Deal or No Deal over Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps
Will Alison Anderson leave NT Labor?
Other Aboriginal articles


– Analysis

National Indigenous Times: Analysis:
Macklin’s town camp takeover derailed by Tangentyere letter
31 Jul 09: “In writing to Macklin to indicate an intent to
sign up for a 40-year lease, Tangentyere’s lawyers, Gilbert
& Tobin, dumped a bucket on the minister and her methods of
‘securing an agreement’. The document is dynamite. “The
housing associations have agreed to enter into the sub
leases for the simple reason that you have threatened them
with compulsory acquisition if they do not…,” Gilbert &
Tobin wrote. “The loss of tenure to these lands is
something that is abhorrent to the housing associations and
they could not run the risk that it might occur.” … ”
Chris Graham

National Indigenous Times:
Analysis: Macklin’s Claytons deal
– the lease you have when you don’t have a lease
30 Jul 09: “Another day, another deal done with Aboriginal
people while a gun is held to their head. I am, of course,
referring to the news overnight that Jenny Macklin has
signed a deal with the Alice Springs town camps which is
supposed to deliver $138 million in housing and
infrastructure upgrades in exchange for a 40-year lease
over the land. Except, of course, no deal has actually been
done.” Chris Graham

There’s no Alice town camps deal, not now and not likely
30 Jul 09: “The truth is, the battle for the Alice Springs
town camps is just beginning, despite Minister for
Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin’s latest deal.”
Chris Graham

– Video

SBS World News: Judge halts town camp handover
30 Jul 09: “Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says
she’s “disappointed” a judge has stopped the government
signing 40-year leases with 16 Alice Springs town camps.
Camp resident Barbara Shaw sought an injunction to halt the
leases being signed, arguing they are not in the interests
of the indigenous people living there. And on Thursday
afternoon, the Federal Court in Melbourne adjourned the
hearing until Tuesday, but granted a temporary stay until
then. The leases cannot be signed in the interim.”

ABC 7.30 Report:
Town camps acquisition seen as ‘step backwards’ for land rights
30 Jul 09: “The Federal Government’s recent offering of one
hundred million dollars to upgrade Aboriginal town camps in
Alice Springs comes with a catch; the Tangentyere Council
has to give up their land. Not ready to cave in to the
government’s demands, the acquisition is now being
challenged in court.”
[includes comments by Minister Jenny Macklin,
William Tilmouth of Tangentyere council,
Professor Laurissa Behrendt of Law UTS,
Jonathan Pilbrow of NT Council of Social Service,
Town camp resident Barbara Shaw and
Ben Schokman of Human Rights Law Resource Centre]

SBS World News: Deal to upgrade town camps in Alice
29 Jul 09: “The federal government has reached a
breakthrough agreement on Alice Springs town camps that
will result in $100 million being spent on housing in
exchange for 40-year leases.”

ABC: Camp protest
27 Jul 09: “Residents of Alice Springs’ town camps are
challenging the federal Government’s compulsory takeover.”

– Radio

ABC The World Today:
Town camp fight not over yet, says resident
30 Jul 09: “In Sydney yesterday she [Jenny Macklin] said
the deal was all but done and that the town camps were
ready to sign up to the 40 year leases but George Newhouse
says the minister’s comments are premature.
GEORGE NEWHOUSE: Look I think the minister has gone off
half cocked. The leases are not signed and the message that
we’re getting from the town camps is that the response of
the town camps to the minister was that they were only
negotiating with a gun to their head and the deal is by no
means done.”
[includes comments by lawyer George Newhouse and
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert]

CAAMA Morning News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
31 Jul 09:
“* Federal Court judge has granted tempory halt to rudd
labor government Town camp take over.
* Tangyentyerre Executive director has spoken of his
dispointment with jenny Macklin over her dealing with other
parties in the town camp arrangements.

CAAMA Radio Exclusive News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
30 Jul 09: “Tonight’s Headlines: Tangentyere Executive
Diretor hits out at Indigenous Affairs minister’s backroom

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP:
Alice Springs Transformation Plan
30 Jul 09: “Transcripts … ABC Central Australia Mornings;
Interviewer Georgia Stynes … GEORGIA STYNES: … Just
before I came on air I spoke to the Minister for Indigenous
Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and I started by asking her what
finally broke this stalemate. JENNY MACKLIN: I think what
we’ve seen is that everybody has recognised how important
it is that we’re able to get on with upgrading houses,
building new houses, really providing improvements to the
living conditions for people who live in the town camps in
Alice Springs. That’s really what it’s been about all
along, and now we can get on with the job. … ”

Government announces ‘major breakthrough’ on Alice town camps
29 Jul 09: “The Federal Government says a deal has averted
its threatened takeover of the Alice Springs town camps. A
short time ago the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny
Macklin announced a lease agreement with the town camps and
the Tangentyere Council which manages them. The agreement
is for leases of up to 40 years in exchange for more than
$100 million in upgrades.”
[includes interview with Jenny Macklin]

CAAMA Radio Morning News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
28 Jul 09: “* Human rights Lawyer compares the plight of
Alice Springs town campers to the storyline behind the
iconic Australian film the Castle.”

SBS Aboriginal program: Town Camps legal action
27 Jul 09: “Legal action has commenced over the Federal
Government’s announcement it intends to take over Alice
Springs town camps. Lawyers have submitted an application
for a Federal Court injunction. They claim that the Federal
Indigenous Affairs Minister has not informed more than 200
residents about the compulsory acquisition of the camps.
Lawyer George Newhouse is the lawyer acting on behalf of a
resident from the Mount Nancy Camp. He says the exercise of
Ms Macklin’s power as minister to terminate rights of
occupation, could make residents trespassers in their own
homes. Mr Newhouse is speaking with Michelle Lovegrove.”

– Public Letter

Click on links to read full statement and list of endorsees:

Stop the Blackmail – Keep Aboriginal Housing in Aboriginal Hands
[scroll down page] http://stoptheintervention.org/
30 Jul 09: “We, concerned citizens, call on the Federal
Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, to immediately
end moves to compulsorily acquire the Alice Springs town
camps, represented by Tangentyere Council. … We agree
that infrastructure and services for Aboriginal people
should not depend upon the surrender of fundamental rights.
We recognise the right of town camp residents to

Keep Aboriginal Housing in Aboriginal Hands
30 Jul 09: “ANTaR signed this public letter which was
published in The Australian newspaper on Thursday 30th July

– Media Release

ANTaR: Town camps takeover a low point in Indigenous affairs
31 Jul 09: “The reluctant acceptance of a government
take-over of town camps in Alice Springs represents a low
point in Indigenous affairs, ANTaR (Australians for Native
Title and Reconciliation), said today. “It’s a sad day when
the government feels it’s won a victory by coercing
Indigenous people into signing away control over their
communities”, ANTaR spokesperson Dr David Cooper said. The
government has achieved its aims, according to
Tangentyere’s Executive Director, William Tillmouth, by
putting a gun to the head of Tangentyere. Australians
should be concerned at what this indicates about the
government’s commitment to re-set its relationship with
Indigenous people.”

– News

Australian: Court stays Macklin’s deal on camps
31 Jul 09: “INDIGENOUS affairs minister Jenny Macklin’s
long-awaited plans to fix housing in Alice Springs town
camps have been thrown into disarray by a court injunction
issued yesterday that prevents the signing of a 40-year
lease on camp lands. Anti-intervention activist Barbara
Shaw was granted the temporary injunction in the Federal
Court in Melbourne after launching a last-minute court
action … ”

Age: Court stalls bid to control Alice camps
31 Jul 09: “THE Federal Government’s plan to take control
of Alice Springs’ dilapidated town camps and begin an
urgent $100 million house-building program has hit a major
hurdle after an indigenous resident won a last-minute
injunction in court. Barbara Shaw, 33, a Kaytetye-Arrernte
resident of the Mount Nancy camp whose family has been
highly influential in the Tangentyere Council, … ”

Northern Territory News:
Injunction halts Alice town camp lease deal
31 Jul 09: “Camp resident Barbara Shaw sought an injunction
to halt the leases being signed, … In her statement of
claim, Ms Shaw argues the Federal Government has agreed to
spend $100 million over five years specifically on houses
and renovations in the camps. “But (the agreement is)
without any obligation to carry out any improvements
whatsoever at the town camp of the particular housing
association.” ”

ABC: Stay granted on Alice town camp leases
30 Jul 09: “Lawyer Jonathan Beach QC told the court the
sub-leases were disadvantageous for those living in the
town camps and for the housing associations that run them.
… But a Government lawyer argued any delay would affect
the $100 million the Government had promised to spend on
improving housing.”

Koori Mail: ANTaR slams town camp takeover
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
31 Jul 09: “THE Australian for Native Title and
Reconciliation group has slammed the Federal Government’s
coercive takeoever of Alice Springs town camps, saying it
was a low point for Indigenous affairs. ANTaR spokesman
David Cooper said the housing deal being forced upon
Tangentyere Council and communities contradicted Government
efforts to ‘re-set the relationship’ with Indigenous

Northern Territory News:
Swim star torpedoes camp takeover plan
31 Jul 09: “OLYMPIC swimming legend Ian Thorpe has attacked
the Commonwealth Government for “blackmailing” indigenous
people to sign over town camps. Mr Thorpe said Tangentyere
Council – which runs the camps – was a “democratic
organisation that has been the only service provider to the
town camps since their inception”.”

Australian: Council leases out camps at 11th hour
30 Jul 09: “THE Aboriginal council in charge of Alice
Springs town camps has signed a 40-year lease with the
federal government … In a newspaper advertisement
published today, the group [of concerned citizens]
condemned the federal government’s “racially
discriminatory” threat to compulsorily acquire the camps.
… The protest group Stop the Intervention Collective
accused the federal government of blackmail in its dealings
with the council.”

SMH: Lease deal done for Alice Springs camps
30 Jul 09: “A BITTER dispute between the Federal Government
and the indigenous Tangentyere Council over management of
the squalid Alice Springs town camps has been settled, with
the council finally agreeing to a $100 million
houses-for-leases deal.”

ABC: Stop blackmailing Aborigines, Thorpe says
30 Jul 09: “A group of prominent Australians, including
swimming champion Ian Thorpe and Aboriginal leader Pat
Dodson, has taken out advertisements in a national
newspaper calling on the Federal Government to stop moves
to acquire control of town camps in Alice Springs. …
Today’s advertisement, headlined “Stop the Blackmail – Keep
Aboriginal Housing in Aboriginal Hands”, is published in
the The Australian newspaper.”

Australian: Thorpe ‘wrong about racial takeover’
30 Jul 09: “IAN Thorpe should stick to swimming. That’s the
advice Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson had
for the Olympian, who has attacked both the NT and Federal
Governments over their handling of indigenous affairs.
Together with Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson and other
prominent Australians, Thorpe has accused Labor of racial
discrimination over its negotiations on the future of the
troubled town camps of Alice Springs.”

Koori Mail: Protest planned for ALP Conference
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
30 Jul 09: “The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
(STICS) will rally outside the national ALP conference in
Sydney today, demanding an end to the NT intervention and
the policy of withholding housing from Aboriginal
communities until long-term leases are signed with
government. STICS’ Paddy Gibson says ‘the gap’ is widening
under the intervention.”

ABC: Two Alice camps likely to be taken over
30 Jul 09: “Two town camps in Alice Springs are likely to
be forcibly taken over by the Federal Government. …
Darryl Pearce from the Native Title body Lhere Artepe,
which represents the residents of the Trucking Yards and
the Golders camps, wants compulsory acquisition to go

Northern Territory News:
Alice town camps agree to leases
30 Jul 09: “THE Federal Government has reached agreement on
Alice Springs town camps that will see $100 million spent
on housing in exchange for 40-year leases.”

ABC: Takeover averted: town camps accept $100m deal
29 Jul 09: “A federal takeover of town camps in Alice
Springs appears to have been averted after the camps
indicated they would agree to 40-year leases with the
Commonwealth. Sixteen town camps in Alice Springs were
being threatened with the takeover if they did not sign up
to the leases by Friday.”

Nine news: Deal to upgrade town camps in Alice
29 Jul 09: “The federal government has reached a
breakthrough agreement on Alice Springs town camps that
will result in $100 million being spent on housing in
exchange for 40-year leases. Indigenous Affairs Minister
Jenny Macklin said 16 of the 18 Alice Springs town camps
had taken up the federal government’s offer to build new
houses and carry out major renovations on existing homes.”

Koori Mail: Breakthrough on Alice Springs town camps
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
29 Jul 09: “Sixteen out of 18 Alice Springs town camp
housing associations and the Tangentyere Council are
believed to have signed a 40-year sub-lease agreement with
the Australian Government, paving the way for $138 million
in new houses and housing upgrades. The sub-lease allows
the associations and/or other providers to manage tenancies
in the camps for an initial three years.”

Koori Mail: Minister seeks advice on injunction
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
29 Jul 09: “Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin says she’s getting legal advice on an injunction
aimed at preventing her from compulsorily acquiring the
Alice Springs town camps. Housing organisation Tangentyere
has until next Tuesday, to accept the conditions of a
multi-million funding offer from the Commonwealth or lose
control of the camps.”

ABC: Town camp legal stoush ‘avoidable’
29 Jul 09: “The Greens say the federal Indigenous Affairs
Minister ignored their advice to call in an independent
mediator to negotiate town camp leases in Alice Springs.
… A resident has now launched legal proceedings against
the Minister, claiming she has not properly consulted with
town camp residents about the possible takeover. The
Greens’ spokeswoman on Aboriginal issues, Rachel Siewert,
says the Minister could have avoided a court battle.”

Northern Territory News:
Alice town camps takeover decision soon
28 Jul 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says
she’s in a “period of legal waiting” as the deadline looms
for the Commonwealth’s proposed takeover of the Alice
Springs town camps.”

– Background Info

Rollback the Intervention:
Background to the threatened Commonwealth acquisition of
Alice Springs town camps

Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs:
Resolution on Lease Negotiations Close (22 May 09)

WGAR News:
Takeover of Aboriginal Land in Alice Springs (26 May 09):

WGAR News:
Compulsory Acquisition of Alice Springs Town Camps (30 May 09):

WGAR News:
National support for Tangentyere Council (3 June 09):

WGAR News:
Alice Springs town camps takeover (6 Jun 09):
[scroll down page] http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-marion-scrymgour-resigns-labor-party-alice-springs-town-camps-takeover-6-jun-09

WGAR News:
Alice Springs town camps takeover (12 Jun 09):
[scroll down page] http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-darwin-town-camps-takeover-12-jun-09

WGAR News:
Alice Springs Town Camps (19 Jun 09):
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/190609-northern-territory-intervention-two-years-on/

National Indigenous Times:
The Boxed Seat: A pox on all their houses (25 Jun 09)

WGAR News:
Alice Springs Town Camps (6 Jul 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/060709-indigenous-gap-widens/

National Indigenous Times: Special NIT Investigation:
Leaked advice reveals Rudd government’s deceit on NT
intervention consultations and Alice Springs town camps
land grab (6 Jul 09)

Age: NT council slams town camps plan (11 Jul 09)

WGAR News:
Attempt to Takeover Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps (20 Jul 09)

WGAR News:
Attempt to Takeover Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps (24 Jul 09)
[scroll down page] http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=144879

WGAR News:
Challenge to Takeover of Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps (29 Jul 09)


– Background

WGAR News:
Will the NT Indigenous Policy Minister quit Labor? (29 Jul 09)
[scroll down page] http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=144926

– News

Northern Territory News: I won’t support Hendo
29 Jul 09: “TERRITORIANS could go to the polls within weeks
after a prominent Government minister refused to support
the Chief Minister or back down from threats to leave the
party. Indigenous Affairs Minister Alison Anderson said she
would re-evaluate her decision to stay with the party, quit
politics, become an Independent or join the Country
Liberals every three days.”

Australian: NT rule ‘hinges on homes plan’
29 Jul 09: “THE survival of the Northern Territory Labor
government depends on the progress of a $700million housing
program, NT Indigenous Affairs Minister Alison Anderson has
warned in an extraordinary challenge to the chief minister.
… And the minister, who has made it clear she is prepared
to bring down the government if her demands on Aboriginal
housing are not met, … ”

ABC: NT minister slams federal intervention
29 Jul 09: “The Northern Territory Government minister
making threats to quit the Labor Party has reportedly
slammed the Rudd Government’s approach to the federal
intervention, saying it is “killing people by
consultation”. The Minister for Indigenous Policy, Alison
Anderson, has left the Henderson Government on the brink of
collapse after threatening to quit over funding for remote
Aboriginal housing.”

ABC: Hampton promises to deliver on Indigenous housing
30 Jul 09: “The Northern Territory Minister for Central
Australia [Karl Hampton] says he shares many of the
concerns raised by an NT politician who is threatening to
quit Labor over Indigenous housing issues.”

ABC: NT Govt teeters as minister maintains threat
29 Jul 09: “The Northern Territory Opposition is demanding
the Chief Minister resign, claiming he misled people about
the disunity in his Government after it emerged last night
that Indigenous Policy Minister, Alison Anderson, was
maintaining her threat to quit the Labor Party. … Mr
Henderson yesterday emerged from a Cabinet meeting saying
everything was fine.”

ABC: Henderson all smiles after Cabinet meeting
28 Jul 09: “Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul
Henderson, says his Government is united following a
Cabinet meeting this afternoon attended by Indigenous
Policy Minister, Alison Anderson, who last week threatened
to quit the party.”

– Radio

CAAMA Radio Morning News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
30 Jul 09: “* NT Indigenous Policy Minister Alison Anderson
has accused the Rudd labor government of suffocation by

CAAMA News Radio: “Ordinary” Alison attacks Rudd Govt
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
29 Jul 09: “Ordinary Alison accuses Rudd Govt of not being
serious about closing the Gap … ”

CAAMA Radio AM News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
29 Jul 09: “* Indigenous Affairs Minister Alison Anderson
threatening to quit labour government to get their act
together regarding indigenous housing.”

– Opinion

Northern Territory News:
Editorial: Territorians deserve better
29 Jul 09: “THE revelation by Labor Minister Alison
Anderson that she will no longer support Paul Henderson’s
Government leaves him with few options. The Government is
now a lame duck administration at the mercy of its
Indigenous Policy Minister. … The Territory needs
certainty in these trying economic times. Its people cannot
afford to be held to ransom by Ms Anderson or anyone else.”


– Media Releases

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation:
Aboriginal Health Authority needs developing: NACCHO
29 Jul 09: “While Aboriginal health is seen as a priority
by the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission,
(NHHRC) its central recommendation of a Health Authority to
aggregate Aboriginal health funding and purchase services
is barely developed in its report. Dr Mick Adams, chair of
NACCHO, the peak body for community controlled Aboriginal
medical services said, “The National Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Health Authority concept is an interesting
option we have discussed within our sector and it would
have assisted if the Commission had further explored a
range of models for it. There’s no detail on how the $58
million Health Authority might work to ensure Aboriginal
people’s role in setting the priorities to improve our
health for example.“ ”

Northern Land Council:
It has taken too long to get a house built under SIHIP
23 Jul 09: “The Northern Land Council’s Chief Executive,
Kim Hill has today said that it has taken too long to get a
house built under the Federal government’s housing program
– SIHIP – initiated under the federal intervention into
Aboriginal people’s lives. “Not one house has been built
under SIHIP in the two years since the Federal
intervention,” said Mr Hill. “Now there are serious
allegations that up to 70-percent of the $1.6billion SIHIP
funds are being misspent on the government’s excessive
administration costs, delays and waste.”

– Opinion

Canberra Times Editorial: Crossroads for Close the Gap
27 Jul 09: “After 18 months of incredible progress, the
Close the Gap campaign is at a crossroads with a real
possibility that, unless there is a shift in direction,
large amounts of public funds could be spent with
comparatively little effect.” Ian Ring

– Radio

ABC AM: Former NT Housing Minister doubts Commonwealth
will deliver on housing
31 Jul 09

CAAMA Radio AM News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
29 Jul 09: “* NT aboriginal rights Campainger Maurie Ryan
says there is no body is speaking up for indigenous
communities and he is sick of hearing what is happening in
indigenous communities through mainstream media.
* Alice Springs town council Alderman shocked at some new
town council bylaws.”

– News

ABC: Bureaucratic honey pot: ex-MLA blasts NT housing
31 Jul 09: “A former Northern Territory Housing minister
has raised fresh doubts about the Commonwealth’s promise to
deliver on a $672 million Indigenous housing program in the
Territory. … Under the program Tennant Creek was slated
to get 20 new houses, but Mr McAdam says much of the $36
million promised for the town has been skimmed off by both
Territory and Federal Governments.”

ABC: CLP questions dwindling house numbers
30 Jul 09: “The Northern Territory Opposition says the
Government must explain why the number of houses it has
promised to build in several remote Aboriginal communities
appears to have decreased.”

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