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Cost of closing remote communities greater than tackling issues, Aboriginal leaders say

Aboriginal leaders and advocates are warning the "chaos and dysfunction" caused by closing down remote Indigenous communities will cost the West Australian Government far more than addressing existing issues. Amnesty International's indigenous peoples' rights manager Tammy Solonec said there was no plan to help people when Ooombulgurri community was closed down and people were required to integrate into Wyndham or other towns, leaving them "highly traumatised". [node:read-more:link]

Colin Barnett has been planning to axe 150 bush towns for years: Nigel Scullion

Nigel Scullion acknowledges there may be no future for some remote indigenous communities in WA as Premier Colin Barnett yesterday revealed he plans to close up to 150 of the state's 274 tiny settlements. Fred Chaney has sent an open letter to Mr Barnett, Senator Scullion and Tony Abbott warning that if governments simply "let things rip" by withdrawing services and driving people out of remote communities without careful preparation, the outcomes for indigenous Australians "will be shameful". [node:read-more:link]

Lore of the land as First Nations people take on BHP

First Nations people in West Australia's Pilbara iron ore region are taking on BHP Billiton over its claim for leases covering 200 square kilometres of their tribal country.

Kangaroos win when Aborigines hunt with fire

spinifex grass as a way to expose burrows occupied by sand monitor lizards.

The Martu people in remote Western Australia hunt kangaroos and set small grass fires to catch lizards, as they have many thousands of years. A University of Utah researcher found such man-made disruption boosts kangaroo populations – showing how co-evolution helped marsupials and made First Nations people into conservationists.

The findings suggest that Australia might want to encourage small-scale burning to bolster wildlife populations in certain areas. [node:read-more:link]

Governments fail to protect one of the world's important sites from vandals

Elders and rangers are devastated by the vandalism at Burrup

Further damage by vandals has been discovered at the site of some of the world's oldest and largest Aboriginal carvings, which have laid undisturbed for centuries on the Burrup Peninsula. Not only is the site vulnerable to the destruction of country meted out some of Australia's biggest mining projects, but there is also a total failure of governments to protect the site from grand theft and casual vandals.

The true owners say they do not want to have to close off areas to the public. [node:read-more:link]

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