Political Talk is Cheap
The Western Australian government’s decision to scrap the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act was done to “shield” the Voice to Parliament from parallel criticism.
You may recall all the brouhaha over the Western Australian Aboriginal cultural heritage laws recently.
They were the laws that saw farmers and landowners need permission from Aboriginal bodies to do even the slightest thing to their land.
That permission entailed reports and permits, which, as is usually the case, was about the money flowing from your pocket into one Aboriginal corporation or another.
The laws even saw a volunteer tree planting effort to revegetate a riverbank abandoned after demands for millions in funding to an aboriginal organisation be reinstated before permission would be given.
Quite rightly, it caused an outcry and even the Labor govt there couldn’t justify the abomination they created. That led them to announce the repeal of the Bill.
At the time, many of us thought the repeal was more about protecting Albanese’s voice campaign than protecting the people of Western Australia. After receiving the following email from a viewer, those concerns seem well justified.
The viewer received an email from Nick Goiran, the MLC for South Metropolitan, which stated.
"The month of August began with the seemingly good news that Premier Cook would tear up his shambolic Aboriginal Cultural Heritage laws.
And yet the Cook Labor Government have refused to bring on the Repeal Bill for even one minute of debate in Parliament’s lower house this month - and so the shambolic law remains.
To add salt to this wound, the Cook Labor Government have also refused to bring on the Disallowance Motion on the regulations for even one minute of debate in Parliament’s upper house this month – and so the shambolic regulations remain.
So, an announcement of repeal is made by the State Labor government to make it look like a huge problem is solved…and the furore dies down…which happens to shield the Voice from parallel criticism.
It’s not hard to think WA Labor got a call from Albo to simmer these laws down because it was hurting the 'yes' campaign, and they are hoping that it’ll all be forgotten until after the referendum.
Who knows, then they might decide to leave them in place.
It’s a reminder that political words are cheap, but we keep paying for their actions ( or, in this case, lack of action).