What is happening with the Barmah Dharnia Centre which I visited last Tuesday and found that the bunkhouse accommodation building plus the dining and educational wing have been totally demolished. The only evidence left is a large white empty ‘skip bin’ in their place. The communities that put the complex there at a substantial cost to the people of Victoria built with the cooperation of Aboriginal and European labour has a lot of questions as to why these buildings have been demolished so quietly! Is the ‘skip bin’ there, waiting to devour the rest of this sacred complex? Is it licking its lips at the lonely main hall? Who authorised these public buildings to be demolished? Will they continue to demolish the Dharnia main hall museum building? We note that the main building is a shrine to Aboriginal culture! Where are the Yorta Yorta Nation? Why are they not up in arms at their valuable complex being torn down? Is it to be flattened in the same callous manner? Why were Parks Victoria and DSE employees seen at the scene in Parks and DSE vehicles? What role did Parks and DSE have in this demolition job? Where are the building materials such as bricks, iron, roofing and all of the valuable white ant proof Murray pine used to protect the building from pest infiltration? What assessment records are there to see if these buildings could have been renovated? Why was it kept a secret from Barrie Dexter, the founder and instigator of this centre? Why were the buildings (owned by the people of Victoria) allowed to fall into disrepair for so long when other members of the Aboriginal communities wanted to make their function as originally intended? Where are the Local Members of the National party, Paul Weller and in particular Jeanette Powell Minister for Aboriginal Affairs who must have been asleep at the wheel while this demolition was taking place? What role did the Victorian Minister for Environment, Ryan Smith in charge of Parks and DSE have in the authorisation of this destructive deed? This complex belonged to the people, who had hopes and dreams for it! A lot of questions need to be answered by the Victoria Government.
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