11/05/09: THE NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION & RELATED ISSUES

Contents:
Media Releases
Intervention Opinion
Intervention Radio Interviews
Intervention News

MEDIA RELEASES:

AMSANT: NT government creates barriers to sexual health services
http://amsant.com.au/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=119&Itemid=101
“The NT’s peak Aboriginal health body says that the new
Care and Protection of Children legislation will create a
major barrier to young people accessing health services,
resulting in an increase in sexually transmitted infections
(STIs) and early teenage pregnancies. It will also be a
barrier for young pregnant women accessing antenatal care.
AMSANT has called on the NT government to urgently amend
the legislation so that it is no longer mandatory to report
all sexual activity in people aged under 16 years to the
Department of Health and Families (DHF), for possible
subsequent criminal referral to police services.”

Greens: Tom Calma’s final Social Justice report
a ‘blueprint for action’ on the Apology
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/tom-calmas-final-social-justice-report-a-blueprint-action-apology
4 May 09: “The Australian Greens today welcomed the launch
of the Social Justice report by the Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma,
describing the report as a ‘blueprint’ for converting Kevin
Rudd’s apology to the stolen generations into action. …
The report calls on the Rudd Government to establish a
credible national Indigenous representative body, enact a
remote Indigenous education strategy, reinstate the Racial
Discrimination Act, put in place a properly funded
long-term plan to achieve health equality, establish a
Human Rights Act and amend the Constitution.”

Aboriginal leader wants minister to resign over “services dictatorship”
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/press-releases/mr-michael-anderson-eauhalyi-nation-24-4-09
24 Apr 09: “Michael Anderson, co-founder of the Aboriginal
Embassy and leader of the Eauhalyi Nation, wants Jenny
Macklin, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, to resign. He
explains why in the following statement: … Now the
federal government is rolling out this absolute racist
policy that if the Aboriginal communities fail to lease
their lands to them, they will not provide any
infrastructure and housing funding. Instead they threaten
the communities with ‘oh well, we will give it to the state
government bodies and they will acquire land on the open
market and they through their respective departments can
provide the service or housing’.”

Greens oppose income quarantining in WA
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/greens-oppose-income-quarantining-wa
21 Apr 09: “The Australian Greens are urging the WA
Government not to go ahead with expansion of a program that
quarantines up to 70 per cent of parents’ welfare payments
before the trial has been assessed. “Removing parents’
control over their money is not a silver bullet solution to
solving child neglect in the long term,” Australian Greens
Senator Rachel Siewert said. … “The findings of the
independent report into the Northern Territory Emergency
Response were critical of the cost and effectiveness of
income quarantining in Aboriginal communities in NT. We
should assess the evidence before expanding this dubious
and expensive measure.” ”

Greens: CDEP cancellation is bad policy
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/cdep-cancellation-bad-policy
15 Apr 09: “The Australian Greens today renewed calls for
the Federal Government to reconsider the cancellation of
Community Development Employment Programs (CDEP) in the
wake of the global financial crisis. “There is growing
concern in the community at the cancellation of the CDEP
scheme on 1 July and the transfer of people in that scheme
onto Newstart. This is the wrong decision for the Minister
to be making, when the Australian job market is rapidly
contracting as a result of the global financial crisis,”
said Senator Rachel Siewert.”

INTERVENTION OPINION:

Socialist Alternative: Barbara Shaw speaks against NT intervention
http://www.sa.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1968&Itemid=125
Apr 09: “Barbara Shaw is a Kaytetye-Arrernte woman from
Central Australia. She is an executive member of the local
Tangentyere Council and a member of the National Aboriginal
Alliance. Since the Howard government announced its
Northern Territory Emergency Response in 2007, the land
where Barbara lives has been designated as a “prescribed
area” and subject to draconian repression. Barbara has
campaigned tirelessly against the Intervention, … She
spoke to a large audience at the Marxism 2009 conference
sponsored by Socialist Alternative in April.”

NIT: The Big Read: Spoilt, rotten
http://www.nit.com.au/News/story.aspx?id=17666
30 Apr 09: “The Rudd government has promised to close the
gap in Indigenous life expectancy within a generation. But
it seems a bit ambitious when at least a quarter of the
Aboriginal population and almost all of the Torres Strait
Islander population can’t even afford to eat right. AMY
McQUIRE* looks at the price of food in regional and remote
communities, and whether at the current rate the ALP has
any real hope of living up to its bold promise.”

Guardian: Govt wins praise, but also warned as Australia supports UN Declaration
http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2009/1408/09-govt-wins-praise.html
29 Apr 09: “Australia has won Indigenous and international
praise for finally supporting the United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But it has
been warned that it risks being viewed as hypocritical
unless it acts swiftly to ensure its policies and
initiatives such as the Northern Territory intervention
reflect its international obligations.”

Crikey: How the NT intervention is harming children
http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/03/23/how-the-nt-intervention-is-harming-children/
23 Apr 09: “It is 15 days since the Rudd Labor Government
announced it would continue the NT Intervention for a
further three years. The Government promised that the
results of the Intervention would be monitored and that
changes would be “evidence-based”. What evidence is there
that the Intervention has directly assisted in caring for
our children – the premise on which the Intervention has
been based?” Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation
CEO Irene Fisher

Stop the Intervention:
Land rights, self-determination and the NT intervention
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/speeches/emma-murphy-11-4-09
11 Apr 09: “If anything, Rudd has managed to take some of
Howard’s attacks further than Howard himself had time to.
Land rights, for example. I mentioned that the intervention
meant the federal government government could acquire
Aboriginal land and convert it into leases. How this has
played out is that the government has used a form of
blackmail, pressuring NT communities to sign their land
over to the government as 40 or 99 year leases in return
for basic infrastructure funding such as public housing.”
Emma Murphy

INTERVENTION RADIO INTERVIEWS:

ABC PM: Life in Mutitjulu one year after the intervention
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2548908.htm
21 Apr 09: “Mutitjulu has long had a reputation of being
one of Australia’s most dysfunctional Aboriginal
communities. Reports of child sexual abuse in Mutitjulu led
to the launch of the Federal Government’s intervention in
the Northern Territory in June 2007. At the time many in
Mutitjulu were vocally opposed to the changes. Now
residents think life is slowly getting better but the
intervention can’t take all the credit.”
[Includes interviews with Judy Trigger, Barbara Tjikatu and
Dawn Bradbrook]

ABC Radio Australia: Indigenous Australians oppose govt housing deal
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/200904/s2542273.htm
14 Apr 09: “Australia’s government is facing much
scepticism as it offers to improve housing in remote
Indigenous communities. It is offering increased funding if
it can take long leases over land now held by its
traditional owners. Some community members say it’s a bribe
for a land grab – their views tainted by past experience.”
[Includes speakers: Ned Hargraves, Walter Lechleitner,
David Ross, Robbie Wallitt and Cecil Johnson]

ABC PM: Poor health blamed on NT intervention
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2540206.htm
9 Apr 09: “The intervention in the Northern Territory has
had some strident critics. Now, a medical service east of
Katherine [Sunrise Health Service] is saying there’s
evidence that child health is suffering as a direct result
of it, and is citing soaring anaemia levels among
Indigenous children.”
[Includes interviews with Irene Fisher and John Boffa]

INTERVENTION NEWS:

Australian: Aboriginal, green funds not spent
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25451172-5013871,00.html
9 May 09: “THE Rudd Government has admitted tens of
millions of dollars intended for indigenous affairs and
green projects went unspent in 2007-2008, prompting
Coalition accusations that the Government is not genuine
about its commitments. … there was also underspending of
$4 million on the Northern Territory emergency response
intervention.”

Australian: Mandatory child sex reporting could result in pregnancies
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25438527-5006790,00.html
6 May 09: “LAWS requiring doctors in the Northern Territory
to report all sexual activity by children could result in
more teenage pregnancies and increased sexually transmitted
infections (STIs), a peak doctors group says. Up until
April, when the Labor Government changed the law, it was
illegal for health workers in the NT not to report
suspected child abuse. … ”

ABC: ‘Urgent action needed’ to tackle Indigenous influx
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/05/04/2560058.htm
4 May 09: “The Mount Isa Mayor, in north-west Queensland,
says state and federal governments need to deal quickly
with the growing number of Indigenous itinerants in the
city. Councillor John Molony says the federal intervention
in the Northern Territory and alcohol management plans in
Indigenous communities have led to an influx of people.”

ABC: Commonwealth offers double for Alice Springs town camps lease
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/05/04/2559776.htm
4 May 09: “The Federal Government is hoping to resolve
deadlocked negotiations over Aboriginal town camps in Alice
Springs by more than doubling its initial offer to the
Tangentyere Council. Tangentyere Council is the
organisation that manages the Alice Springs town camps.”

Australian: Macklin puts $125m offer to town camps
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25423979-5006790,00.html
4 May 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has
offered the Aboriginal council running the languishing town
camps around Alice Springs $125 million, more than double
what the Rudd Government originally offered, to sign them
up to 40-year leases.”

ABC: NT intervention ‘causing racism’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/05/01/2558305.htm?section=australia
1 May 09: “A Senate committee hearing on remote Indigenous
communities has been told the Northern Territory
intervention has led to increased racism. … Director of
the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC),
Stephanie Bell, told the hearing the intervention has led
to substantially increased racism and was causing a lot of
anger and hardship for Aboriginal people.”

Solidarity: Speaking tour takes forward struggle against NT Intervention
http://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/speaking-tour-takes-forward-struggle-against-nt-intervention/
Apr 09: “The campaign against the Northern Territory
Intervention is taking significant steps forward following
a recent east-coast speaking tour by women from
“prescribed” communities in the NT. The tour was timed to
coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination on March 21. Barbara Shaw from Mount
Nancy Town Camp in Alice Springs and Valerie Martin from
Yuendumu visited Brisbane and North-Eastern NSW. Martin
also joined Irene Fisher, CEO of Sunrise Health Service in
Katherine, for a series of events in Sydney.”

SMH: Confidential intervention documents found at NT tip
http://www.smh.com.au/national/confidential-intervention-documents-found-at-nt-tip-20090428-am2s.html
29 Apr 09: “DOCUMENTS revealing confidential information on
almost 400 people in a remote Northern Territory Aboriginal
community [Yuendumu] have been found at a rubbish tip. …
The discovery is likely to increase tensions in the
community of about 700 … ”

ABC: First NT intervention liquor prosecution fails
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/29/2556028.htm
29 Apr 09: “The first prosecution for charges of breaking
liquor laws under the Northern Territory intervention has
been quashed in the Darwin Magistrate’s Court. Under the
intervention, it is a requirement for liquor outlets to
register personal details of anyone who spends more than
$100 on alcohol.”

ABC: Welfare policy ‘forces kids to go without basics’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/24/2551356.htm
24 Apr 09: “The Northern Territory’s peak Aboriginal health
body says a policy aimed at encouraging Indigenous students
to attend school could hurt the very children it is trying
to help. The Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern
Territory (AMSANT) wants the Federal Government to scrap
its policy of stopping welfare payments to parents whose
children do not attend school.”

ABC: More Indigenous communities may sign over leases
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/23/2550889.htm
23 Apr 09: “The Northern Land Council says five more Top
End Indigenous communities may soon sign leases over their
land to the Federal Government in exchange for housing
spending. The Government has made the leases a condition of
committing $5 billion for new housing, health, police,
power and water services.”

Australian: Aboriginal empowerment ‘only way forward’
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25362748-5006789,00.html
21 Apr 09: “TWO years ago, Kimberley woman Mary O’Reeri was
pushing for the Northern Territory intervention to be
extended to Western Australia to help her community near
Beagle Bay escape the ravages of suicide, and sex and
alcohol abuse. Today, the respected traditional landowner
believes Aboriginal empowerment, not government
intervention, is the key to creating generational change
and establishing functional communities.”

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