Simon Frank, the Chairman of the Martu land council, says he is looking forward to meeting with the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and government ministers in Port Hedland next week.
“I will be inviting Prime Minister Albanese and ministers Linda Burney and Tanya Plibersek and Senator Pat Dodson to come to Martu ngurra later this year,” Mr Frank said.
“People from government need to meet with us on our country to see and hear for themselves about our opportunities, plans and problems.
“Martu on-country communities (Parnngurr, Punmu and Kunawarritji) have been neglected for decades and we have been negotiating and working with the Commonwealth and WA governments for more than 4 years to try and fix them.
“Karlamilyi National Park is the largest park in WA and we’ve wanted control of it ever since it was established, without our agreement, in 1977.
“It is an important place for all Martu, as well as being a conservation area and a remote tourist destination.
“Martu are dealing with more than 80 companies and more than 500 mining and exploration tenements across ngurra.
“These companies are swarming across our lands and we work hard to negotiate agreements about how they do their work.
“We tell everyone – governments, companies and visitors – about our 3 priorities:
• Protect ngurra
• Advance Martu
… and when 1 and 2 are in hand,
• Generate wealth and opportunity
“We would really like Mr Albanese and the ministers to come and camp with us for a night and have a wangka around the waru (talk around the fire).”
Jamukurnu-Yapalikurnu Aboriginal Corporation (Grandfathers country-Grandmothers country) is the trustee for Martu lands, covering more than 150,000 square kilometres of the Western Desert in Western Australia (an area 2/3 of the size of Victoria)