“I plead for Aboriginal people who are thinking of coming – don’t”: Ben Wyatt
WA’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister concedes he’s concerned about tomorrow’s protest – and the number of people who may attend.
Organisers of the Black Lives Matter protest say it will go ahead – with potentially thousands of people attending – despite calls from the Premier and Police Commissioner for it to be postponed.
Attendees are being urged to maintain physical distance – wear masks and use sanitiser.
Ben Wyatt told Gareth Parker on Mornings WA has gone to great lengths to protect vulnerable Aboriginal people from any potential COVID spread – and is again urging people not to attend.
“If it’s anything like what we saw in the Eastern States these will be no social distancing because you simply can’t with those sorts of numbers,” he said.
“And so I say again, really plead for Aboriginal people who are thinking of coming – don’t. There are other ways we can protest or make our voices heard.”
Meanwhile, Mr Wyatt concedes the idea of self determination might be difficult for some in the community to understand.
BHP is halting plans to expand a mine in the Pilbara – which would have seen Aboriginal heritage sites destroyed – despite an agreement being reached with traditional owners in 2015.
The company says the sites won’t be disturbed without further consultation.
Mr Wyatt says the Banjima agreement was very significant at the time.
He says it’s not up to well meaning third party groups to say they don’t agree.
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