Off and running in trying to make a difference for First Nations People and all Western Australians, and into campaigning for the upcoming Federal Election
By Senator Dorinda Cox
In the few short months of being appointed Senator for Western Australia I have not wasted any time in trying to make a huge difference for First Nations people and all Western Australians.
In the last sitting week of the year, I managed to secure cross-party support for Australia’s first Senate inquiry into Missing and Murdered First Nations women and children. This incredibly important inquiry will investigate the systemic issues that lead to First Nations women and children going missing and the response from authorities to find these loved ones. The inquiry will report in June and we hope it will be the first of many steps in providing justice for First Nations families.
At home in WA, the State Government rushed through the inadequate Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill, a lost opportunity to change a piece of legislation to avoid another Juukan Gorge disaster. My deep connection to Traditional Owners showed that representation matters and I raised the issue that Free, Prior and Informed consent was not being adhered to in the new Bill, neither was the right to veto a proposal. I will continue to advocate for TOs to ensure proper consultation practices are used to manage the regulations under the Bill.
As we look forward to the Federal Election, I have already been out on country to speak to TOs and local people affected by the Scarborough gas project. These important connections will provide the basis for a new campaign to save the already disintegrated Murujuga rock art from acid rain and we will need all the support from members to stop what will be Australia’s biggest climate bomb – so watch this space!
Header photo: Visiting the Murujuga Rock Art at the Burrup Peninsula with Traditional Owners