The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) today condemns a move by the acting Premier of Victoria, Australia that effectively denies Aboriginal people the right to safeguard their cultural heritage.
48 community volunteers, known as Indigenous Inspectors, have been fired and stripped of their ability to declare a place of cultural heritage. That right now lies with the Minister for Aboriginal affairs, Gavin Jennings. Mr. Jennings has indicated that the rights of local government developers and property developers are firmly on his agenda.
The move follows an Emergency Declaration made last week by an Indigenous Inspector to protect a Sacred Flame situated in Kings Domain in Melbourne. Kings Domain is a burial site, where the remains of 38 Aboriginal people were laid as a memorial those who died as a consequence of colonisation.
In the last months Camp Sovereignty has been situated here, a base for a campaign to highlight the need for reconciliation between all Australians by way of a treaty. Their campaign has been praised for its pragmatic and peaceful approach. “The Victorian government should welcome any initiatives that promote self determination from marginalised sectors of the community”, says Ska Keller, co-spokesperson of the Federation of Young European Greens. “The people of Victoria and of Europe should show their support for Aboriginal Rights to protect their cultural heritage.”
Community groups have joined the Camp Sovereignty in expressing outrage at the clear undermining of Aboriginal Rights. “The Victorian government should be ashamed of such blatant condescension and disregard”, says Caroline Ayling, Co-ordinator of the Asia Pacific Young Greens Network. “They have removed the Rights for Aboriginal people to determine what their own culture looks like. We ask all Europeans to show their support and solidarity for the oldest known culture on Earth, before it is too late”.