Aboriginal Housing under the Northern Territory Intervention
NT Labor Government faces crisis
Other Aboriginal articles


– Background to Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Stop the Intervention website:

Rollback the Intervention website:

Working Group for Aboriginal Rights website:
[see WGAR NT Intervention e-newsletter archive]

– Analysis

National Indigenous Times:
The Big Read: Jenny’s House
6 Aug 09: “It’s not exactly clear when the rot began to set
in on Jenny Macklin’s black housing policies. Maybe it was
in March 2008, when the Minister for Indigenous Affairs was
warned by her own colleagues that the Northern Territory
intervention ‘national emergency housing program’ wouldn’t
actually build any homes for years, and would force the
price of construction sky-high. … Whenever it started,
however it started, it’s clear today that Jenny Macklin –
the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Indigenous
Affairs – has had a great deal of trouble actually building
houses for black people.” Amy McQuire

– Radio

ABC AM: Galarrwuy Yunupingu unveils Indigenous housing program
8 Aug 09: “The Federal Government is trying to fend off
growing criticism of its $700 million Indigenous housing
program, which hasn’t delivered a single house in two
years. The Arnhem Land Indigenous leader, Galarrwuy
Yunupingu, says he’s lost faith in governments to deliver
homes for Indigenous people. Yesterday he unveiled the
fruits of his own construction program in Arnhem Land.”
[includes comments by Galarrwuy Yunupingu, John Paterson
and Jenny Macklin]

ABC PM: Indigenous leader declares govts irrelevant in
improving Indigenous housing
7 Aug 09: “The Arnhem Land Indigenous leader Galarrwuy
Yunupingu has declared governments irrelevant when it comes
to improving housing in Indigenous communities. There’s
growing frustration in the Northern Territory that the $700
million federal Indigenous housing program is yet to
deliver one house after two years. The delays even led the
territory’s Indigenous Policy Minister Alison Anderson to
leave the Labor Party.”
[includes interview with Galarrwuy Yunupingu]

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Aboriginal leader lashes back-door assimilation
10 Aug 09: “Aboriginal people are not native animals and
building houses for them is only another attempt to
assimilate Indigenous Australians into white society,
Aboriginal activist and leader Rosalie Kunoth-Monks says.
Passions flared on Saturday at the Garma Festival of
Traditional Culture in Gulkula, eastern Arnhem Land, as
Indigenous leaders and academics spoke out against the
Northern Territory intervention.”

ABC: Desert community ‘unhappy’ with lease deal
10 Aug 09: “The new president of the Central Desert Shire
says he does not believe his community wants to sign a
40-year lease with the Commonwealth. … Norbert Patrick
Jampijinpa from Lajamanu says his community is worried
about what the deal would mean for them.”

Green Left: Ampilatwatja walk-out stays strong
9 Aug 09: “As part of the federal government’s intervention
into Northern Territory Aboriginal communities, the
Aboriginal land on which Ampilatwatja stands has been
acquired by the government on a five-year lease.
Ampilatwatja residents believed the lease would mean they
would get new public housing and repairs to infrastructure
in exchange.” Peter Robson

See: WGAR News:
30 Aboriginal Elders Walk-off to Protest NT Intervention (20 Jul 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/2009/07/20/200709-attempt-to-takeover-alice-springs-aboriginal-town-camps/

Australian: Building their own homes is future
8 Aug 09: “ABORIGINAL leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has
questioned the federal and Northern Territory governments’
ability to achieve their ambitious goals in Aboriginal
housing and has urged indigenous people in northeast Arnhem
Land to build their own houses instead.”

National Indigenous Times:
Judge delays town camp deal again
6 Aug 09: “The federal government’s plan to take over the
management of the Alice Springs town camps has been put on
hold, after the Federal Court again delayed ruling on the
legality of Labor’s controversial 40-year leases. Camp
resident Barbara Shaw has sought an injunction to halt the
execution of the leases with 16 Northern Territory
Indigenous housing associations.”

National Indigenous Times:
Intervention film-maker accuses Macklin staff of standover tactics
6 Aug 09: “Ministerial L staffers used standover tactics to
try and intimidate media during consultations over the
compulsory acquisition of the Alice Springs town camps
earlier this month, a prominent film-maker has claimed.
Vincent Lamberti, the man behind [the film] The
Intervention, told NIT that after filming the community
meeting in Alice Springs in late June he was accosted by
government officials representing Minister for Indigenous
Affairs, Jenny Macklin.” Madelaine Sealey

National Indigenous Times:
Still no sign of Macklin 3 weeks after walk-off
6 Aug 09: “Almost three weeks after the nation’s media
reported dozens of Aboriginal people had abandoned their
sewage-soaked community in protest of the failing Northern
Territory intervention, residents have still not received a
visit from a single Territory or federal government
bureaucrat or politician.”

See: WGAR News:
30 Aboriginal Elders Walk-off to Protest NT Intervention (20 Jul 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/2009/07/20/200709-attempt-to-takeover-alice-springs-aboriginal-town-camps/


– 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

WGAR News:
Will Alison Anderson leave NT Labor? (1 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=145231

WGAR News:
Alison Anderson quits NT ALP, Marion Scrymgour to rejoin (6 Aug 09)

WGAR News:
Alison Anderson quits NT ALP, Marion Scrymgour rejoins (8 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/2009/08/10/8-aug-2009-aboriginal-town-camps-takeover-delayed/

– Media Monitoring

wot news: Alison Anderson News

– Opinion

Geoff Robinson: Alison Anderson and the Maori Party
9 Aug 09: “Could we compare the relation between indigenous
voters and Territory Labor to that between New Zealand
Labour and Maori? There the traditional alliance between
Labour and Maori seems to have broken down altogether. …
If Anderson aligns herself with the Country Liberal Party
she may follow in the unhappy footsteps of the Maori Party.”

Australian: Speaking truth to a machine
8 Aug 09: “IN a Darwin mall, Alison Anderson sits behind a
table draped in the Australian flag. Her mobile phone is
running hot. In a visitors’ book set up in front of her,
disgruntled voters record their discontent with the
Northern Territory Labor government she has just spurned as
rotten.” Natasha Robinson

National Indigenous Times:
Editorial: Desperate times, desperate measures
6 Aug 09: “As this edition of NIT goes to press, Henderson
faces the possibility of losing government following the
resignation of Aboriginal policy minister Alison Anderson
on Tuesday. Anderson had been threatening to walk after a
media storm erupted over the success (or rather failure) of
the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program
(SIHIP), a $672 million joint Commonwealth-Territory
venture aimed at solving the Indigenous housing crisis. …
It comes two weeks after NIT published details of a private
memo between a Labor Senator and Minister for Indigenous
Affairs Jenny Macklin over SIHIP.” Chris Graham

National Indigenous Times:
The Box Seat: Alison in Wonderland
6 Aug 09: “Where there’s smoke there’s fire… and where
there’s Alison Anderson, there’s smoke, writes BRIAN
JOHNSTONE*. Will she stay? Or, will she go? These were the
burning questions pre-occupying anyone interested in the
tiny polity of the Northern Territory as I started writing
this column. The final answer, when it comes, is certain to
immediately determine the course of a one-year-old Labor
government, Aboriginal affairs policy and politics in the
Top End and Central Australia, both now and well into the
future.” Brian Johnstone

– Radio

ABC AM: Fears NT political turmoil to slow Indigenous housing
10 Aug 09: “Later today the Northern Territory’s
Legislative Assembly is expected to set the wheels in
motion for a possible change of government within weeks.
Already there’s speculation about what the turmoil will
mean for the rollout of a $700 million Federal Indigenous
housing scheme. The program has been running for two years
but is yet to deliver one house and there are fears a
change of government will even further slow it down.”
[includes comments by John Paterson and Leon White]

– News

ABC: Week of uncertainty begins in NT politics
10 Aug 09: “The Northern Territory Opposition today plans
to ask for a motion of no confidence in Paul Henderson’s
Labor Government to be voted on in Parliament this week.”

Northern Territory News: Labor no certainty one year after poll
10 Aug 09: “A YEAR and a day after Territorians went to an
election called for “political certainty”, a motion of no
confidence in the Government will be introduced today.
Formal notice of the motion will be given to parliament by
Opposition Leader Terry Mills at 4pm today. Parliamentary
rules hold there must be three clear days before it is
voted on – with Friday looming as D-Day for Paul
Henderson’s Government.”

ABC: ‘Selfish’ NT politician must quit: NLC
10 Aug 09: “In a statement released today, the Northern
Land Council’s chief executive, Kim Hill, described Ms
Anderson’s behaviour over recent weeks as selfish. “Ms
Anderson does not respect Territorians and does not trust
Territorians to govern,” Mr Hill said. “Ms Anderson’s
selfish actions and self-indulgence has delivered
instability and chaos, not peace, order and good
government. … ”

Age: ‘Selfish’ rebel MP must quit: Northern Land Council
10 Aug 09: “Australia’s most powerful indigenous
organisation today called on rebel Aboriginal MP Alison
Anderson to quit the Northern Territory Parliament in a
growing backlash against her attempt to bring down Paul
Henderson’s Labor Government.”

National Indigenous Times:
Clare Martin “very sad” about NT Labor
10 Aug 09: “Former Northern Territory chief minister Clare
Martin says she’s extremely sad about what’s happening to
the Labor Party in Australia’s far north. Asked if Labor
would retain government if an election were held now, Ms
Martin did not rate her former colleagues’ prospects

SMH: Aborigines divided over MP’s split from Labor
10 Aug 09: “THE defection of the Aboriginal MP Alison
Anderson from the Northern Territory Labor Government,
which could lose power as early this week, has divided
indigenous leaders and traditional clan groups.”

ABC: CLP blasts Labor’s jail negotiations
10 Aug 09: “The Northern Territory Opposition says the
Government’s willingness to negotiate on its planned $300
million prison shows it is only interested in staying

Australian: NT independent leans to rebel side against Henderson
10 Aug 09: “THE independent MP who will this week determine
the future of the Northern Territory government has “major
concerns” with the rollout of Aboriginal housing and has
accused Chief Minister Paul Henderson of failing to meet
basic standards of governance.”

Australian: Renegade Anderson accused of running her own agenda
10 Aug 09: “FORMER Labor minister Alison Anderson has
called for GST grants to the Northern Territory to be tied
to indigenous outcomes.”

Age: NT parliament to decide govt’s fate
9 Aug 09: “The former chief minister of the Northern
Territory appears to hold little hope of Labor holding onto
government in the north. The party will most likely be
dumped this week after the opposition introduces a
no-confidence motion on Monday.”

ABC: NT Labor may be ousted next week
7 Aug 09: “The Northern Territory Opposition appears to
have the numbers to push Labor out of government next week.
The Country Liberals and the two independents today wrote a
joint letter to the Speaker calling for Parliament to sit
on Monday, one day earlier than scheduled, so they could
vote on a motion of no-confidence next week.”


– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
NIT Forum: Racism is a blanket in Alice Springs
6 Aug 09: ” … news emerged last week of new by-laws being
floated by the local town council, aimed at tackling
anti-social behaviour. My personal favourite is the one
that allows council rangers to dispose of blankets used by
homeless people.” Chris Graham, founding editor of NIT

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Sex abuse prosecutions from NT intervention limited: NLC
10 Aug 09: “The number of sexual abuse prosecutions since
the Northern Territory intervention has been less than
expected and many involve people outside communities under
government control, the Northern Land Council (NLC) says.
NLC Chief Executive Kim Hill has dismissed some of the
effects of the intervention and branded it a political
stunt by the previous Howard government.”

ABC: Garrett’s $9m life raft for Indigenous languages
10 Aug 09: “Federal Arts Minister Peter Garrett has
announced a plan to rescue over 100 threatened Indigenous
languages across Australia. … He says the funding
recognises that Indigenous languages play an important role
in student learning, particularly in bilingual schools. …
But he will not weigh into the debate over the future of
bilingual education in the Northern Territory.”

Age: $9.3m to save indigenous languages
9 Aug 09: “The federal government has pledged $9.3 million
over the coming year to help take 113 indigenous languages
off the critically endangered list. … The policy will
also encourage the teaching of indigenous languages in
schools, although it is understood not to alter the course
in the Northern Territory, where bilingual education is set
to be scrapped in 2010.”

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