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No Minister! It's time to listen to Mutitjulu.



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MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Warren Snowdon MP Labor Member for Lingiari Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs

Wednesday 19 July 2006

NO MINISTER! IT’S TIME TO LISTEN TO MUTITJULU

Member for Lingiari and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia and Indigenous Affairs Warren Snowdon said Mutitjulu’s challenge today to the appointment of an administrator should encourage Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough to step back, listen and think.

Mr Snowdon said the community was notified of the appointment by fax only this morning, although it had been announced as a fait accompli in the media by the Minister yesterday afternoon.

‘The appointment was clearly rushed because the community has been given no specific grounds for it and no time to show cause that it should not be done,’ he said.

‘These are legally required by the Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act and the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations should be guided by this before taking this serious step.

‘It opens real questions about the role of the Minister in the appointment.

‘Did his announcement pre-empt the Registrar’s decision and what was the communication about the matter between the Minister, his department and the Registrar?

‘For him to announce it to the media before giving the community the courtesy of getting the facts first underlines the importance of these questions.

‘No matter what their concerns might be, the Minister and his officers should not be afraid to detail their concerns to the community so they can respond.

‘‘And then instead of the unholy rush to get the solution they obviously wanted in the first place, they should think carefully and negotiate with the community a course of action that is mutually acceptable.

‘This would be consistent with the principles of natural justice, a concept which seems to be foreign to this Minister and this Government,’ Mr Snowdon said.

Ends