07/03/09: SURRENDERING LAND RIGHTS FOR HOUSING – EXPANDING NT INTERVENTION

Contents:
Surrendering Land Rights for Housing
Australian Crime Commission (ACC)
Intervention Opinion
Other News re NT
Other News

SURRENDERING LAND RIGHTS FOR HOUSING:

News:

National Indigenous Times: The Betrayal: Macklin unveils
plan to force 40-year leases in exchange for public housing
http://www.nit.com.au/News/story.aspx?id=17274
5 Mar 09: “Under a scheme about to be rolled out by the
Rudd government Aboriginal communities living in remote
parts of Australia will be forced to bargain for access to
public housing by surrendering control of their land for at
least 40 years. But the plan is not just restricted to
landholders. In a move that will outrage Aboriginal groups
around the nation, aspirant landholders in remote regions
are also being targeted, with the government planning to
refuse to release Commonwealth housing funds for
construction of homes on land that is the subject of an
unresolved native title claim/s. The plan is currently
being restricted to remote regions, and will affect about
one quarter of the Australian Indigenous population. …
In broad terms, it represents a national roll-out of one
of the most controversial parts of the Northern Territory
intervention – the compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal
land for the reconstruction of townships.” Chris Graham

SMH: Aborigines told to swap land rights for new homes
http://www.smh.com.au/national/aborigines-told-to-swap-land-rights-for-new-homes-20090305-8q1u.html?skin=text-only
6 Mar 09: “ABORIGINES living in remote areas throughout
Australia will not get a cent of $2 billion in new housing
money unless they sign away their land rights for at least
40 years under a controversial Rudd Government plan that
NSW indigenous leaders called insulting and dictatorial.”

AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION (ACC):

News:

Age: Rudd rolls Debus on indigenous taskforce
http://www.theage.com.au/national/rudd-rolls-debus-on-indigenous-taskforce-20090305-8q2w.html?skin=text-only
6 Mar 09: “PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has overturned a
decision by Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus to shut down an
Australian Crime Commission taskforce investigating
indigenous child sex abuse, drug trafficking and
alcohol-related crime. … But after a week of fierce
criticism surrounding Mr Debus’ decision, the Government
announced yesterday that $5.5 million had been found to
fund taskforce operations for another year.”

NIT: ACC investigating ‘hysterical, baseless” child abuse claims: NLC
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=17270
6 Mar 09: “Northern Land Council CEO Kim Hill has hit out
at the federal government’s decision to fund the Australian
Crime Commission (ACC) in Alice Springs for another year.
… One of Australia’s most powerful Aboriginal land
councils says a child abuse taskforce was set up to
investigate “hysterical, baseless accusations about
pedophiles”. … But Northern Land Council chief executive
officer Kim Hill said there was no evidence to support
claims made by former Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal
Brough that pedophile rings were operating across the NT.”

Australian: Macklin extends intervention
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25145772-2702,00.html
6 Mar 09: “THE Rudd Government has moved to bolster the
radical Northern Territory indigenous intervention by
guaranteeing funding for law and order, alcohol and
anti-pornography measures for three more years. The
Government also yesterday moved to end speculation that
the Australian Crime Commission taskforce investigating
child sex abuse in the communities was set to be disbanded
by announcing it would be funded for at least another year.”

ABC: Mundine supports NT intervention extension
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/06/2508872.htm
6 Mar 09: “The Federal Government will continue funding the
legal aspects of the Northern Territory intervention for
another three years. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin has confirmed that the Government will pay for
anti-alcohol and anti-pornography measures until 2012. She
says it will also continue funding for the Australian Crime
Commission’s specialist task force on child abuse.”

Govt not ‘fair dinkum’ about NT intervention
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/06/2509447.htm
6 Mar 09: “The Federal Opposition says there should never
have been any doubt about federal funding for the
Australian Crime Commission to continue its role in the
Northern Territory intervention.”

Australian: PM puts price on children: Langton
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25140815-601,00.html
5 Mar 09: “INDIGENOUS academic Marcia Langton has accused
the Rudd Government of putting “a price tag on Aboriginal
children’s heads” by failing to commit to funding a
specialist Australian Crime Commission taskforce into child
abuse and listening to Aboriginal lobbyists who deny the
existence of child abuse in communities.”

Opinion:

Crikey: Who speaks for Aboriginal people? You, Warren Mundine?
http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090306-Who-speaks-for-Aboriginal-people-You-Warren-Mundine.html
6 Mar 09: “Northern Land Council CEO Kim Hill, this morning
on ABC radio Darwin: …
ABC presenter Julia Christensen: The Federal Government has
confirmed that it will continue funding a federal taskforce
that’s been investigating allegations of child sex abuse in
the Northern Territory for the last few years. … You’re
not so pleased with this news, why not?
Hill: No, put things into perspective Julia. I mean my
response in regards to the comments made by Professor
Langdon and Mr Warren Mundine, who don’t live or have any
cultural affiliations to the Northern Territory. I’m just
disappointed to see that indigenous leaders perpetrating
the myth that indigenous people are overwhelmingly
criminals in nature. And it’s not true.”

Australian: Jury’s out on mission north
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25130516-5013172,00.html
3 Mar 09: “THE Australian Crime Commission had to rethink
its own culture when working in Aboriginal Australia. The
ACC’s National Indigenous Violence and Child Abuse
Intelligence unit couldn’t sit around with listening
devices trying to understand phone conversations in
Luritja. Nor could it expect that its method of dragging
bikers and crims before secret hearings and demanding they
talk or face jail would get them far.” Paul Toohey

INTERVENTION OPINION:

Radio Interview:

ABC PM: Govt plan to stop truancy in NT
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2507562.htm
4 Mar 09: ” ‘No school, no money’, that’s the reality
facing more than 1,000 parents on welfare in the Northern
Territory. Chronic truancy is a major problem, mainly in
Indigenous communities, so a month ago the Federal
Government began a trial in several towns and communities
to try to force all parents to send their children to
school.”

Opinion:

Australian: Without the will, the intervention is left without a way
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25140879-5013172,00.html
5 Mar 09: “THE slow unravelling of the Northern Territory
Emergency Response, better known as the intervention, began
on November 24, 2007, the day federal Labor took power.”
Paul Toohey

OTHER NEWS RE NT:

NIT: NT govt accused of ignoring needs of bush communities
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=17271
6 Mar 09: “The Northern Territory government has been
accused of “astonishing indifference” to Aboriginal people
in the bush after MPs failed to read a report on flooding
in a remote community.”

NIT: Rudd govt commits $15.7m for NT Indigenous rangers
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=17208
6 Mar 09: “The Rudd government will spend $15.7 million
over the next two years supporting 22 Indigenous ranger
groups in the Northern Territory. The groups, working on
land and sea management projects, are based across the Top
End, including in Darwin, West and East Arnhem, Katherine
and Victoria River.”

OTHER NEWS:

ABC: Indigenous support for outstation funding debate
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/04/2507071.htm
4 Mar 09: “Indigenous spokesman Peter Yu has welcomed
debate over the future funding of remote Aboriginal
communities in Western Australia, saying money could be
better spent. The state’s Department of Housing chief
Grahame Searle has questioned whether taxpayers should
continue to fund houses and infrastructure in outstations
with only a handful of residents.”

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