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Jun 26, 2007

Mutitjulu community leaders: please listen to us

Leaders of the Mutitjulu community, located near the base of Uluru, question the need for a military occupation of their small community.

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We welcome any real support for indigenous health and welfare and even two police will assist, but the Howard Government declared an emergency at our community over two years ago — when they appointed an administrator to our health clinic — and since then we have been without a doctor, we have fewer health workers, our council has been sacked, and all our youth and health programmes have been cut.

We have no CEO and limited social and health services. The Government has known about our overcrowding problem for at least 10 years and they’ve done nothing about it.

How do they propose keeping alcohol out of our community when we are 20 minutes away from a five-star hotel? Will they ban blacks from Yulara? We have been begging for an alcohol counsellor and a rehabilitation worker so that we can help alcoholics and substance abusers but those pleas have been ignored. What will happen to alcoholics when this ban is introduced? How will the Government keep the grog runners out of our community without a permit system?

We have tried to put forward projects to make our community economically sustainable — like a simple coffee cart at the sunrise locations — but the Government refuses to even consider them.

  • There is no evidence of any fraud or mismanagement at Mutitjulu – we have had an administration for 12 months that found nothing.
  • Mal Brough and his predecessor have been in control of our community for at least 12 months and we have gone backwards in services.
  • We have successfully eradicated petrol sniffing from our community in conjunction with government authorities and oil companies.
  • We have thrown suspected p-dophiles out of our community using the permit system which the Government now seeks take away from us.
  • We will work constructively with any government, state, territory or federal, that wants to help Aboriginal people.

Bob Randall is the subject of the documentary Kanyini.

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