Thousands rallied Western Australia Wednesday, following similar actions last week in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide, to protest against plans to close 150 of Western Australia’s 274 remote Indigenous communities.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 census, there were 69,665 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in WA.
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In Perth, Western Australia’s capital, Premier Colin Barnett and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier went out to speak to protesters, but were booed, RT reported.
Barnett announced in November last year that the state was “forced” to close 150 out of its 274 indigenous communities due to “funding cuts.” He claimed the state government couldn’t continue to provide essential services such as water and electricity to the communities. Two days ago he set June 30 this year as the date for consultations on the planned closures.
Further fueling outrage was a comment by Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week that the government could not “endlessly subsidize lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have.”
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