The Country Hour is a weekday program on the ABC which covers rural issues across the Northern Territory.
Today on the program, Lingiari candidates Tina MacFarlane (CLP) and Warren Snowdon (Labor) were interviewed about rural issues including:
· beef roads funding
· farming policy eg. backpacker tax/visa arrangements
· water development
Country Hour host Matt Brann and I am keen to know if you have any strong views about the rural issue that aired on today's program. Do you have anything to add to the discussion? You can listen here:
If you would like to contribute to the discussion feel free to email me your thoughts by tomorrow afternoon. (Dot points are fine – I realise you are particularly busy this week).
We want autonomous Indigenous areas negotiated with the Federal government that will allow us to raise our own taxes from economic activities on our own lands.
Roads are useful but also increase anti-social issues for all Territorians, as it results in generally improved access for anybody - drug runners included. Road development needs to be developed along with self-management of Indigenous areas, which means recognition of Indigenous justice systems.
Current farming industries exclude Indigenous Territorians. We have been natural farmers for millennia and we successfully traded internationally from this industry making significant income. To return to this sustainable style of living requires self-management and self-governance of our lands.
Water development. The water from our lands is our water. We should decide how this is used, and according to our own law. With pastoral lands adjacent to our own matters need to be worked out in partnership with farmers needs. I do not support free water hand-outs to mining companies. Food comes first.
Fracking. I am against fracking because it seems excessively unnatural and will adversely affect Indigenous Territorians with greater occupation of Indigenous spaces, and if things go wrong they will affect our natural farming techniques in a major way. It is also an affront to our sovereignty in regard to deals already being negotiated in our seas without our permission.
This all may sound strong to non-indigenous voters but the current systems do not include Indigenous Territorians. The government is setting us on a path of greater and greater economic, justice, education and health dependency. The start of social progress and development is decision-making control - self-governance. This is why I am standing for treaties for Indigenous Territorians.