Friends of the Earth supports Yolngu Elders call for senate to reject Stronger Futures Bill

Media Release, 8 June 2012

Friends of the Earth strongly supports the call of the Yolngu Nations Assembly and urges the Senate not to pass the Federal Government’s Stronger Futures legislation.

“By attempting to impose the Stronger Futures legislation, which will effectively extend the NT intervention by a decade, the Australian Government is ignoring Indigenous rights to be self-determining,” said Dr Alyssa Vass, Friends of the Earth spokesperson.

The Federal Government has failed to produce convincing evidence of success achieved by the NT intervention, which received significant criticism from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“Punitive social policies such as Stronger Futures are not only ineffective, they cause greater harm, contribute to chronic disempowerment and prevent the establishment of respectful relationships between government and Traditional Owners,” said Dr Vass.
Yolngu nations have clearly not given consent to these measures and have repeatedly put forward alternative solutions that are culturally appropriate and Indigenous-led. Friends of the Earth therefore calls on the Senate to reject the Stronger Futures legislation outright and instead begin genuine consultative processes and support for Indigenous aspirations.

For comment:
Dr Alyssa Vass
Friends of the Earth spokesperson
0402 680 337