I'm talking

about, that existed. We're a

tough lot in the Kimberley,

we're not afraid of a fight. To

stages where we're now sitting

down at the table and talking

amicably about how - what can

companies do without breaching

our concerns, our heritage

values? It's a mixed bag. There

are the leadership - the

leadership I think is happening

from the big end of the town. A

lot of big companies are Seth

the precedent but a lot of the

medium-sized companies like the

ones that I have mentioned are

doing it as well. There are a

mixed bag of some companies

that aren't, aren't following

suit and it makes it more

difficult. So yeah, I can't

just paint everyone with a

brush 'cause it's not true.

There are some companies who

really believe in doing the

right thing . ATSIC. Well, I

think there's been,

specifically, the frustration

in communities. The stress

that's been caused about the

changing in Aboriginal programs

and funding programs to support

Aboriginal people. Trying to

force the young healthy men in

communities into town to do

training, for what? Where's the

work they're going to be

trained for? There's been

greater pressure on our

cultural organisations who

aren't economic organisations,

they're providing a community

benefit, to try and maintain

support. Right across-the-board, our small

outstations have been closed

down because funding doesn't

exist. Not to say that we're

saying that this has to be the

way of the future; I think

there has to be a conversation

with us to mould - to help pave

the new path that we have to

move on. And I don't think that

happened in the Kimberley in a

way we would expect it to

happen to treat us with

respect. The way we've

interpreted as the axe dropped,

and from than point onward,

things changed. There was no

engagement. So, I mean, the

social, the more statistical

information, I question, I

wonder, where did the practical

reconciliation work over the

past 10 years under the Liberal

government policy? I don't see

evidence of that happening.

I've seen us picking up more of

the pieces. Suzanne Levy, daily

telegraph. You've spoken at

length today about the

connection Aboriginal people

with their land and it appears

that some of our people are fortunate that some of your

land is providing some economic

opportunities for your people,

but so many Aboriginal

communities, there are no

economic opportunities. Should

taxpayers be putting houses and

putting resources into

communities where there is no

hope of a long-term economic

outcome, and is it time for

some Aboriginal people to think about whether they perhaps may

need to move to areas where

there are more economic

opportunities to help them get

out of their situation? I

think there this is an age-old

arguments that's been

happening. I believe it comes

back to the informed

participation of Aboriginal

people in that decision,

whether people choose to live

remotely, I think that people

have to make a decision based

on understanding the

implications of that, whether

there is support or whether

there isn't. I think there are

huge economies out in those

communities that haven't been

supported, arts industry,

research, there's a whole lot

of other industries, I think,

that are happening that people

haven't tapped in, and that in

some areas where the mining

boom is happening, there is no

correlation between

multibillions of dollars being

drawn out of the ground from

iron ore and the community

living next door in poverty. So

I think that is the challenge

that Aboriginal people need to

start addressing, is how do we

make our communities sustainable? There are some

small communities that are very

successful in making it. So

it's not one size fits all. And

there are some big communities

that are struggling. But if you

remove that down to some of the

other communities where, you

know, the changing in

Australia's economic markets,

with wheat farming or farming

where there are populations of

40 to 100 people living in

towns, there's no question

being asked of people in those

areas, well, you need to pack

up and leave. Governments are

taking out some services, but

people have a choice where they

need to pack up and leave and

I'm saying: we want the same -

we want to be treated the same

as everyone else. We need to be

part of that conversation of

what services we think we

should be playing. We're

talking about some communities

in our area of 400 people.

They're towns. But they don't

have power supply. They have to

pay for it themselves. So I

think this debate also is a bit

unequal. Let's go back to Chris

Johnson. You'd be aware of

discussions at the moment about

a Kimberley-wide alcohol policy

to follow on from the current

trial in Fitzroy Crossing. How

tough do you think the

restrictions on alcohol should

be or do you think civil

liberties may be more

outweighing in this debate? I

think the conversation has to

happen with Kimberley people on

the ground about what's in

their best interests, how they

want to engage. I think if you

implement bans and you don't

have anything planned to happen

after they stop, I'm worried

that life will go back to life

as usual. So if you engage the

community to understand why

we're implementing bans, that

the government comes in and

provides the support programs

that make it the change of

people's lifestyle sustainable,

the employment, the housing,

the education, so people become

meaningful participatants in

the town, then it will last a lot longer than the initial

ban. I think this is one of the

challenges facing us. And I

would like to be engaged with

government about what is in the

best interests of our region.

And there's no easy answer. I

think some of the bans have

been light. I think they've hit

middle ground. But I don't

think the support programs that

have come in haven't been there

to sustain change over a longer

period of time. A final

question today from Carlos

Selner. Jai want to touch on a

question, an earlier question

on the relationship between

Indigenous people and the

mining companies. Put simply,

do you trust them, where is the

trust level at now? I don't

know - I'm not sure if it is a

question of trust. I think it's

more recognising that we both

have our own interests. They

have an interest to run a

project, it has to be economic

al we have an interest to

protect our country and

establish things for the future

of our people. And it's kind of

meeting those minds allows us -

creates the basis on which we

can start talking about a

negotiation. I think the issue

about trust is a bit of the old

ways of talking. And I think

this is the new way of talking,

is finding out, have we got

more in common than in

difference? And I think we

generally focus on what we have

more in common and then we have

our negotiation and arguments

over what we have difference.

And then that forges our

relationship and then from that

relationship, is what we

establish our trust. After any

negotiation I've experienced

with companies, it's been very

tough, heated words are

exchanged, but the chairmen,

CEOs of the company ring us up

on a personal level all the

time because we establish a

different kind of trust and

relationship, that we can ring

each other up and help sort out

things if we have the skills to

help each other. So yeah, I

think this is a really

different playing field. It's

not the kind of "I trust you, I

hate you". We forge that out in

these negotiations. Wayne,

thank you very much. (APPLAUSE)

Wayne Bergmann, thank you

very much. I know you were a

bit apprehensive about this

appearance today, not to two

mention two days of frosty

mornings in Canberra after

Broome, but it's been a very

productive hour. Thank you very

much and we hope that we see you again. Thank you,


Closed Captions by CSI Forget the idea that a dance career can't last. Nancye Hayes has been dancing since she can remember.

In fact, 40 years on she's directing the show that made her famous, for dancing in its lead role, 'Sweet Charity'. And for the past year she's been touring and dancing with her friend Todd McKenney. For this week's 'Talking Heads' I met with Nancye, here in Melbourne, as she prepared for another night of 'Sweet Charity'. THEME MUSIC Nancye, it's great to meet you. Great to meet you too, Peter. Thanks for coming on 'Talking Heads'.

It's a pleasure. Well, theatre's been your whole life in a way, hasn't it? Well, it has. I've been in the theatre 46 years now and that's a very long time. But it doesn't seem that long when, looking back,

I still can remember myself on those first shows and the journey's been a long one, but it's gone by very quickly. Well, inevitably, there are lots of peaks and troughs. And is coping with the peaks just as hard as coping with the troughs, sometimes? Of course, it is, yes. I mean, I think, you can have your triumphs but they all come... the show closes and then you have to go on to something else and sometimes it can be a while. But I have diversified quite a bit into choreography and direction and teaching and things. So I've tried to keep myself buoyant and available for all sorts of things. Now you're in the middle of performances of 'Sweet Charity'.

What's it like to be in a theatrical environment like this? Does this still get your pulse going? Absolutely! I adore being around backstage and coming through the stage door and the excitement of all the company and... Well, Nancye, after all these years, do you still suffer from nerves? Always, I think it gets worse. The more you do, I think it gets worse. Because, I think, the more you expect of yourself you feel that others expect of you. So, Nancye, we're going to take a look at you growing up. The 'E' in my name has been there since I was born. My mother had a sister Nancy who died when she was five. And when I was born, her name was Nancy Elizabeth, so when I was born I think the 'E' was part of that association. So I've been Nancye with an 'E' ever since. I was born in Sydney in 1943, and that began my great love affair with Sydney. After my father came back from the war we went to the Hunter Valley. And when people would say, "Oh, where do you live?" I'd always say, 'Sydney' and my mother said, "No you don't" I said, "Yes, I'll always live in Sydney." I've been dancing for as long as I can remember. I went to dancing school at the age of three. Dancing around to the wireless. (Laughs) We moved back to Sydney and I grew up here, in Manly. Mainly to go back to my dancing classes. UP-BEAT PIANO SONG PLAYS

I used to go to the Dispensary Hall in Eustace Street, Manly, for my dance classes with a school case full of tap shoes, toe shoes, leotards, tights and a few school books. On Saturdays, after I'd finished the dance classes, I would go to the movies, usually the MGM musicals, and they very much influenced my love of the theatre and the stage. I used to see a lot Gene Kelly, and I loved Betty Grable and, of course, Fred Astaire. When I was about seven, I fell off my bike and I started to limp. And it was discovered that I had a tumour on my left hip. They were worried that it would be cancerous, but fortunately it wasn't. And it was removed. And then I had to wear a calliper for about 18-months. After that, I um, was advised by the doctor that it would be good if I went back to dancing because it would help develop the bone again. When I was 11, my father was killed in a car accident and we went back to live with my grandmother. And I was beside the sea again, which I loved. And it was many happy years there with her. My mother was a great sewer and she taught me to sew. She was a wonderful seamstress and she used to make all my costumes. And when I started working I would buy material and make a dress to go out on a Saturday night almost every week. VOICE: Type now. VOICE: Type now and now. My mother was a very sensible woman. I wanted to go into the theatre and she said, "Well, I'm not so sure about that "but if you go to secretarial college, and work for two years, "then you can go and audition."

I've learnt from my mother to make the best of things. So, when we made that agreement for me to go to secretarial school I got on with it, and I enjoyed working. But I was always dreaming about being on the stage. I got the opportunity to play small roles. And then they became bigger and I had a great break in 'How to Succeed'. And then in 'Boys from Syracuse' and then in 1966, I was chosen to play 'Sweet Charity', an enormous break for me, because usually they imported artists in Australia to play those leading roles. But they took a gamble and it was a wonderful result for me. Really wonderful. SONG: # And the rhythm of life # Is a powerful beat # Puts a tingle in your... # 'Sweet Charity' actually opened in 1967. And it was rather a wonderful time for me. Also, a very sad time because I lost both my mother and my grandmother, during the run of that show. So, Nancye, how did you cope with the fact that, at your big moment really, the two closest people to you died in that year. Well, it was wonderful that I had that family in the company of 'Sweet Charity' around me. Friends that are still great friends today, who were so supportive of me. And I think I was fortunate that I had such a hard show to do