Western Australian Language Conference PDF Print E-mail

At the Aboriginal Language Centres of Western Australia State Conference in Broome, a resolution was passed calling on the Australian Government to refrain from signing the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. Delegates at the April conference expressed concerns that the signing of the agreement could result in the loss of Sovereignty of Australian laws, and as such is against the basic human rights of indigenous people (UN Declaration).

It was also feared that the MAI has the potential to destroy the frail existing laws protecting cultural heritage, the environment, Native Title Rights, and Intellectual Property and Copyright. A recent report in Business Review Weekly highlighted dangers associated with the agreement.

"If Australia agrees to the MAI, the Foreign Investment Review Board will become a thing of the past. The Wik legislation may also prove to be unsustainable (indigenous rights being by definition only available to locals).

The nightmare scenario is that the MAI would allow an international body controlled by the OECD to override any form of local legislation that penalises foreign corporations."

The conference resolution was directed to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties in Canberra.