The Greens recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the traditional custodians of Australia, and we believe that their history, culture and traditions must be protected and preserved.
The state electorate of Newtown is home to one of NSW’s most recognisable Aboriginal communities in Redfern. The Block is an Aboriginal cultural landmark, and Redfern has become an important symbol of Aboriginal resilience.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples all across NSW should enjoy the same standard of living as all other Australians, however they still face significant issues. These include over-representation in the criminal justice system, land dispossession, lack of access to affordable housing and great disparity in health. Government at all levels should be working to address the blatant inequalities between Australia’s first peoples and the rest of the population.
The Coalition continues to attack Aboriginal land rights in NSW by introducing new laws that will prevent reasonable claims on vacant coastal Crown land. At a Federal level they have removed funding for essential services, which has devastated many Aboriginal families and communities, and put many vulnerable people under even greater pressure. Aboriginal legal services have also been severely cut, reducing capacity for advice, representation, community legal education and law reform.
The Greens are committed to:
- Raising the quantity and quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing in in consultation with members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Giving Aboriginal peoples the right to own and control Aboriginal culture and heritage.
- Ending the destruction of Aboriginal sites of heritage significance.
- Identifying and addressing the barriers to healthcare that affect Aboriginal people.
- Ensuring adequate funding to eliminate the mortality gap between Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the wider Australian community as a matter of urgency.
- Recognising the unique educational requirements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and providing adequate resources to meet their needs.
- Addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system in New South Wales as a matter of priority.
Stay up to date with issues in this area at the website of the NSW Greens Spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Dawn Walker.