Friday, October 24, 2008

Albert Wiggan talks about his interest in establishing his own tourism venture to get some sustainability for his children. He says "It's a scary reality for us people." and "Scary power of politics can dictate everything in our lives, our traditional homelands". He wants to say to Aboriginal people they have the ability to create and develop their own sustainable infrastructure to establish their own means of contributing to the Federal economy in the same terms and levels as the average Australian person." Albert was interviewed recently on 4Corners program 'Bran Nue Deal' - see link. He lives three kilometres from the proposed site.

Date & Location : saturday 20 October 2008, 6.33pm, Beagle Bay - Dampier Peninsula - Western Australia

INTERVIEWER: Mr Albert Wiggan, you’re quite a famous man for being strong and standing up for your country. Can you please tell us what you’re feelings and what you’re thinking about this proposed LNG plant on North Head?

ALBERT WIGGAN: Well, as you say I’m from the Dampier Peninsula I actually live here now. I’m about three kilometres down the road. I’ve got a small outstation on the coast which is about three kilometres north of where this proposed site is.
I have a I’ve had vested interests in creating my own investment up on the coast line there. I’ve got 15 acres of property that I was looking at to establish some sort of caravan or accommodation tourism facility to invest into my family to try and generate some sort of infrastructure I guess, some sort of sustainability for my children and now with this gas proposal going up ahead and running and with this threat of development on our coastline. It’s quite a scary reality for us people who have been a part of this country for a whole lifetime, you know.
We’ve always had some sort of connection and some level or to some degree with this country and it’s just scary to think that the powers of politics you know can, can dictate anything you know in people’s lives. And it’s more or less playing such a strong presence now in our lives because we are watching politics more or less dictate the terms and conditions of our own traditional homelands now you know. Places that we’ve always had you know a sense of connection and belongingness we are now being told that you know this homeland or this country now is going to be used for other means like industrial development.
And, my concern now, or one thing that I’m fighting for now is to try and say to the government, say to people of Australia now, is the fact that, gone are the days of Aboriginal people being told what to do and always being told that, you know, governments and political policies have always known what would be the best interests of Aboriginal people. Those days are gone now, you know. What we are seeing or what I’m witnessing now and what I believe in now is the fact that Aboriginal people who live in their remote homelands have the ability to create and develop their own sustainable infrastructure you know. To establish their own means of contributing back to, you know, the Federal economy, you know, and contributing on the same terms and levels as the average Australian person, you know. But, they’re not getting the opportunity now because of the threat of industry, the threat of development, especially, there are other threats, like agriculture, there are other forms of development that threaten Indigenous people from creating their own sustainability, you know.
And that’s, inevitably that’s what we’re after, you know we’re just after Australia recognising us as Aboriginal people who can run our own affairs, who can create our own economy, you know, and who can generate revenue to contribute to other Aboriginal people around our area, you know. We want to show Australia that we are capable, capable you know of doing this. And, you know, gone are the days of the government telling us what we need, government you know saying that we’ve got all this money to try and establish this sort of infrastructure, this sort of sustainability for Aboriginal people, you know . And they’ve never done it, nothing’s happened, we’re now still sitting on our arses thinking, you know, what has actually happened, what sort of say do we have in it, what sort of authority do we have and we don’t have any authority. We’ve got no say.
And you know, so more or less we need to do that we need to focus on that now as Aboriginal people, we need to focus and build ourselves together. We need to get together and we really need to look at how we can better represent ourselves independently and from a place where we generate our own source of power our own source of support. And then once we come from that place, once we come from that sort of representation then we will be a lot, you know content as to what will happen in regards to development on our country, you know. That’s about it.

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