Truth always prevails

Sovereignty Never Ceded

Media Release

Truth always prevails:

outcome of Euahlayi Rates Case, Reparation & Liberation

 
Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union 19 June 2017

It appears that the forces in opposition to the Sovereign Union are providing information to detractors, who choose to make a mockery of our liberation movement to free ourselves from the tyranny and subjugation by the colonialists representing the Crown of Britain.

It is disappointing that the detractors chose clearly to divide the sovereignty movement and attack key people, for what reason we may never know, but one does not have to be a genius to see that this divisiveness is centred on creating confusion and doubt over inherent sovereignty, so as to foster dysfunction, mistrust and distrust. This has been our history in our Aboriginal movements to this day. We are very familiar with this type of intervention and distraction, so as to take away clear and decisive political legal strategy.

So let me address a couple of issues that appear to be making the rounds on Facebook. It is significant to note that these vicious assaults, via Facebook, on the Sovereignty Movement, myself and other key supporters became very public one week before the Referendum Council's National Convention at Uluru and, in my opinion, was clearly designed to sidetrack the thinking of many of our people in respect of asserting our Sovereignty, as opposed to participating in constitutional reform.

Assimilation into the Constitution from Britain will only serve to undermine our sovereign status and thereby provide the Commonwealth of Australia government with a constitutional head of power that would take away all of our cultural, spiritual, human rights, not to mention sealing the deal of the theft of our lands, waters and natural resources.

So we should all be asking: If the few relentless detractors believe that I am totally incorrect and the Sovereign Union is leading people up the garden path to a dead end, then maybe they should concentrate their efforts on providing workable alternate solutions and thereby try and provide for a clearer liberation regime that will see our Peoples retain their sovereignty as First Nations Peoples, along with securing allodial land title over their lands and waters, including permanent sovereignty over all natural resources. I would have thought that if the detractors want to exclusely control the destiny of our Peoples across this Continent, then they would be better served by defining those types of alternative solutions and pathways forward.

So by attacking me via Facebook and any other supporters, and calling for the closing down of the Sovereign Union demonstrates another form of agenda, which is well concealed by the 'hidden hand'.

I am blocked from these Facebook tirades and so are many of our group, but friends have phoned me to say the detractors have obtained court documents of the winding up of a corporation that held government title to our clan's Euahlayi lands and are using this to claim I must be a government stooge to be able to stay on our Homeland.

Summary of Euahlayi Rates Case and Reparation of land

Now I wish to put this in perspective.

The organisation Ngurampaa Ltd was an organisation registered by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), as a corporation that would hold the land title that was acquired in 1998 under the original Indigenous Land Corporation Act that provided for the acquisition and restitution of land for Aboriginal people, whom they considered may not have successfully argued a Native Title case.

This was described as 'redress for dispossession', so the land was purchased as compensation representing reparations to our People. When the Indigenous Land Corporation handed back the title deeds they did so under a colonial legal regime called an 'escheat'. Under this legal regime the government maintains a legal interest in the lands by way of a caveat. Such was the case with these lands.

Our clan decided not to pay Council rates on this land, because it is our argument, then and now, that the land was returned, as reparation, to our Peoples, who had been dispossessed. It was purchased by the Commonwealth from the state for a Commonwealth purpose. The Commonwealth purchased it as compensation and reparation for a group of First Nations People. The acquisition of these lands represented a material fact, which represents a major 'admission against interest' on the part of the Commonwealth government, that is, to compensate someone for admitted legal wrongdoing. In this instance, the Commonwealth, having transferred the lands from the state to a Commonwealth institution, the Indigenous Land Corporation, it meant that state laws, such as rates no longer apply, under a well-established Commonwealth/State exemption regime, or in other words, an accepted doctrine.

The Indigenous Land Corporation was not, by law, in any way entitled to direct that the recipients of the compensation/reparation, in this case, land, were to pay local government rates. Our People decided that the Commonwealth, by acquiring the land for compensation/reparation and returning it to us as compensation/reparation, returned it to us under our Euahlayi Law, Culture and customs. As such this prevents the Commonwealth government and/or any of their agencies from deciding that our Euahlayi Law, Culture, practices and customs are to fall in line with their colonial regimes.

We asserted that we do not belong to this colonial regime and fought them in the NSW Supreme Court on the question of true ownership of the land in question.

Rates dispute subpoena is 'oppressive' for the Crown: NSW Supreme Court
Euahlayi People take their fight for their lands to Supreme Court
Aboriginal Rates Case back on track

After 18 months of going around in circles in the courts, it was clear that the NSW government, the Indigenous Land Corporation and Commonwealth government did not want this agitation in their courts. On the other hand, having also decided not to pay taxes on money receive from our lands, the Commonwealth government caught itself up in their attempt to destroy me and my People, when they applied to wind the company up in the NSW Supreme Court.

It became very embarrassing for them when they realised that, having gained the upper hand to wind the company up under their corporation laws, the question in the Supreme Court that was being asked as a point of law was highly significant, that is, who owns the land? It became very clear that whilst the company, as an identity maybe wound up and shut down, our ownership and right to occupy our lands returned as compensation / reparation was completely separate and the land could not be included as an asset of the company in the windup deal.

The resulting consequence was that the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) could wind up the company, Ngurampaa Ltd., but the land remained with the People, who had been reparated. This created another problem for the Commonwealth government because the Ghurrie clan of the Euahlayi Nation asserted their own Law, culture and customs over our lands that are indeed the subject of this matter. Our argument was that we are happy that you have wound up that company, because it has freed us from the government escheat and the land now has no legal owner under the colonial regime, because, in their law, they no longer have a land owning identity, which holds land title under their land holding regimes. In the colonial land title system it is now recorded as 'bare title'.

Instead, we assert that these our lands have reverted back to the pre-invasion land title period, according to Euahlayi Law, culture and customs, and as such these lands have been completely removed from any and all colonial land title regimes. In other words it is ours and will be forever, that is, always was and always will be our land.

A similar outcome was also achieved with our lands in the Queensland Supreme Court, where Justice Philippedes made the following conclusion:

All transfers of freehold have been and continue to be subject to s 174 of the Land Act 1994 (Qld), such that the property may not be transferred without the approval of the Governor-in-Council.
[Ngurampaa v Balonne Shire & Anor [2014] QSC 146 ]

Expanded doctrine of terra nullius - very much alive in Australia
Charter of the UN does not apply to Australia: Qld lawyer in Euahlayi 'rates case'

What this means for Euahlayi is that, according to Queensland law, the only person who can legally transfer land to First Nations Peoples is the Governor-in-Council, who is the Crown's representative in Queensland. This means that even the Minister of the Parliament responsible for lands has no power to transfer land to First Nations Peoples, without it being first signed off by the Governor-in-Council. We still have possession to this land in Queensland under our Law, culture and custom.

So there are no hidden deals with government as are alluded to by our detractors. No, I just simply beat them at their own game and clarified that land taken through dispossession, when returned through reparartion, remains with the original owners and can't be dispossessed again.

Let me address a couple of other issues labelled Facts One, Two etc. that have been put up to raise some type of doubt about my personal credibility.

Fact One: Yes, I got educated sufficiently enough to take up senior positions in government, both domestic and international, to be employed in their system, as explained previously. This was now a long time ago, but gave me valuable insight into how governments and their bureaucracies function.

Statement of Concern

DPP Instructing Officer in 1970s

Fact Two: Yes, I was an Instructing Officer for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in New South Wales, but NO, I did not send First Nations people to prison.

During this time, two Aboriginal cases came across my desk, both of which I withdrew from, because I was personally familiar with the people involved. But I can say that in one such case I made it possible for the matter to be 'no bill' for lack of evidence, the matter was dismissed and the charges dropped.

I did participate in one other Court of Criminal Appeal case early in my employment with the DPP, After having briefed counsel on the facts that were presented in the trial it became very clear to me, as an Aboriginal person growing up on riverbanks in the fringe-dwelling communities I was very familiar with, that what had been presented as 'the facts', which led to the death of a certain Aboriginal male, had another interpretation. Having read the transcripts and the police case presented, I was able to show the Crown prosecutor that this was a very sad incident, which in reality was an accident, and that there was no intention whatsoever for anyone to be hurt in this manner. As a consequence, the Crown offered no opposing arguments during the appeal and the very elderly gentleman was freed and released.

Towards the end of my time as Instructing Officer with the DPP, I was asked by the then Attorney-general, Mr Frank Walker, that if I remained in my role then he would appoint me to the position of a judge within two years. Instead, I left this position and chose to work with the National Aboriginal Conference (NAC), where I became the Research Director for the Treaty, which the NAC was negotiating with the late Malcolm Fraser's Liberal National Coalition government. Within twelve months of my employment with the NAC, the late Mr Bob Bellair was appointed as a judge to the NSW District Court, a very well deserved appointment might I add, considering he and I refused to stand for a judge entering an ACT Court, when we were charged for assaulting police officers in the execution of their duties to dismantle the Aboriginal Embassy in 1972.

International work experience on liberation, including US State Department

Fact Three: When Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister of Australia, he found wisdom when he realised that I had taken over 2000 people in the cotton industry at Wee Waa on strike for higher wages and succeeded, within three weeks after stopping work, of raising the rate of pay from 65 cents minimum per hour to $5.25 per hour. He invited me to Canberra and facilitated, with the assistance of Lionel Murphy, the then Attorney-General, Mr Don Willesee, the Commonwealth Foreign Minister, an international work experience to look at major events that were happening in different parts of the world, in respect of liberation movements by native populations and their colonisers, and racial conflicts between minority groups, such as the race riots (as they call them) in the USA during the late 1960s and 1970s. This was facilitated through an agreement with the Prime Minister's foreign office and the American State Department

As a result of their efforts I travelled to different key locations, including the United States, to observe the negotiations in respect of settling the conflicts. One such location outside of the USA was the conflict between the Natives of El Salvador and the private militias called the Contras funded, as we all now know, by private coffee plantation owners with the support of the Americans.
In the case of the USA, I was privileged to be an active participant and observer in the finalisation of the Kennedy Inquiry Report on the causes and results of the African American racial tensions during the 1960s and 1970s.

There were a number of other important aspects that I witnessed and observed at the United Nations in respect of successfully negotiating conflict resolutions that brought about military conflict.

This educated me to understand what true liberation struggles and settlement mean.

Ghillar Michael Anderson honours the passing of Edward Gough Whitlam

During this time I can also add that I truly learned what the Stockholm Syndrome really means, a situation that causes so much division amongst us, here on this island continent. That is, there are those of us whose minds remain free from the colonised mindset and retain a loyalty to our own Law, culture and custom, while those who suffer the Stockholm Syndrome are confused about where they really fit, which results in wanting to be part of both worlds, without having to sacrifice anything that they have achieved in the dominating society's world. These people cannot find it within themselves to assume one position or the other, for fear of losing that which they have gained in the colonisers' world.

It is not possible for those who suffer the Stockholm Syndrome to develop strategy on liberation, whilst they cling to that which our invaders have given them. They cannot liberate the people, who want to maintain their Law, culture and their lifestyle, if they can't see their way clear on how the people can live in their world, while obtaining and sharing in some of the benefits of modern society at the same time. This is a path and strategy that can only be developed by the people themselves.

I stand by what I do and what I say. I walk my talk and no one butters my bread but me. I am far from being a two-bob Blackfella and repeatedly call for unity of purpose.

Always was always will be Aboriginaland.

Contact: Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic -
Contact Details for Ghillar