The prime minister was criticized for not visiting his ‘homeland’ in the Torres Strait, an island open to Chinese investment

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Representatives of the remote Torres Strait Islander community have criticized Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for not visiting any of the islands whose residents identify themselves as Torres Strait people.
And in a move that sends shockwaves across Canberra, communities on Male Island have now opened up to Chinese investment, claiming they have been ignored by their own governments.
Albanese has just returned from a trip to the region and has traveled to multiple islands to discuss proposals for Congress’ voices.
Speaking in Rockhampton after visiting Thursday Island and Horn Island, the sovereignty of the Torres Strait, Mr Albanese declared the visit a “huge success”.
Prime minister who traveled to meet him.
But on Male Island, the birthplace and haven of Indigenous rights activist Eddie Koiki Mabo, there’s a different take.

Melora Noah, a senior Meriam woman from Mer Island, told SBS News EXCLUSIVELY.

Melora Noah (right) at a welcoming ceremony for Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the island of Ma in 2015. sauce: AAP / Tracy Nearmy/AAPIMAGE

“They come to Thursday Island and think they’re in the Torres Strait. But the Torres Strait homeland is here,” she said.

“Australia really needs to stop seeing Aboriginal peoples as embracing First Nations peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples as a separate and distinct race.”

And in an explosive revelation, she said Maa is open to following the Solomon Islands for Chinese investment if Australia doesn’t support her people to have an economic future. increase.

Woman sitting at her desk and making a video call on her computer

SBS World News Chief Political Correspondent Anna Henderson speaks with Melora Noah in a video call. sauce: SBS News / Naveen Radzik.

“We’re looking over there and seeing Melanicia’s siblings and thinking that might be an option for us,” she said.

“Is Australia still interested in us? Does Australia still want to take care of us? Or should we look elsewhere?”
The Solomon Islands has signed a security pact with the Chinese government, stoking concerns in the West about possible construction of military bases.
It remains unclear how far the Torres Strait community will explore Chinese investments and what they want to build.

“We will not go out, we will look for China to come in and set up military bases here. All we want to do is feed our families,” said Noah.

Male Island is part of Australia and is governed by the Australian Constitution.

Investments by foreign companies, including companies based in China, must be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

“Route of Sovereignty”

Coming from Uluru, it was formed primarily on the basis of Aboriginal representatives.Some of the Torres Strait Islands have their own claim statements named after Mabo.
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the Mabo case, a landmark ruling for Indigenous Australians in their fight for Indigenous title.
Speaking on behalf of her community, Noah said the heartfelt statement did not represent them.
“Our Prime Minister really needs to come to the homeland of the Torres Strait Islanders and make our statement,” she said.

“Australia should view Aboriginal peoples as embracing Indigenous peoples and Torres Strait Islanders as a separate and distinct race and stop treating us as such.”

Eddie Mabo (left) and Jack Weil outside

Eddie Mabo (left) and Jack Weil, at their home on Male Island in the Torres Strait Islands, in 1990, at a High Court hearing in the Mabo case, finally recognizing Indigenous peoples’ rights to land. credit: National Archives of Australia/publicity image

She says they want a treaty and the possibility of becoming a sovereign nation that controls their land and waters.

“We are still part of the Australian government, we are still part of the Queensland government, we have the rules and regulations in place. she said.
Albanese told the Torres Strait Islander that he intended to return and that the trip was shorter than he had hoped.
He ensured that the Torres Strait Islanders were given proper representation in the final structure of the voice.
“There was unanimous support for the voice to Congress from the Torres Strait Regional Authority, the Torres Strait and the Northern Peninsula’s three councils that we met this morning,” he said.
“The general position of Torres Strait Islanders was that they wanted to ensure that the voices of minorities within minorities were also heard through these structures,” he said.
“A voice is not an end in itself. It is a voice to help bridge the gap and address the disadvantage of Indigenous peoples. is necessary for
This trip was Mr. Albanese’s fourth visit to the Torres Strait Islands as an MP, and he had been to Mer Island before.

Indigenous Peoples Minister Linda Burney plans to return to Torres Strait in December for another trip.

The prime minister was criticized for not visiting his ‘homeland’ in the Torres Strait, an island open to Chinese investment

Source link The prime minister was criticized for not visiting his ‘homeland’ in the Torres Strait, an island open to Chinese investment

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