Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie says government frontbencher Bess Price (pictured) “was happy enough to use traditional owners connected to the Whitegate families in her election advertising two years ago, but now she will take no action to ensure these people get the water turned back on and their land tenure issues resolved.”
Ms Lawrie has called for a long-term solution to the land tenure issues around Whitegate to be negotiated.
She congratulated Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation for stepping up to ensure Whitegate residents have access to water, but this doesn’t mean the CLP Government can keep on washing its hands of any responsibility here,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Community Services Minister Price must stop referring to native title holders and traditional owners as ‘squatters’ and enter into respectful discussions that recognise the Whitegate residents’ cultural attachment and obligation to the land.
“As the Minister for Indigenous Essential Services Bess Price needs to restore water supply to Whitegate now.
“For Bess Price and Chief Minister, Adam Giles, to keep saying they have no responsibility for the people of Whitegate is a disgrace.
“There is nothing stopping the CLP Government sitting at the table with Whitegate residents, Lhere Artepe and the Central Land Council and working out a solution to land tenure at Whitegate that would see residents receive the same basic services that are delivered by the Government to other Alice Springs residents.”
Ms Price has not responded to a request yesterday for an interview with the Alice Springs News Online.