Media Releases
Article about assimilation
News about outstations


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

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

WGAR website: http://wgar.info/


Greens: Rudd’s stance on town camp leases contradictory
2 Jun 09: “Moves by the Federal Government to push through
with compulsory acquisition of Alice Springs town camps are
a disaster in the making, and highlight a discord with
rhetoric from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, say the Australian
Greens. “A positive resolution is still possible, but the
Rudd Government seems determined to dig in their heels and
refuse to negotiate,” said Senator Siewert today. …
Senator Siewert said she was disappointed that the Minister,
Jenny Macklin does not appear to be prepared to support
independent mediation, as she proposed in a letter to her
last week.”

National support for Tangentyere Council’s strong stand against takeover
26 May 09: “This morning the Intervention Rollback Action
Group (IRAG) met with the Tangentyere Executive Council to
inform them of the national support building for the
Council’s decision to stand strong against the federal
government’s lease deal and takeover of their town camps.
“The government’s justification for the takeover is to
improve the situation in Alice Springs town camps, but in
two years of the intervention not a single house has been
built despite the so-called emergency. Every community
needs housing and services immediately, but people
shouldn’t be forced to sign over their land” said Lauren
Mellor from the Intervention Rollback Action Group. “The
government is trying to blackmail Indigenous communities by
denying people basic services unless they sign long term
leases and give away their lands. The government is hoping
their unjust actions to take over Aboriginal land and close
homelands will go unnoticed by non-Indigenous and
Indigenous Australians. This is not the case” said Pru Gell
from the Intervention Rollback Action Group.”

For evidence of national support for Tangentyere Council,
see list of organisations and individuals endorsing this

Statement Opposing the Commonwealth’s Proposal to
Compulsorily Acquire the Alice Springs Town Camps:

To endorse this statement, email <stoptheintervention@gmail.com>


CAAMA News Radio
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
Australian Exclusive- Central Land Council supports Tangentyere
2 Jun 09: “CAAMA News Director Paul Wiles talks exclusively
to the Director of Central Land Council David Ross, about
their support  for Tangentyere over the debacle for Federal
Government funding on housing and infrastructure.
To know about the history of Tangentyere Council go to:
To find out more on the Central Land Council go to:

(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
2 Jun 09

CAAMA Radio AM News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
1 Jun 09

ABC Stateline: Interview, William Tilmouth, Tangentyere Council
29 May 09: “The Federal Government says the time for talk
is over and it will move towards compulsorily acquiring
fifteen town camps in Alice Springs. Late last week
Tangentyere Council, which represents Town Camp Housing
Associations, turned down the Commonwealth’s offer of $125
million in exchange for 40-year leases over the camps. The
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said this week
the offer will remain on the table until the 29th June but
negotiations are over. I spoke to the Executive Director of
Tangentyere Council, William Tilmouth from Adelaide.”


GLW: Finishing what Howard started: major attack on land rights
31 May 09: “New policies announced by the federal ALP
Aboriginal affairs minister, Jenny Macklin, turn back the
clock on Aboriginal land rights more than 30 years.
Ironically, her announcements were made just prior to
Reconciliation Week. Macklin announced the federal
government would use its powers to take over the Alice
Springs town camps that, until now, were under Indigenous
control.” Peter Robson

National Indigenous Times:
Editorial: A racist policy for racist times
28 May 09: “The Rudd government’s threat to compulsorily
acquire the Alice Springs town camps from the Tangentyere
Council marks the final nail in the coffin for anyone who
held out hope this government was any different to its
predecessor. Aboriginal landholders remain the only
Australians who are being told they must sign over their
rights to land in order to access basic services. It is a
racist policy from a racist government for a racist
electorate in racist times.” Chris Graham, editor

National Indigenous Times:
The Pointed View: A sorry start to a sombre week
28 May 09: “On the eve of National Sorry Week, the Federal
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Jenny Macklin, announced
that she intended to issue a notice under s.47(1) of the
Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation. What the
press release did not say plainly is that this exercise of
Ministerial power will result in the compulsory acquisition
of land that Tangentyere Council has refused to lease back
to the federal government.” Larissa Behrendt, Professor of
Law at the University of Technology, Sydney

Socialist Alternative:
Labor’s land grab destroys Aboriginal land rights
May 09: “In a stunning display of insensitivity, Indigenous
Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin chose the start of
Reconciliation Week to announce that the Federal government
intended to compulsorily – and permanently – acquire the
town camps of Alice Springs, sidelining the Tangentyere
Council, an umbrella organisation representing 15 of the 18
town camps.” Tess Lee Ack


Koori Mail: CLC defends council over town camps
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/
2 Jun 09: “THE Central Land Council has defended
Tangentyere Council for not signing the $125 million lease
deal offered  by the Australian Government, saying the fact
Alice Springs town camps have poor infrastructure is the
fault of successive Commonwealth and Territory Governments
which have drip fed the Council for years  with funding.”

National Indigenous Times:
CLC backs Tangentyere and calls on Macklin to reconsider
2 Jun 09: “One of Australia’s most powerful Aboriginal land
councils has come out in support of the organisation which
oversees the troubled Alice Springs town camps. Central
Land Council director David Ross on Monday said Tangentyere
Council should not be vilified for refusing to sign a
40-year lease deal with the commonwealth in exchange for
$125 million to improve housing and health services.”

National Indigenous Times:
Rudd being disingenuous on Alice camp acquisition: Greens
2 Jun 09: “The Australian Greens have accused the Rudd
government of being disingenuous over plans to push through
the compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal town camps in
Alice Springs. … It was “disingenuous of (Prime Minister)
Kevin Rudd to blame the council for conditions in the camp
while ignoring the culpability of the Northern Territory
government. Territory Housing has an abysmal public housing
record and are not trusted by the Aboriginal communities,”
Senator Siewert said.”

Koori Mail: Govt prepared to make tough decisions, says PM
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/
1 Jun 09: “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has reiterated his
Government’s support for the NT intervention and backed
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin on the planned
compulsorily acquisition of the Alice Springs town camps
issue. In Darwin on Friday, Mr Rudd said the Government
expected detractors but its policies would ‘materially
close the gap’ ”

ABC: Alice town camps ‘have come a long way’
30 May 09: “A Northern Territory housing council that is
battling to stop the Federal Government forcibly taking
over its land leases maintains it has not mismanaged the
Alice Springs town camps. Tangentyere Council has been
negotiating with the Commonwealth over the future of the
camps for more than a year and last week the Government
announced plans to compulsorily acquire the camps.”

ABC: Compulsory acquisition wrong: rights group
29 May 09: “An Indigenous rights activist says the Federal
Government’s plan to compulsorily acquire Alice Springs
town camps “flies in the face” of an agreement between the
Government and the Indigenous Peoples Organisation.
Speaking from a United Nations conference in New York last
night, South Australia’s Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement
chief executive, Neil Gillespie, says the forced
acquisition of leases without informed consent is wrong.”

National Indigenous Times:
Tangentyere urges Rudd govt not to walk away from table
28 May 09: “The council which oversees the troubled town
camps of Alice Springs has implored the Rudd government not
to walk away from the negotiating table. … Despite her
[Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin] threats and
tough talk, Tangentyere issued a statement on Monday which
called on the federal government to “continue towards
reaching a negotiated outcome”.”


On Line Opinion: Aboriginal assimilation: the Hub of the matter
29 May 09: “At one level the suggestion is that white
“saviours” intervene in the lives of Aboriginal people to
“protect” them from the ravages of other whites. But it
can’t have escaped the notice of such “saviours” that
removing Aboriginal people from their traditional lands
opens the way for other whites to lay claim to recently
vacated Aboriginal land. … Rudd is just the last of the
colonisers who have waged a relentless race war for 220
years against the Indigenous owners of this country. The
Labor Party in Canberra and in Darwin won’t stop foisting
their ill-thought through plans on Aboriginal people until
the last Aboriginal person gives up their last claim to land
or separate identity.” John Tomlinson, visiting scholar at


National Indigenous Times:
Scrymgour threatens to cross floor on outstations policy
2 Jun 09: “One of the Northern Territory government’s
Aboriginal MLAs Marion Scrymgour has accused her own party
of “lying to” and “insulting” Aboriginal people, and has
threatened to jeopardise Labor’s precarious hold on

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