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Submission Number
Cliff Foley
Submission date
Main Submission File
Main Submission Automated Transcript

27th April 2021
A Submission: An Indigenous Voice
This Submission offers an opinion from an Australian Aborigine, a First
Nation person. I am not indigenous, I am Gumbaynggirr.
I attended the 18th March 2021 Community Consultations in Coffs Harbour.
The Sovereign Wealth from Aboriginal Lands are being sold for colonial built
assets and offerings of the ‘new’ trinkets and blankets to the ‘Natives’.
When the big end of town have sold and dug it all up and they move on, the
‘quiet Australians’ may realise their ‘big/little salaries, their big/little houses
will amount to a future of little/big of nothing.
History Telling
Senator Neville Bonner in 1989 thundered:
“…Why do we have to accept what you say is best for
our country…?”
Colonial Australia took ownership of all lands, territories
and its waters: and made claim to its natural and
environmental resources.
The sovereign risk to the Australian economy is low, due to the abundance
of these natural and environmental resources.
The Marketing Strategy of Governments is to sell off Australia’s natural,
cultural resources and public owned and built assets.
John Howard PM
Howard as PM laid his economic foundations saying ‘…I am not interested in
human rights, I am only interested in the economy…’
He mounted a full assault on Aboriginal people’s “Black Armband view of
History”. Keith Windshuttle ably abetted Howard and rewrote the history
wars. Howard laid claim that there were no ‘stolen generations’ and no
massacres in Australia’s colonial history.
Mark Latham, ALP Leader at the time, gave political support to Howard to
‘abolish’ ATSIC and effectively mainstream Aboriginal programs.
Howard’s Aboriginal Affairs minister, Mal Brough enlisted his staff member,
Gregory Andrews to claim pedophile rings were active in remote
communities of NT.
The claims were false but the government implemented the ‘intervention into
the NT”. Labor’s Jenny Macklin extended the term a further 10 years.
Note: Greg Andrews, is now Australia’s High Commissioner to Ghana.
Current Federal Politics
Now we see the rorts and excesses of Morrison’s government with regard to
the ‘economy’. Mungo MacCallum wrote: “Corruption is rife among
Morrison's minions” (29 January 2020).

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“….Morrison leads his federal government on a path of pork-
barrelling, rorts, the theft of public funds, offering justifications that
those who trousered the ill-gotten loot were happy about it. This
was seen as good policy.
The Nationals provide special treatment for the rural and now
regional voters at the expense of the wider polity.
The government’s Ministerial Code of Conduct, includes loopholes
to absolve ministers of even the most egregious breaches which
would never be permitted by private employees.
It does not pass the pub test, but it was not meant to. It buys time,
divert, distract and then they hope for the best.
The last vestige of integrity left in this morally bankrupt
government has spent so much time and effort defending the
indefensible showed that corruption has now become an intrinsic
part of the regime.
Our Prime Minister (Morrison) knows that most of his ministers are
past both knowing and caring. The wider party, by and large, is
happy basking in a state of blissful ignorance. The noisy bit of the
electorate may carry on, but who cares? As long as the quiet
Australians are not roused from their slumber…”
“…As long as the quiet Australians are not roused from their slumber…”
COVID 19 Pandemic
The rorts and excesses of Morison’s ministers were exposed. The drought,
water buy backs, and the bushfires caught the ‘team Morison’ holidaying in
But a diversion was developing, and Scott Morrison has ‘seized the moment.
With the COVID 19 pandemic, he closed down the economy and took the
opportunity to implement his new Federalism.
A new ‘National Government’ with the States and excluded the Opposition.
The Public Service was bypassed with funds (taxpayers money) being
allocated between ministerial staff members. No accountability or scrutiny.
The media (Murdock) are complicit in this crime. Coalition attacks on the
public broadcaster, the ABC were increased.
With that public isolated, their human rights suspended, increased powers
for law enforcement, the Media under control, it was the opportunity to
implement their ‘Neo-colonialism’ strategy.
Neo-Liberalism: what is it?
Neo-liberalism values free market competition to obtain sustained economic
growth as the most-efficient allocation of resources, with minimal state
intervention it is sold under the banner of ‘Business is Good’.

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The federal government has signalled its willingness to repeal elements of
the environmental laws to support economic development. The federal
heritage protection laws are inadequate in these new economic times.
Environmental laws and cultural heritage protection legislation is the least
of concerns. International Companies drunk on power, money and profits
their money brought the best legal firms, political influence and community
Native Title agreements are fragile against the weight of the Mining
companies and their profits. They circumvent these laws and then
‘apologise’ later. Rio Tinto is an offender.
The Coal Seam Gas industry intent on ‘fracking’ subsurface layers and
subject the cracks to high water pressure, to force the gas out. Coal mining
also requires excess water to washing and settle the coal dust.
This fracturing the water table, the damming of rivers, creeks, gullies to
manage water for commercial gains, rather than human substance and
environmental protection, is ill-conceived and verges on insanity.
I simply say NO to Neo-liberalism.
Morrison’s national government, the Media and Mining Companies needed
to understand that:
No one owns the water.
No one owns the lands.
No one owns the oceans.
No one owns the sands.

These are given by our Mother.
The Planet provides for free.
Only by hands of the greedy.
Does the Earth require a fee?

`Poet Christopher
Only the greedy require a fee.
Aboriginal People: Our Story
The rush to extract the ‘life’ from the earth is unsettling. The mining of the
ores, the coal and the extraction of all sorts of mineral wealth robs a Land of
its health. These elements are a part of ‘country’ and is identified by
‘Aboriginal people in stories, art, and languages and special places.
This ancient cultured dry land, Our Mother, provides for all our friends,
relatives and totem families. From the past to the present, we sing, dance
and celebrate these offering that sustain us and provide our substance.
All matter of beings: plant, animal, fish, birds, mammals, insects/bugs and
to Aboriginal people. All matter of beings, inanimate or otherwise, have their
place and story in Aboriginal cultural life; stories a millennium old.

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Songlines are cultural almanacs connecting us and are links and maps that
direct family, community, places and time for ceremony.
Water is life and the great rivers, their catchment are our supermarkets,
providing provisions for our cultural, spiritual, emotional and physical
wellbeing. We live with our rivers: beside them, for them and we share them.
We are nurtured and nourished by ‘country’.
Our blood runs deep, as do the ‘waters’. Freshwater lakes, the river valleys
and their catchments are a story attached to their own environment. These
catchments can run deep, as does the Great Artisan Basin.
Our living earth breaths through its natural vents, fissures and bubbles that
gives it life. The Earth’s natural gases and waters of the Great Artesian
Basin are the ‘grease and oil’ lubricating this ‘Mother Earth’.

Question for the Australian People:
It is time to shake these chains of colonialism and end the domination of our
With governments dismissive of the UN Declaration on Human Rights, we
appeal to the broader public to seek support for sanity to prevail. Maybe
Emma Husar‘s message could now be heard:

 Is Australia an Economy or a Community?

Aboriginal people, are subject to the marketing strategies of: capitalism,
globalisation and cultural imperialism. Culminating a Neo-colonialism
influence that is now used instead of the previous colonial methods
We acknowledge natural catastrophes and climatic events place an
‘economic’ burden on states and territories. It is usually an agent for
‘change’ and is taken advantage of by governments.
However the recent events, changing weather patterns, rising sea levels;
droughts, dust storms, heat waves, fires, bush fires, prolong rains, flash
floods and flooding provide a pause for thought. We may view these events
as a sign or a voice, calling for a reason.
The Indigenous Voice: Much as been written, there has a lot of talk, much
rhetoric, a lot of posturing and political humbug.
Langton and Calma in accepting the Terms of Reference condemned these
community consultations to a discussion on only representational
structures and reforms.

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It missed the point that the Uluru Statement is not being a vague idea of
‘being heard ‘but a deliberate structural reform. Voice — Treaty — Truth,
was a mission of the Uluru Statement,
I borrow from Gabrielle Appleby writings that the Uluru Statement from the
Heart was to be delivered to the Australian people three steps to achieve
structural reform to recognise First Nations Sovereignty and address our
current structural powerlessness.
First was to be the establishment of a Constitutionally Enshrined First
Nations Voice. This is to be followed by the establishment of a Makarrata
Commission to oversee a process of Agreement Making and Truth Telling.
Voice. Treaty. Truth.
The Uluru Statement was the culmination of an unprecedented engagement
with Australia’s First Nations people. It was an essentially a national
constitutional convention for a First Nations Voice.
Minister Ken Wyatt’s pragmatic approach robs the Australian people of the
opportunity to assess the deliberations from Uluru.
The Delegates determined there to be 10 guiding principle for the Statement
from the Heart. These 10 Guiding Principles were:
1. It did not diminish Indigenous Sovereignty.
2. Involved substantive, structural reform.
3. Advances self-determination established under the United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
4. Recognises the Status and Rights of First Nations
5. Truth Telling.
6. Does not foreclose on future advancement.
7. Does not waste the opportunity of reform.
8. Provides a mechanism for First Nations agreement-making.
9. Has the support of First Nations.
10. Does not interfere with positive legal arrangements.
These processes at the National Convention were highly informative and
deliberative. The spirit of Uluru was not a vague idea of a “Voice” or “Being
Heard”. Instead, it is a well-developed and sophisticated call for structural
reform in the form of a First Nations Voice.
To this end these Community Consultations was a wasted opportunity, and
denies the broader Australian public the opportunity for ‘their Voice’ to be

I submit my submission in the spirit of the Aboriginal Struggle.

Cliff Foley
27th April

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