Legislation to allow the appointment of an administrator to manage and ultimately close the Swan Valley Nyungah camp at Lockridge has been introduced into State Parliament.
Premier Geoff Gallop has told Parliament that closing the camp was the only way to bring to an end a terrible litany of violence and abuse.
“This issue is not about race, it is about intimidation, violence and abuse,” Dr Gallop said.
“The safety of all our children must be paramount, and it is incumbent upon all Western Australians to uphold the right of every child in this State to security and protection.”
The Premier said the Reserves (Reserve 43131) Bill 2003 would revoke the existing management order and rescind the vesting of the site in the Swan Valley Nyungah Corporation.
Management of the reserve would be transferred to the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority, which would then appoint an administrator with special powers to manage the site’s day-to-day operations until the camp was ultimately closed down.
Dr Gallop said the administrator would have the power to remove people from the reserve and prevent them from returning.
“It is the Government’s firm commitment that the reserve, in line with the original vesting legislation, be retained for the use and benefit of Aboriginal people,” he said.
“At present the reserve does not serve the broader Noongar community, but is monopolised by only one group.
“Options for its future use are being considered and no decision will be made without prior consultation with the indigenous community.
“It is also the Government’s intention that the management of any future activities on the reserve will be passed to an appropriate Aboriginal organisation.
“The administrator appointed to manage this transition will pass day-to-day responsibility to an Aboriginal organisation at the earliest possible date.”
The Premier urged Parliament to take a strong stand against child abuse and family violence by supporting the bill.
Minister's office: 9222 9475