Robin Chapple furious over State Governments ignorance of Aboriginal "gag clauses"

WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple furious over State Government’s ignorance of Aboriginal “gag clauses”


WA Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple slammed the State Government yesterday in response to Parliamentary questions over the existence of gag orders in Indigenous Claim Wide Participation Agreements with mining companies.


The State Government responded to Questions Without Notice on the topic stating they were “not aware” of these suppressive legal devices despite them being present in Claim Wide Participation Agreements between Traditional Owners and mining companies across the State.


“How can the department, whose sole purpose is to represent and protect Indigenous Peoples and Culture, claim to remotely function if they are unaware of gags that directly challenge that”


“The fact that the State Government has gone on record now to say they didn’t know about these clauses is ludicrous”


“Not only do these clauses exist but they are one of the fundamental issues of how the Government has failed Indigenous West Australians and these agreements need to be exposed for the unconstitutional travesty they are”


Mr Chapple has called for a moratorium on the now infamous Section 18s that have allowed for destruction of heritage, exemplified by the destruction of caves at Juukan Gorge citing these agreements as precursors to such incidents.


“Without these agreements, Indigenous people would be free to publically expose a company’s wrong-doings, but as long as the gag clauses exist in these agreements Traditional owners will be silenced”


“The new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill has made no mention of these gag orders or how it would approach them, I genuinely fear we will have another 50 years of the suppression of Aboriginal voices if it doesn’t address these agereements”


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