NT Labor Government survives no-confidence vote
NT Intervention articles
Other Aboriginal articles


– 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/

WGAR News:
NT Labor Government faces crisis
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/2009/08/12/110809-aboriginal-housing-under-the-northern-territory-intervention/

– Radio

ABC The World Today:
NT Labor set to stay … with a little help
14 Aug 09: “To the Northern Territory where the Labor
Government is set to retain power by narrowly scraping
through a no-confidence vote today. The independent
politician who holds the deciding vote, Gerry Wood, has
just told the Legislative Assembly he’ll vote with Labor
and will also support the Government’s budget bills. The
political crisis was brought about by the failure of a
major Indigenous housing program to deliver any houses in
two years of operation. And today the Opposition has
attacked the Government on its Indigenous policy record.”
[includes comments by Gerry Wood, Alison Anderson,
Terry Mills and Paul Henderson]

– Alison Anderson’s no-confidence speech

Australian: Labor let down my people
15 Aug 09: “FORMER indigenous affairs minister Alison
Anderson sparked a survival crisis for the Northern
Territory Labor government last week when she quit its
ranks. Yesterday she formally explained her reasons to
parliament during a no-confidence debate. The Henderson
government retained power.”

– Opinion

ABC Blog: NT Politics… could it get any more extraordinary.
16 Aug 09: “The first line of Gerry Wood’s speech to
Parliament on Friday was, “After the last two weeks I now
know there must be a heaven, I’ve just finished my
purgatory.” … Gerry Woods managed to capitalise on that
situation in a way that had many stunned: he now basically
IS the NT Government.” Michelle Crowther

Crikey Blog: It was a close run thing – but Gerry Woods
made the right decision
15 Aug 09: “I also have a PDF file of the statement made by
Gerry Wood that attaches a copy (unsigned) of the agreement
between Wood and Henderson (note, not between Wood and the
Labor party) and an annexure of the details of the deal.
I’ll try to get this to a server somewhere so you can
download it there if you want – otherwise send me a note
and I’ll forward it by email.” Bob Gosford in the NT

Off Air: Indigenous policy at heart of NT political crisis
14 Aug 09: “The Independent Gerry Wood – a former chicken
farmer and UFO spotter – has become the new kingmaker in
the Northern Territory and today he announced his decision
to keep Labor in power. … But another factor has been
playing out in Northern Territory politics. It was
Indigenous issues that brought the Government to its knees
and Indigenous policy is playing an increasingly important
role in politics in the north.” Sara Everingham

Crikey: Gerry Woods saves “peace, order and good
government” in the NT
14 Aug 09: “Henderson’s government has been riddled by
infighting and defections since it was re-elected with the
slimmest of margins in an unnecessary and ill-advised
election almost a year ago to the day. This latest – and
almost fatal – disaster was wholly the fault of Henderson
and his poor management of Aboriginal issues.” Bob Gosford,
Alice Springs

Crikey Blog: A new NT Government by Friday — the fix is in
10 Aug 09: “And the most important reason for the major
parties to avoid an election — and for mine the best reason
for having one — is that the Greens and independents could
very likely spring a few surprises, win more than a few
seats and — surprise, surprise — hold the balance of
power.” Bob Gosford in the NT

Club Troppo: Troppo season comes early to the NT
10 Aug 09: “As many Troppo readers will have noticed, the
Henderson Labor government seems to be in the process of
self-destructing just 12 months after it scraped back into
government by 74 votes with a majority of just one seat
after “Hendo” called an opportunistic election almost 12
months early.” Ken Parish

– News

National Indigenous Times: Intervention housing failure
biggest scandal in politics: Anderson
15 Aug 09: “Labor in the Northern Territory has squandered
“rivers of money” earmarked for Aboriginal people, says an
Aboriginal MLA who quit Labor in disgust. Alison Anderson,
who plunged the Northern Territory government into crisis
when she walked out last week, says the mishandling of a
remote Indigenous housing scheme is the biggest political
scandal she has witnessed.”

ABC: Aboriginal Chief Minister ‘within 2 years’
15 Aug 09: “Lhere Artepe CEO Darryl Pearce says the recent
developments in Northern Territory politics are a sign the
two-party system is dead. “What we are going to be seeing
is the fact that Aboriginal politicians of whichever
political persuasion will not necessarily vote along party
lines but may vote as a collective, as independents or more
importantly what we may see is a number of Aboriginal
people who come together as independents,” he said.”

Northern Territory News: How Gerry rules the roost
15 Aug 09: “A FORMER chicken farmer has become the most
powerful man in the Territory. Independent politician Gerry
Wood now has input in every major policy and the Budget. He
will hold monthly meetings with the Chief Minister to
ensure his list of demands are being met.”

National Indigenous Times: Northern Territory Independent
throws Labor – and Henderson – a life-line
14 Aug 09: “The Henderson government will retain power in
the Northern Territory after independent Gerry Wood told
parliament this morning he would not support a ‘no
confidence’ motion in the government put forward by the

Koori Mail: Wood saviour for Territory Labor Govt
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
14 Aug 09: “SUPPORT from one of two NT independents appears
to have saved Paul Henderson’s Labor Government. Gerry Wood
today indicated that he would back the government in a
no-confidence motion, staving off an early election or the
possibility of a CLP government with support from he and
fellow independent Alison Anderson.”

Koori Mail: Anderson delivers fresh tongue-lashing
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
14 Aug 09: “NT independent MP Alison Anderson maintained
her criticism of her former Labor colleagues today, during
parliamentary debate of a no confidence motion in the
Territory Government. Ms Anderson told the Legislative
Assembly that Labor lived on the Aboriginal vote while
squandering ‘rivers of money’ intended for Aboriginal

ABC: Rebel MLA ignoring us: community
14 Aug 09: “Members of a central Australian community have
retracted their support for their local member, Alison
Anderson. The residents of Ampilatwatja, 325 kilometres
north of Alice Springs, walked off their community a month
ago protesting against their living conditions. … A
spokesman for the Ampilatwatja community, which is in Ms
Anderson’s electorate, says it is disappointed they have
not heard from the politician. “Nothing,” Richard Downs

WAtoday: UFO-spotting chook farmer keeps Labor in power
14 Aug 09: “Labor has survived a parliamentary showdown in
the Northern Territory after cornering a crucial vote in
what could have been its final hours in government.
Independent Gerry Wood, from Darwin’s rural seat of Nelson,
has backed the government in a no confidence motion before
the NT Legislative Assembly.”

Australian: Independent Gerry Wood sides with Labor to
avert Northern Territory poll
14 Aug 09: “LABOR will hold on to power in the Northern
Territory after independent member for Nelson Gerry Wood
sided with the Government in a no-confidence motion brought
in parliament this morning.”

Age: Labor survives no-confidence vote in NT
14 Aug 09: “A UFO-spotting former chicken farmer has won a
swag of almost 50 commitments from the Northern Territory
Labor government in exchange for ensuring its hold on

Northern Territory News: Henderson holds on
14 Aug 09: “INDEPENDENT politician Gerry Wood will continue
to support the Labor Government so long as Paul Henderson
remains in the top job. In exchange for his support, Mr
Wood was given a range of concessions, including a
bi-partisan Council of Territory Co-operation, major
parliamentary reforms and the inside running on Budget

news.com.au: NT vote on no-confidence motion
14 Aug 09: “IT’S D-day for Labor in the Northern Territory
but the parliamentary showdown looks set to end with a
whimper and not a bang. After a three-day recess, the NT’s
25 MPs will gather in the Legislative Assembly today to
vote on a no-confidence motion in the Government.”

Northern Territory News:
CLP denies cooking plot for Anderson to walk
14 Aug 09: “CLP leader Terry Mills denied that he had talks
with new independent Alison Anderson about her quitting the
Labor Government.”

Northern Territory News:
You’ve told us what you want … a poll
14 Aug 09: “Independents Gerry Wood and Alison Anderson
last week asked the public to write letters to the paper to
help them decide how to use their balance of power. Of the
332 letters published in the Northern Territory News, 18
per cent called for an election to sort out the crisis.”

National Indigenous Times:
Anderson left hanging; Wood will not back ‘no confidence’
vote in Henderson government, sources reveal
13 Aug 09: “Alison Anderson – the former Labor Minister for
Indigenous Policy who last week quit the party and threw
the Territory government into chaos – has been
out-manoeuvred by her former colleagues, with Labor set to
defeat a ‘no confidence’ motion in parliament tomorrow.”

news.com.au: Chief Minister says no beer on ice
13 Aug 09: “NORTHERN Territory Chief Minister Paul
Henderson said he’s still in the dark about whether Labor
will be dumped from government.”

ABC: Territory on knife edge as vote looms
13 Aug 09: “The Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul
Henderson, says he is a “nervous man” who has struggled to
sleep during more than a week of political turmoil that
threatens to destroy his Government.”

ABC: Wood’s judgement day vote not ‘watertight’
13 Aug 09: “One day out from political judgement day in the
Northern Territory, the man who holds the balance of power
says he has virtually made up his mind but it is not yet
“100 per cent watertight”.”

Sunshine Coast Daily: NT Labor may nab surprise victory
13 Aug 09: “Labor could well emerge as the surprise victor
in the battle for government in the Northern Territory.”

Australian: Labor rebel considers cabinet post with opposition
12 Aug 09: “FORMER Northern Territory government minister
Alison Anderson has ruled out suggestions she could return
to Labor but left open the option of accepting a cabinet
post with the opposition.”

ABC: Kingmaker ‘at peace’ with voting intention
12 Aug 09: “The man who holds the political fate of the
Northern Territory in his hands says he is close to
deciding which political party will get his support.”

ABC: Scullion condemns Labor’s Indigenous record
12 Aug 09: “Northern Territory Country Liberal Senator
Nigel Scullion has lambasted the Federal Government’s
record on Indigenous affairs and applauded Alison
Anderson’s decision to quit the Labor Party.”

ABC: Indigenous political party plan resurrected
11 Aug 09: “The Central Land Council’s deputy chairman,
Maurie Ryan, says the current state of Northern Territory
politics has inspired him to again try to launch his own
Indigenous political party. … He says his First Nations
Indigenous party will aim at ensuring money allocated for
Aboriginal services actually hits the ground.”

ABC: ‘Strange things happen’: NT chief holds out hope
11 Aug 09: “The Northern Territory Government is still
holding out hope that renegade politician Alison Anderson
will have a “change of heart” and give support to the
Government, which risks losing its grip on power by the end
of the week.”

Australian: Countdown begins for Henderson
11 Aug 09: “THE clock started ticking for Labor in the
Northern Territory yesterday after the opposition
introduced a no-confidence motion against the government in

Northern Territory News:
Angry Anderson no afraid of attention, good stoush
11 Aug 09: “ALISON Anderson is clearly unafraid of two
things – attention and a stoush. She’s getting plenty of
both nowadays and is enjoying every minute. The rebel Labor
Cabinet Minister will certainly vote against Paul
Henderson’s Government in the no-confidence motion on

Age: NT political kingmaker goes bush
11 Aug 09: “One of the Northern Territory’s kingmakers has
“gone bush” to consider the political fate of the north.
Gerry Wood has admitted that he was offered the planning
portfolio in a Country Liberals government several weeks
ago. But the independent member for Darwin’s rural seat of
Nelson said he would not accept a ministry from either
political party.”

Age: Kingmaker ‘going bush’ to decide NT Govt
11 Aug 09: “The independent politician [Gerry Wood] who has
the future of Northern Territory politics in his hands says
he is “going bush” today to weigh up his options.”

ABC: Brough sees silver lining in NT ‘debacle’
10 Aug 09: “The former federal Indigenous affairs minister
Mal Brough says the one positive thing to come out of the
past week’s political turmoil in the Northern Territory is
to give housing needs in remote communities a higher

Australian: Aboriginal housing Labor’s greatest shame
10 Aug 09: “Tomorrow is a big day in the Top End. By the
end of it, we’ll know if Paul Henderson’s NT Labor
Government has survived a vote of no confidence.”

Australian: Labor does ‘not have parliament’s confidence’
10 Aug 09: “LABOR has entered what could be its dying days
in power in the Northern Territory.”

– Media Release

Northern Land Council:
Alison Anderson must resign from Parliament
10 Aug 09: “The Northern Land Council’s (NLC) Chief
Executive, Kim Hill has today called on Alison Anderson to
immediately resign from the Northern Territory Parliament
which, he says, would be in the best interests of all
Territorians. Mr Hill said that NLC strongly believed in
the rule of law, the constitutional processes of the NT
Parliament, democracy and stable government, and questioned
Ms Anderson’s responsibility to Territorians to faithfully
fulfil her role as a Member of the Legislative Assembly.”


– 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]

– Video

Rollback the Intervention: Abbotts camp talks about Tangentyere
July 2009: “This is Our Land – Abbott’s Camp”

– Opinion

Australian: Refugees in their own land
15 Aug 09: “ON lush islands off Australia’s tropical
northern coast and in the desert interior, three Aboriginal
communities live in hope. That is all they have, even
though they are awash with money; … Yet not one house has
been built and the pool of money available for building is
shrinking day by day.” Natasha Robinson, Tony Koch, and
Michael Owen

Australian: When responsibility is a two-way street
15 Aug 09: “INDIGENOUS housing in northern Australia is in
crisis. In Canberra, a new government with ambitions to
make a real difference battles to have any impact on an old
problem. In Darwin, a government is brought to the edge as
a senior minister resigns in protest.”

National Indigenous Times:
Time for another apology… over to you, Galarrwuy
12 Aug 09: “In The Australian today former Australian of
the Year and Arnhem Land Aboriginal leader Galarrwuy
Yunupingu dumps a bucket on a policy that only two years
ago had his imprimatur. “We hope there is not going to be
anything like the intervention ever again. It is
discriminatory, it’s a form of apartheid. It has never been
any good to us,” Yunupingu told The Oz. Which of course
bears no resemblance whatsoever to what this man said about
the intervention in 2007.” Chris Graham

– News

Australian: After a life of loss, a housing legacy of shame
15 Aug 09: “A TINY, black-skinned woman on remote Groote
Eylandt, off east Arnhem Land, her shoulders slumped from
decades of pain and unimaginable hurt, looks shyly down as
she speaks in a whisper of “blame and shame”. … But the
hardship of life on the island is compounded by the empty
promises from government to indigenous Australians living
in remote communities in conditions that locals correctly
describe as “below Third World”.”

Koori Mail: Protesters unmoved by meeting
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
14 Aug 09: “PROTESTERS at Ampilatwatja in central Australia
say a meeting with government representatives has convinced
them to continue with a walk-off from their community. The
group want an end to the NT intervention, saying conditions
and services have declined since it began. They say
bureaucrats at Wednesday’s meeting weren’t interested in
listening to community concerns.”

ABC: Residents abandon housing, protesting welfare quarantines
14 Aug 09: “Residents from a remote Central Australian
community have vowed not to return to their homes until the
Federal Government meets their demands of better living
conditions and an end to welfare quarantining. About 150
people are still living in a makeshift camp outside the
community of Ampilatwatja a month after they walked out in

Australian: Indigenous housing dreams shattered again
14 Aug 09: “A DISPUTE has arisen over a decision to not
build any new houses in the remote Northern Territory
township of Tennant Creek under a $672 million federal
government indigenous housing plan.”

Australian: Indigenous camps wait on civil works
14 Aug 09: “CIVIL construction firm chiefs in the remote
Northern Territory community of Tennant Creek are fed up
with the strangling red tape hampering federal and
territory government intervention to improve Aboriginal
housing and combat black disadvantage.”

Koori Mail: Town camps to host UN rights advocate
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
13 Aug 09: “THE United Nations Special Rapporteur on the
situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of
Indigenous Peoples will visit the Alice Springs town camps
next week as part of his visit to Australia. Prof James
Anaya will also meet with government representatives,
Indigenous communities and civil rights groups in Adelaide,
Perth, Darwin, Groote Eylandt, Cairns, Sydney and

LIVENEWS.com.au: Labor looks to overhaul Native Title Act
to fast track housing
13 Aug 09: “The federal government is looking to change
the Native Title Act, claiming it’s delaying the delivery
of housing and other building programs in remote indigenous

Koori Mail: Yolngu form new authority
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Aug 09: “A NEW authority established to guide the future
of north-east Arnhem Land clan nations has called for an
end to the Northern Territory intervention. The Dilak
Provincial Authority, formed along traditional ceremonial
lines, will represent Yolngu on issues such as recognition
of Aboriginal people in the Constitution, health, housing,
education and economic development.”

Australian: Yunupingu loses faith in intervention
12 Aug 09: “ARNHEM Land leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has
withdrawn his support for the federal government’s
intervention into remote Aboriginal communities and
condemned what he labelled as the federal and Northern
Territory governments’ joint inability to deliver
Aboriginal housing.”

Australian: Tiwi Islanders feel short-changed on housing package
12 Aug 09: “THE alliance of building companies in charge of
delivering housing on the Tiwi Islands has told the
Aboriginal community of Nguiu it will receive fewer than
one-third of the houses originally promised by the federal

ABC: NT intervention ‘creating misery’: Yunupingu
12 Aug 09: “The Indigenous leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu says
the Federal Government’s intervention in the Northern
Territory has failed to improve the lives of Aboriginal
people. Mr Yunupingu is among a group of senior traditional
owners from 36 clans who have formed a new federation
called the Dilak Provincial Authority.”

BigPond: NT Labor pressured over housing scheme
11 Aug 09: “The Northern Territory government is facing
demands to reveal how much Labor mates are being paid for
working on a remote Aboriginal housing scheme that has not
produced a single new home.”

ABC: UN assured Aboriginal communities will get compo
11 Aug 09: “A Federal Government report to the United
Nations says compensation is due to be paid to Aboriginal
communities it took over as part of the Northern Territory
Emergency Response.”


– Media Releases

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Native title should be protected at all costs
13 Aug 09: “Claims by the West Australian Government that
native title legislation will ‘block’ it from building new
houses were false and misleading, Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma said
today. Commissioner Calma said he was disappointed to read
in today’s media that the WA Government was blaming native
title for holding up housing under the $496 million funding
agreement with the federal government. “The Native Title
Act does not block the building of homes for anyone –
Indigenous or non-Indigenous,” Commissioner Calma said.”

Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement:
South Australia’s Stolen Generation takes legal action
8 Aug 09: “South Australia’s Stolen Generations victims
have taken legal action following continued refusal by the
State’s Attorney General to resolve a large number of
claims. ALRM CEO, Neil Gillespie says ALRM has recently
filed legal actions on behalf of six Stolen Generations
claimants and further actions will follow.”

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Labor looks to overhaul native title to fast track housing
14 Aug 09: “The federal government is looking to change the
Native Title Act, claiming it’s delaying the delivery of
housing and other building programs in remote Indigenous

Koori Mail: Comments sought on native title amendments
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
13 Aug 09: “THE Federal Government has released a
discussion paper on possible amendments to the Native Title
Act, which it says are aimed at speeding up public housing
construction and infrastructure in remote Indigenous
communities. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin and
Attorney General Robert McLelland say the proposals won’t
adversely impact on native title rights.”

Green Left: Aboriginal language rescue: ‘cynical and false’
16 Aug 09: “Environment minister Peter Garrett announced on
August 10 that $9 million will be spent on rescuing 100
Aboriginal languages. However, the Tasmanian Aboriginal
Centre condemned the plan as “cynical and false”. “If this
really was a new initiative, then we would be excited”,
said Nala Mansell-McKenna, state secretary of the Tasmanian
Aboriginal Centre (TAC), on August 11.”

Koori Mail: Language policy ‘cynical’
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
11 Aug 09: “THE Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) has
criticised Federal Government claims that it is ramping up
efforts to support Indigenous languages. TAC State
Secretary Nala Mansell-McKenna says a weekend announcement
of a new, more coordinated approach to languages tried to
present the usual annual funding round as something more,
and was inadequate in any case.”

– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
11 Aug 09: “Chris Graham – Tiga Bayles spoke Chris Graham,
Editor of the National Indigenous Times. They spoke about
Indigenous housing issues and the government.”
Listen to this interview on-line:

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