My principal comment about the 1967 Referendum is that 10% …

Comment on How did Alice Springs respond to the 1967 referendum? by Ted Egan.

My principal comment about the 1967 Referendum is that 10% of Australia voted “NO”.
The issues were nothing to do with voting rights or drinking rights, as is commonly believed, but the clause “Aboriginal natives shall not be counted” was to be repealed and the power to make (favourable) laws in respect of First Australians was to be established.
Over and above these specific issues, the basic mindset of voters was: “Do you consider Aboriginals to be human beings?” and (applause) 90% voted “YES”.
But the 10% NO vote came from predictable areas where there was a history of sad, bad race relations: Walgett, Gnowangerup, Roebourne, Port Augusta etc.
I recall that in the NT at that time there was anger that we were denied a vote but also I felt that the overall NT mood was that we, too, were thereby denied the opportunity to vote “NO”.
There were strident “NO” demos in Alice Springs. Remember that those were the days when the very words “land rights” started many a blue in many NT pubs.
So we are perhaps not as squeaky clean as we like to believe.

Recent Comments by Ted Egan

Desert Song’s fire burns bright
Fantastic! Congratulations Erwin and Kieran for your coverage. Nerys and I are in Adelaide. I have had some surgery and doing radiotherapy until end October.
Nerys is a wonderful carer for me and this edition has made our day, while at the same time bringing on homesickness.
Keep singing, all you choirs. Special greetings to Morris and Barb.


Cops nab alleged grog runners
We’ve come a long way since Yuendumu Flagon Wagon. Or have we?


Alice town camps need not be places of misery
What were the land rights demos of the 1960s all about?
Recognition of the traditional ownership, use and occupancy of their respective land areas of First Australians, in order that they could rehabilitate themselves and their culture on their own country, on their terms.
Alice Springs is Arranta country. Housing programs for Warlpiri, Pitjantjara, Anmatjere and other groups should take place on the land areas of those people.
They have worthless pieces of paper that say they are the “traditional owners” but they don’t have the rights normally available to people who own land.
Town camps are an essential component of the dispossession process. Turn them into fringe dwellers who will acquire all the habits that enable the conquerors to say: “And we do so much for them …” Occupants of town camps have no future other than the present, where they are in the grip of Centrelink, with minimal money, where they and their children easily become prone to all forms of addiction, criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.
Bulldoze the Alice Springs town camps. Build the Bob Beadman towns where First Australians can lead normal lives.
Enable First Australians themselves to be in charge of the planning and building of those towns.


Kittles car yard hit again
When will the police learn that there is one IMMEDIATE solution to all this juvenile nighttime madness?
Six police with six dogs – two Rottweilers, two Dobermanns and two German Shepherds, on leashes, will disperse these kids in a given five minutes. Remember that I did not say “unleash the dogs”.
At the moment these fleet-footed kids know they can outwit, outrun and outsmart heavily-weighted policemen and policewomen in the rough country around Anzac Hill.
But the mere suggestion of a cheeky dog taking a slice of them will work miracles.


Do you know Charlie Hosking, aka Charlie Like?
Can’t believe that I have had nil feedback. Charlie Like was such an identity.


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