2 August 2009
“We've had the gun at our head.” This is what William Tilmouth, Tangentyere Council CEO, said in response to Aboriginal affairs minister Jenny Macklin's triumphant July 29 announcement that the council had agreed to lease Alice Springs town camps to the federal government for 40 years in exchange for $135 million in housing upgrades.
Aboriginal people established the town camps to cater for people traveling to Alice Springs from out bush. In the 1970s, they managed to secure title over the town camps, and have been represented by Tangentyere Council ever since.
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How typical of the government to try to take over land that Aboriginal mob are living on in the Town Camps in and around Alice Springs. The Minister had previously extended time to allow for housing upgrades. But now to renege on that promise?
In May this year the Tangentyere Council called on the Australian government to continue lease negotions, but it seems the government had other plans.
Listen to an interview with William Tilmouth with Caama Radio