The Greens (WA) want First Nations peoples to have self-determination over their own destiny, and to live their lives in health, well-being and peace.
Yet oppressive laws and policies, misunderstanding, ignorance and the lack of knowledge and education has meant that First Nations peoples have generationally been subject to policies and legislation that have impoverished many lives.
Western Australia incarcerates First Nations peoples at the highest rate of anywhere in the world, and has the highest rate of deaths in custody in the country. Successive Governments have failed again and again to address these issues because of their refusal to engage in a legitimate process of co-design and to listen to the solutions offered by First Nations people.
For too long Aboriginal culture and heritage in WA has been ignored. Mining companies and the McGowan Government are on notice - they do not have the social license to destroy First Nations peoples’ heritage and culture.
The Greens have a plan to ensure that self-determination is front and center of decisions relating to our First Nations peoples. We will work with First Nations peoples to establish new legislation and regulations to protect their cultural heritage, and invest in industry training, development and management to support self-determination and independence.
The Greens will:
Urgently implement the outstanding recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, abolish mandatory sentencing and raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years of age · More »
Establish a new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act · More »
Invest in First Nations led and controlled essential health, social and mental health services · More »
Fund Indigenous organisations and programs aimed at protecting and promoting First Nations cultural heritage and
Implement the outstanding recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody found that there are many underlying issues behind the over- representation of First Nations peoples in the criminal justice system. These include poverty, ill physical or mental health, lack of education, addiction, discrimination and homelessness. This is only exacerbated by current police practices, prison procedures and judicial processes.
The Royal Commission recognised that only through addressing these underlying issues would we see a reduction of the over- incarceration of First Nations people.
Yet too many important recommendations from the Royal Commission have still not been implemented; more than 25 years since they were handed down.
The Greens will invest in early intervention, prevention and rehabilitation programs, including local community-led social reinvestment initiatives that address the underlying causes of disadvantage and drivers of criminal justice based responses.
Establish a new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act
The current Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972) has entrenched successive governments’ policies that allow their corporate donor-mates to run rampant through our State, mostly unchecked, destroying landscapes and sites of cultural significance for corporate profit. We need new legislation that reflects the true significance of First Nation’s heritage and actually protects it, as well as ensuring First Nation’s traditional owners have the control rather than mining corporations.
Australians and the world are watching. Mining companies and the McGowan Government are on notice - they do not have the social license to destroy First Nations peoples’ heritage and culture.
The Greens will work with First Nations peoples to establish new legislation and regulations to protect their cultural heritage, and invest in industry training, development and management to support self-determination and independence.
Invest in First Nations led and controlled essential health, social and mental health services
Everyone agrees the disparity in life outcomes for First Nations People must be addressed. However, there will be no justice until First Nations People, including Elders and leaders, are made active participants in the decision making processes at all levels of government.
Successive Governments have failed again and again to redress the systems and structures and that perpetuate colonialism through punitive and and oppressive legislation, policies and practices for issues effecting First Nations people. These outcomes can be turned around if the WA State Government engages in a legitimate and genuine process of co-design, and truly listens to the solutions First Nations People determine as necessary.
We need to take a critical approach, that form a new equal and meaningful relationship with First Nations people to balance the inequality of power that has existed for many decades - so our systems and processes no longer marginalise and disadvantage our First Nations people.
The Greens will work with First Nations peoples to introduce measures that enshrine self-determination and respectfully include sovereignty, including the recognition of traditional healing practices for health and wellbeing of their peoples.
Fund Indigenous organisations and programs aimed at protecting and promoting heritage and knowledge
Currently, a large proportion of the income for the organisations and programs working in the cultural heritage space is via the very same mining companies looking to destroy this heritage for profit. First Nations corporations should not have to rely on funding from mining companies in exchange for the undisputed destruction of sacred sites and culturally significant places.
To ensure First Nations people have true autonomy over decisions to do with cultural heritage, First Nations people and their organisations need to be independently and adequately funded.
That's why the Greens will Ensure long-term government funding is made available for First Nations organisations and corporations, legislate to ensure that mining companies are prevented from entering into exploitative relationships with Aboriginal corporations, as well as boosting Aboriginal Tourism industries with up to $10M for 5 regional Aboriginal Cultural Centres in key tourism areas across WA.