In the late 1970s thousands of Indigenous Australians initiated a movement back to the ancestral lands they had been removed from during the assimilationist era. Less than 50 years since their return to country, Aboriginal people living in Western Australia’s (WA) remote communities are again grappling with their impending redispossession. Wa Premier Colin Barnett’s announcement late last year was panic inducing:
It is a problem that I do not want and the government does not want, but it is a reality. There are something like 274 Aboriginal communities in Western Australia—I think 150 or so of those are in the Kimberley itself—and they are not viable. They are not viable and they are not sustainable . . . I am foreshadowing that a number of communities are inevitably going to close.