01/03/09: CLOSING THE GAP REPORT CARD

Contents:
Media Releases
News
Opinion
PM’s Closing the Gap Speech

MEDIA RELEASES:

Intervention Rollback Action Group (IRAG):
Prime Minister fails first year’s test
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/intervention-rollback-action-group-irag-prime-minister-fails-first-year-s-test
27 Feb 09: “The Intervention Rollback Action Group, based
in Alice Springs and working closely with the Prescribed
Area People’s Alliance, says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s
report 12 months after the National Apology to the Stolen
Generations is nothing but rhetoric and a repetition of the
same stock phrases that the government has been using for a
year. “The gap is widening, not closing,” says Barbara Shaw
from Mt Nancy Town Camp. “Life is harder now for me and many
others living under the Northern Territory Intervention.
Rudd is using information being fed to him by Jenny Macklin,
and her evidence about what is working is flawed.” ”

Stop the Intervention:
Rudd’s ‘report card’ based on deceit and hypocrisy
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/press-releases/mr-on-rudd-s-report-card-27-2-09
27 Feb 09: “The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney
(STICS) has today condemned Kevin Rudd’s report card on the
government’s progress in Indigenous affairs as being based
on deceit and hypocrisy. STICS is calling for immediate
reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) and an
end to the Intervention. “Kevin Rudd is lying about Income
Management in the NT. His government has refused to
acknowledge the countless reports from women in communities
struggling to buy food and look after children under this
failing system”, said Monique Wiseman from STICS. … “The
comments by Kevin Rudd that the NT Intervention has
resulted in eighty new houses being built are disgracefully
deceitful”, said Paddy Gibson from STICS. “Many new houses
have been built for government officials, but none for local
Aboriginal people. As Rudd himself acknowledged, community
housing is being made conditional on the “aggressive land
tenure reforms” being pushed by government”.”

ANTaR: Closing the gap report card – more effort needed on Indigenous engagement
http://www.antar.org.au/closing_the_gap_report_card_2009
27 Feb 09: ” “The Rudd Government needs to embrace an
expanded, shared vision of what closing the gap means by
engaging Indigenous people more effectively in the
development and implementation of its policies,”
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR)
National Director, David Cooper, said today. “Lack of
Indigenous engagement is a key shortcoming that has been
apparent since the Government’s support, while still in
Opposition, for the imposed Northern Territory emergency
intervention.”

Greens: Work still to be done on Closing the Gap
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/work-still-be-done-closing-gap
26 Feb 09: “The Australian Greens said today they expected
more from the Prime Minister in his first report back to
Australia on Closing the Gap. “This approach is a
continuation of the Howard Government’s approach to
Aboriginal Issues. The Prime Minister’s emphasis on personal
responsibility, income management, false promises of more
housing and tenure reform shows that yet again, the
Government is clueless,” said Australian Greens Senator
Rachel Siewert today.”

NEWS:

ABC: Govt ‘fails to deliver on apology promise’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/27/2502659.htm
27 Feb 09: “The Federal Government is coming under fire
over its first annual report to Parliament on efforts to
improve the living conditions of Indigenous Australians.
The Government’s report card shows significant gaps between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in health,
education and housing. … Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma says he is
pleased the report sets out a long term framework for
improving living conditions, but says an ongoing sticking
point is the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act.”

ABC: Govt ‘not doing enough’ to close the gap: NT groups
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/26/2502576.htm?site=indigenous
26 Feb 09: “Medical, schooling and housing bodies in the
Northern Territory have lashed out at the Federal
Government’s first annual progress report on closing the
gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. In
his apology to the Stolen Generations last year, Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd promised a report card on the
Government’s efforts to be delivered on the first day in
Parliament every year. But the first of those report cards
was delayed until today, and leaders from the education,
medical and housing sectors say the Government is not
doing enough to honour their pledge.”

ABC: WA Greens disappointed with Closing the Gap progress
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/27/2503172.htm?site=southwestwa
27 Feb 09: “The Prime Minister’s update on his Closing the
Gap policy has received scathing reviews from the Western
Australian Greens. … Western Australian Greens Senator
Rachel Siewert says it was a disappointing speech that
exposed the Prime Minister’s lack of commitment to the
cause. “Data from around Australia shows there hasn’t been
a closing of the gap in the past 12 months and I was
disappointed in the Prime Minister’s statement in
Parliament that basically didn’t give any detail about how
to close the gap,” she said.”

NIT: Rudd finally delivers Indigenous progress report
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=17195
27 Feb 09: “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd released his awaited
Indigenous progress report yesterday and rebuked critics
who claimed the federal government hadn’t done enough to
close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous living
standards. … Yesterday, he [Mr Rudd] listed what the
government had done in the intervening 12 months. It had
built houses, carried on the Howard government’s
intervention in the Northern Territory, supported the
Australian Employment Covenant led by mining magnate Andrew
Forrest, and invested billions more in health initiatives.”

Canberra Times: New vision a year on from ‘Sorry’
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/new-vision-a-year-on-from-sorry/1445677.aspx
27 Feb 09: “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has promised
$58.3million to eradicate a blinding eye disease which
causes widespread suffering in indigenous communities and
is a ”source of national shame”. He issued yesterday the
first annual report on efforts to ”close the gap” between
indigenous and non-indigenous people since the formal
apology to the Stolen Generations 12 months ago.”

OPINION:

SMH: Outback youth wait for moment in sun
http://www.smh.com.au/national/outback-youth-wait-for-moment-in-sun-20090226-8j9o.html?skin=text-only
27 Feb 09: “IN TINY, drought-ravaged Menindee, almost 1000
kilometres from Canberra, the gap remained wide for Brenda
Mitchell yesterday. Billions of dollars in Rudd Government
promises are yet to make an impact here on the banks of the
Darling River in western NSW. The Aboriginal community of
about 330, making up half the town, had made little
progress in 10 years, said Mrs Mitchell, who heads the
Menindee Local Aboriginal Land Council, which is under
administration.” Joel Gibson

Australian: Communication gap on Rudd talk
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25112804-5006790,00.html
27 Feb 09: “Mixed feelings, or no feelings at all, is the
best way to describe the reaction from Territory Aborigines
to the Prime Minister’s statement about what the federal
Government had achieved a year on from the national
apology.” Paul Toohey

PM’S CLOSING THE GAP SPEECH:

Prime Minister of Australia:
Speech – Closing the Gap Report – Parliament House, Canberra
http://www.pm.gov.au/media/Speech/2009/speech_0840.cfm
26 February 2009

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