Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader and Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson
The Aboriginal Land Council’s calls for the West Coast Aboriginal landscape to be returned should be heard by both the Federal and State Governments.
The takayna coast is recognised as one of the world’s richest archaeological sites. It has evidence of people living there going back tens of thousands of years.
The Hodgman Government needs to take this land claim seriously. It is thirteen years since any significant area of land was returned to its original owners.
During the Labor Green Government, as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, I tabled legislation to return two parcels of land at larapuna/Eddystone Point and Rebecca Creek, but the Bill was knocked back by the Legislative Council.
Tasmania’s Aboriginal community has a compelling argument to have this highly culturally significant landscape returned. We have no doubt at all that they would be better land managers than the Liberal Government – the same government who wants to open up 4WD tracks in takayna/the Tarkine.
In the past five years, Will Hodgman has not lived up to his promise to reset the relationship with Aboriginal Tasmanians, in fact, he has caused greater division.
In fact, it’s a sign of his failure that, as Premier, he didn’t keep the portfolio, instead giving it to Jacquie Petrusma.
We want Minister Petrusma to succeed in this portfolio and we urge the Minister to look the history of this part of Tasmania, the landscape and the archaeological treasures it holds, and take this claim for land seriously.