Special trip to APY Lands

17 May 2019 media release

In my role on the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee I recently had the privilege of spending some time on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands. Between Tuesday May 7 and Thursday May 9, the committee and I toured around various communities hearing about some of the problems faced by those communities.

Significant issues faced by the residents of the beautiful APY Lands include a shortage of available housing, difficulty in providing adequate healthcare solutions, and ensuring proper education outcomes are achieved. It was a worthwhile excursion listening to those on the front line about measures they would take to improve circumstances.

While up there we had the opportunity to visit some of the amazing countryside that is on show in the far north of our state. The communities of Umuwa, Ernabella, Amata, Pipalyatjara and Mimili were fantastic hosts, and the backdrop of the Musgrave Ranges provided a picture-perfect setting. We had the great privilege of spending time in local art galleries, which are now exporting art internationally, walking around local communities and visiting local stores.

It was pleasing to see mobile polling in action while we were up there too. At least one local in Ernabella shared his admiration for former Prime Minister Tony Abbott who had once visited and granted the community more than $10 million for a new community centre. This gentleman shared that it was over and above the approximate $7 million asked for to cover the 40% extra it costs to build on the APY due to exorbitant freight costs.

It is also pleasing to have seen another fantastic Kernewek Lowender on the Copper Coast over the last week. Congratulations to chairperson Lynn Spurling, Executive Officer Glenys Blacker and the organising committee, and all conveners and volunteers for another fantastic iteration. We, on the Copper Coast, should be very proud of our Cornish Heritage, and the significant celebration of it every second year is a special time.