05/03/09: NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION: WARLPIRI, RDA, RETURN OF LAND, ACC

Contents:
Warlpiri Statement
Racial Discrimination Act (RDA)
Return of Compulsorily Acquired Land
Australian Crime Commission (ACC)
Income Quarantine Card
Intervention Opinion
Intervention News
Other News

WARLPIRI STATEMENT:

Rollback the Intervention:
Statement by Warlpiri Delegation from Yuendumu
on the Occasion of the Opening of Parliament 2009
[scroll down the page] http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/
Feb 09: ” … Recommendations:
* The Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act (1975) and the
NT Anti-Discrimination Act should be restored straight away.
* Don’t ignore the recommendations of the Report of Peter
Yu’s NTER Review Board.
* Put the Intervention money now being wasted to good use.
Fund our local organisations to employ more people on full
wages.
* Re-establish local leadership and decision making power.
Restore Yuendumu Council.
* Apologise for all the hurt and the lies and insults that
have made us look so bad in the eyes of the rest of
Australia.
* That Australia adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples.
This declaration includes the right of people “providing
education in their own languages”.
* Above all give us back our respect and dignity and support
us in running our own lives.
* Don’t talk down to us and listen.”

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT (RDA):

News:

Move to bring Racial Discrimination Act back later this year: Macklin
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/27/2503040.htm?site=qanda
27 Feb 09: “Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin says the Government will introduce legislation to
reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act into Parliament
later this year. The Act was suspended in 2007 to clear the
way for it to quarantine welfare payments as part of the
Northern Territory indigenous intervention. Yesterday the
Government said it would keep quarantining welfare as part
of its attempt to improve Indigenous living conditions. Ms
Macklin says welfare quarantining can be done in a
non-discriminatory way and she says there will be
legislation later this year to lift the suspension.”

See this related Radio Interview:

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
23 Feb 09: “Karen Dorante spoke with Professor of Law &
Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of
Learning at UTS in Sydney, Larissa Behrendt.”
[includes discussion of the Racial Discrimination Act and
the extension of the Northern Territory intervention]
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-02-23-72671.mp3

RETURN OF COMPULSORILY ACQUIRED LAND:

Australian: Half of land taken in NT reverts to owners
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25117213-5006790,00.html
28 Feb 09: “ABORIGINES in the Northern Territory will
regain 50 per cent of the land that was compulsorily
acquired by the federal Government, after a review of the
intervention. … A comprehensive survey of the lease areas
has allowed the Government to accurately assess lease
boundaries and exclude areas that are not essential to
support the delivery of services under the intervention.”
Patricia Karvelas

AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION (ACC):

News:

SMH: Indigenous violence taskforce closed to save $4m
http://www.smh.com.au/national/indigenous-violence-taskforce-closed-to-save-4m-20090227-8k90.html?skin=text-only
28 Feb 09: “THE Rudd Government has decided to shut down a
key Australian Crime Commission taskforce carrying out
groundbreaking investigations into indigenous violence,
child abuse, drug trafficking and alcohol-related crime.”

Age: NT taskforce closure threat confirmed
http://www.theage.com.au/national/nt-taskforce-closure-threat-confirmed-20090301-8lh9.html?skin=text-only
2 Mar 09: “THE Australian Crime Commission has confirmed
its key taskforce investigating indigenous child abuse,
drug trafficking and alcohol related crime was likely to be
wound up in June.”

ABC: ACC closure reports concern Opposition
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/02/2505177.htm
2 Mar 09: “The Federal Minister for Home Affairs says he
will not confirm or deny reports he has decided to close an
Australian Crime Commission (ACC) task force involved in
the Northern Territory Emergency Response. … The Northern
Territory Opposition Leader says he is concerned by the
reports, saying now is not the time for a reduction in any
of the resources related to the intervention.”

Australian: Labor is ‘destroying’ NT intervention
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25130512-5006790,00.html
3 Mar 09: “FORMER indigenous affairs minister Mal Brough
has accused Kevin Rudd of abandoning the radical Northern
Territory intervention in Aboriginal communities and
destroying it step by step. Mr Brough, who spearheaded the
intervention when he was the minister in 2007, said the
Rudd Government’s refusal to commit to funding the
Australian Crime Commission’s specialist taskforce
investigating indigenous child abuse, drug trafficking and
alcohol crime was one example of a systematic downgrading
of the intervention.”

Australian: Don’t let criminals win, says Warren Mundine
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25136163-2702,00.html
4 Mar 09: “ALP powerbroker and Aboriginal leader Warren
Mundine yesterday warned the Rudd Government to keep
funding the Australian Crime Commission’s Alice
Springs-based indigenous taskforce. Mr Mundine begged the
Government not to backtrack on the Northern Territory
intervention following its refusal to commit to funding the
ACC taskforce investigating indigenous child abuse, drug
trafficking and alcohol crime.”

INCOME QUARANTINE CARD:

News:

NIT: Centrelink moves to improve Indigenous welfare card
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=17197
2 Mar 09: “Centrelink has moved to strengthen the income
quarantine card regime after a glitch that left some
Aboriginal people unable to buy food. … Greens senator
Rachel Siewert told the Senate hearing on Friday the
technology breakdown had serious implications. “We
shouldn’t be putting people in that situation,” Senator
Siewert said. “Not only is it the fact that they’ve
travelled sometimes hundreds of kilometres to get food they
also feel a great deal of embarrassment when they can’t buy
their shopping and frustration and literally their kids go
hungry.” ”

See related WGAR News:

NT Intervention: Card bungle causes hunger (25 Jan 09)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/nt-intervention-card-bungle-causes-hunger-25-jan-09

INTERVENTION OPINION:

Radio Interviews:

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
2 Mar 09: “Tiga Bayles spoke with Larrakia Nation
Governing Committee Member, Donna Jackson.”
[includes discussion of the NT intervention and
“unviable” communities]
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-03-02-71085.mp3

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
24 Feb 09: “Tiga Bayles spoke with the Editor of The
National Indigenous Times, Chris Graham.”
[includes discussion of the NT intervention and the
complaint to the UN]
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-02-24-93142.mp3

Opinion:

GLW: Aboriginal women condemn racist intervention
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/785/40450
28 Feb 09: “Since the intervention into Northern Territory
Aboriginal communities began in 2007, Aboriginal people
have been subjected to a national spotlight that has
demonised the men and rendered the women virtually
powerless.” Jay Fletcher

INTERVENTION NEWS:

Canberra Times: Former ACT bureaucrat to head NT intervention
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/former-act-bureaucrat-to-head-nt-intervention/1449428.aspx
4 Mar 09: “A former ACT Government chief executive Mike
Zissler has been appointed operational commander of the
Northern Territory emergency response into Aboriginal
communities. He will fly to the Northern Territory today to
be briefed on the state of the response initiatives. His
appointment comes four days after Major-General Dave
Chalmers’ last day on the job.”

ABC: Fed Govt negotiate NT park alcohol exemptions
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/02/2505146.htm
2 Mar 09: “Negotiations are taking place over whether
drinking alcohol will be allowed inside parks handed back
to traditional owners in Central Australia this year.”

ABC: Alcohol rehab provider calls for more funding
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/27/2503224.htm
27 Feb 09: “An alcohol rehabilitation provider in central
Australia says it has not received enough funding to
operate a much-needed women’s residential care facility.
The Central Australia Aboriginal Alcohol Programs Unit’s
Abdul Kahn says their Alice Springs facility already has
24 clients despite only having a capacity for 20 and there
is a growing waiting list.”

OTHER NEWS:

NIT: Acknowledge the Aboriginal wars with a memorial: Grenville
http://www.nit.com.au/News/story.aspx?id=17200
3 Mar 09: “Acclaimed author Kate Grenville has joined the
call for a memorial to commemorate the war between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Ms Grenville,
author of the award-winning historical novel The Secret
River and its “sequel” The Lieutenant, says the memorial is
needed to acknowledge the battles and skirmishes between
Aboriginal people and the early settlers. “You can’t get to
first base in the process of reconciliation if you’re
pretending they didn’t happen,” she said on Monday.”

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