2985

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Submission Number
2985
Participant
Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council (WBACC)
Submission date

Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council (WBACC) is in a unique position in Australia because the Jervis Bay Territory, a non self - administered Commonwealth Territory, has no state or local government. Residents of the JBT can vote in only one election - the federal election as part of the federal ACT seat of Fenner. This is despite the fact that the Jervis Bay Territory is subject to ACT laws. WBACC regards this situation as a violation of the UNHCR right to vote, at the core of democratic governments based on the will of the people. This is a constitutional issue NOW for the JBT, which has no voice with regard the provision of human services to the JBT. WBACC contends that for this reason it should have been a part of the initial 52 person Review. Given its current lack of representation, WBACC is concerned that this not be replicated in the Indigenous Voice process. WBACC therefore submits that the Jervis Bay Territory should itself be a region of its own in the creation of the 25-35 local regions and that a representative from WBACC should also sit on the National Group.

WBACC submits that the representative selected from WBACC for the local group should be directly selected for participation on the national group, rather than undertake a separate election.

WBACC seeks to ensure that it retains its autonomy under the Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) Act 1986 and that there is no risk of Voice legislation disempowering the authority of WBACC. WBACC notes the Major Design Principle which prevents the breaking down of current structures and submits that this assurance should be honoured and there will be no loss of WBACC's power or autonomy under its own legislation.

Kind regards
Anne-Marie Farrugia
CEO, WBACC
For and on behalf of the WBACC Board of Management