NSWALC weighs in, Mundine weighs out?

29th Sept. 2005

NSW: The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC), the state’s peak Indigenous body has issued a ‘please explain’ letter and sought a meeting with a senior NSW ALP official over remarks he made recently about incoming ALP president Warren Mundine’s out-spoken stance on Indigenous home ownership.

NIT understands NSWALC recently wrote to NSW ALP secretary Mark Arbib, saying it considers Mr Arbib is “talking nonsense” when he says there is no inherent conflict between Mr Mundine’s membership of the NIC and his role as incoming national president of the ALP. In an article in The Weekend Australian 10 days ago, Mr Arbib defended Mr Mundine after comments by NSW Aboriginal MP, Linda Burney and coordinator of the NSW Indigenous Labor Network, Phil Lockyer that Mr Mundine should choose between the ALP and the NIC. NIT understand’s NSWALC’s letter sought a meeting with Mr Arbib to discuss the situation. The letter, which was written before Mr Mundine’s latest criticisms of Mick Dodson, says Mr Mundine’s recent public comments are alienating many Aboriginal people in NSW.

Mr Mundine hinted to NIT on Tuesday that he was in the process of considering his immediate future.

“I'm going to stick to my original timetable that I said I was going to do before,” he said. Mr Mundine is referring to comments he made in November 2004 that he doubted the NIC would survive more than 12 months.

“I’m looking at the whole process, to see where I'm heading. People will hear about what I’m doing in the near future.”