An attempt by Marama Fox to condemn the Australian Government's closure of Aboriginal communities was stopped by the Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee yesterday.
Gerry Brownlee denied co-leader of the Māori Party, Marama Fox leave from the House of Representatives to vote on a motion to condemn the Australian Government’s impending closure of remote indigenous communities in Western Australia.
Marama Fox tweeted a picture of the motion she wanted to put to the house which read;
“I move that this House condemn the forced closure of Aboriginal communities in Australia and call on the Australian Government to honour its commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through reporting the rights of Australia’s indigenous peoples to live on their traditional lands.”
Earlier this week the spokesperson for the Aboriginal Swan Valley Nyungah community called on Prime Minister John Key to put pressure on Australian PM Tony Abbott to reconsider the planned closure of up to 150 remote Aboriginal communities.
In an interview with Rewa Harriman on Native Affairs, Swan Valley spokesperson, Bella Bropho asked John Key to put pressure on Tony Abbot and Western Australia’s Premier Colin Barnett to put a stop to the plans to close down the communities.
She said her people were being condemned and likened what was happening to modern day genocide and that her people were fighting for their existence and survival.
When asked what she thought would happen to those who would be impacted by the closures, she said, “I think they will go to the nearest town and be homeless people they’ll end up being homeless people because if there is no help to re house them or relocate them they’ll just all go live around in vacant blocks or car parks or anywhere they can find a camping place and the towns will be full up with all these people.”
Te Kāea asked the Prime Minister's office for a response to the call from the Aboriginal people and his office replied with the following response, "this is a matter for the government of Australia and it would not be appropriate for the Prime Minister to comment."