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Central Land Council dismayed by Price's praise for colonialism

Jarred Cross -

The Central Land Council has slammed senators Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Kerrynne Liddle for recent comments on colonisation and land councils.

Following a meeting in Alice Springs on Wednesday, the Central Land Council released a statement labelling Senator Price's claim there are no negative ongoing impacts of colonisation "disgraceful".

On Wednesday, the CLC said "denial of history and its ongoing impacts is disgraceful".

"Her remarks are hurting the families of the stolen generation, those who lost their land, their wages and their opportunities," the statement read.

"They are an insult to those who survived the Coniston Massacre, the hundreds of Warlpiri, Kaytetye and Anmatyerr families, who were terrorised and murdered in 1928.

"Her remarks are hurting the descendants of survivors of all the massacres that have been well documented and appear on the massacre map of Australia, which shows how extensive violent attacks were across the country."

The Land Council said administrative violence, pastoral violence, and "wholescale theft of our land and waters" remain hidden issues and rejected the Senator's claims of water and food security being a positive effect of colonisation.

"There is a direct link between these historical truths and the gaps we want to close," they said.

"Many of our communities live with water stress, food insecurity, exorbitant costs and living conditions that would not be tolerated by any other Australians."

In her address, Senator Price pointed to her personal experiences, and those experienced by her mother and remote communities - including women's disadvantage, marital customs and sexual, domestic and family abuse, as areas requiring practical solutions now.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney called the comments on colonisation a "betrayal" while opposition leader Peter Dutton asked for the acceptance of "broad range of views" in response to sparked criticism.

Central Land Council also rejected comments from Senator for South Australia Kerrynne Liddle following her and Senator Price's push for an inquiry into Land Councils.

In August, Senator Liddle said a review was required "to hold them to account, encourage transparency and get the best results for the people who need it", and that she would like to know if Indigenous Australians are being "properly consulted", via News Corp.

CLC said they were "proud" of their "record of good governance, strong democratic community engagement" and audit report history.

They said they are one of the few organisations delivering into remote and disadvantaged people in Central Australia.

"We do not understand why Senator Liddle does not support our work," the CLC said.

"We all want organisations delivering services to our people to be accountable and transparent. Government services account for the lion's share of expenditure aimed at closing the shocking gap in life outcomes between our people and other Australians.

"Instead of singling out our community-controlled land councils it would be more useful to look at how much government money allocated for alleviating Aboriginal disadvantage actually hits the ground."


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