Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mutitjulu Community Statement

Conversation: Mutitjulu Community Statement
Subject: Mutitjulu Community Statement

*Dear friends*
*Please pass this on to as many people as possible. Send to the Media

- These are the questions which need to be asked.


We welcome any real support for indigenous health and welfare
and even two police will assist, but the Howard Government
declared an emergency at our community over two years ago -
when they appointed an administrator to our health clinic -
and since then we have been without a doctor, we have less
health workers, our council has been sacked, and all our youth
and health programmes have been cut.

We have no CEO and limited social and health services.
The government has known about our overcrowding problem
for at least 10 years and they've done nothing about it.

How do they propose keeping alcohol out of our community
when we are 20 minutes away from 5 star hotel? Will they
ban blacks from Yulara? We have been begging for an alcohol
counsellor and rehabilitation worker so that we can help
alcoholics and substance abusers but those pleas have been
ignored. What will happen to alcoholics when this ban is
introduced? How will the government keep the grog runners
out of our community without a permit system?

We have tried to put forward projects to make our community
economically sustainable - like a simple coffee cart at the
sunrise locations - but the government refuses to even consider

There is money set aside from the Jimmy Little foundation
for a kidney dialysis machine at Mutitjulu, but National Parks
won't let us have it.

That would create jobs and improve indigenous health but
they just keep stonewalling us. If there is an emergency,
why won't Mal Brough fast track our kidney dialysis

Some commentators have made much of the cluster of
sexually transmitted diseases identified at our health
clinic. People need to understand that Mutitjulu Health
Clinic (now effectively closed) is a regional clinic and patients
come from as far away as WA and SA; so to identify a
cluster here is meaningless without seeing the confidential
patient data.

The fact that we hold this community together with no
money, no help, no doctor and no government support is a
miracle. Any community, black or white would struggle if they
were denied the most basic resources. Police and the
Military are fine for logistics and coordination but healthcare,
youth services, education and basic housing are more

Any programme must involve the people on the ground or
it won't work.

For example who will interpret for the military?

Our women and children are scared about being forcibly
examined; surely there is a need to build trust. Even the
doctors say they are reluctant to examine a young child
without a parent's permission. Of course any child that is
vulnerable or at risk should be immediately protected but
a wholesale intrusion into our women and children's
privacy is a violation of our human and sacred rights.

Where is the money for all the essential services? We need
long term financial and political commitment to provide
the infrastructure and planning for our community. There
is an urgent need for 10's of millions of dollars to do what
needs to be done. Will Mr Brough give us a commitment
beyond the police and military?

The Commonwealth needs to work with us to put health and
social services, housing and education in place rather than
treating Mutitjulu as a political football.


1. There is no evidence of any fraud or mismanagement at
Mutitjulu - we have had an administration for 12 months that
found nothing.

2. Mal Brough and his predecessor have been in control
of our community for at least 12 months and we have gone
backwards in services.

3. We have successfully eradicated petrol sniffing from our
community in conjunction with government authorities
and oil companies.

4. We have thrown suspected paedophiles out of our
community using the permit system which our government
now seeks take away from us.

5. We will work constructively with any government,
State, Territory or Federal that wants to help aboriginal

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