Invitation to Warren Mundine : Come and see for yourself
The Chair of the Central Land Council Maurie Ryan has questioned the Opposition’s plans to appoint Warren Mundine as the head of a prime ministerial indigenous council if it wins the next election.
“The members of the Land Council find it unacceptable that policy affecting them may be dictated by somebody who doesn’t understand the issues affecting them.
“Unfortunately Mr Mundine seems to be unaware of the significant changes made in recent years and he needs to update his knowledge of the current situation in the Northern Territory,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said Mr Mundine’s four fundamental principles of governance, land ownership, social stability and openness provide nothing new.
“These are issues that we have all been working on for a long time, not in city board rooms but out on the ground in the bush,” he said.
“And things have moved on. For instance, in the last few years, hundreds and hundreds of leases have been executed on Aboriginal land.
“For the first time in history, governments and other organisations pay rent for land. And a resident can apply for a lease to build a house any time they like. They always could, but nobody has that sort of money to build a nice new house unfortunately.
“Yes, there is dysfunction. It’s closely related to alcohol abuse and poverty.
“Alcohol abuse is a problem for many Aboriginal people and is certainly not confined to Aboriginal land. Tackling alcohol supply and providing some decent rehabilitation services and other concrete assistance might help us rather than this constant rhetoric about social dysfunction.
“We have good working relationships with both the current Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Jenny Macklin and the Shadow Minister Nigel Scullion,” Mr Ryan said.
“We might not always agree with them but we do know they understand the realities of our situation in the Northern Territory.
“Regardless of the outcome of the election, I would like to invite Warren Mundine to come up and be properly briefed about the issues.”