NT Intervention – Two Years On
NT Intervention Consultations
NATSIEC Forum on the NT Intervention
Alice Springs Town Camps
Marion Scrymgour / Homelands
Darwin Town Camps
‘Dead people’ on anti-CLC petition
Other Aboriginal News


– Media Release

“Enough is enough” NT Intervention two years on
16 Jun 09: “Aboriginal people from across the NT travel to
Darwin to say “enough is enough.” Aboriginal people from
town camps, communities and homelands right across the
Territory leave today to travel to Darwin to meet on June
18-20 as the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance (PAPA). The
gathering will mark two years of the Federal Intervention
and aims to consolidate the Territory-wide opposition to
the Rudd Government’s continued rollout of the measures.
The Alliance has already met twice in Alice Springs and
statements developed at these meetings have been presented
at several United Nations forums.”

– Radio

SBS Aboriginal program: NT Intervention – Two Years On
17 Jun 09: “Thousands of people are expected to gather
across Australia on Saturday June 20 mark the second
anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention, and to
protest continued measures by governments.”

– Statement

Socialist Alliance: Stand up for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander rights on June 20!
13 Jun 09: “The Socialist Alliance supports the National
Day of Action for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Rights on June 20 marking two years since the announcement
of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (or
Intervention). …
* Darwin: 11 am Raintree Park, speakout by people from
communities and town camps throughout the Northern Territory
and short speeches from invited guests, 8 pm Brown’s Mart,
Rock Against Racism
* Perth: 12 noon Forrest Chase, Never Again! No more deaths
in custody! Public protest rally
* Melbourne: 12 noon, GPO, rally against the intervention,
followed by a public meeting at 3pm at Trades Hall with
George Newhouse, lawyer for the NT group against the
intervention, organised by the Melbourne Anti-Intervention
* Sydney: 10:30am Belmore Park, Eddy avenue, Haymarket
(opposite Central station), protest, march and concert –
marking two years since the announcement of the NT
* Brisbane: 11 am Queens Park, corner George and Elizabeth
Streets, City. With Sam Watson, Socialist Alliance
Indigenous Rights spokesperson, Deputy Director UQ ATSI
Unit and Community Activist. Organised by the Aboriginal
Rights Coalition”

– News

Northern Territory News: Protest heads to Darwin
17 Jun 09: “ABORIGINAL people from across the NT are on
their way to Darwin to protest against the intervention.
The protesters – who are calling themselves the Prescribed
Area People’s Alliance – left their communities yesterday
and will meet in Darwin from today until Saturday.”


– Timetable of Consultations

Community visits/meetings schedule:

– Media Releases

WGAR: Website launch for National Day of Action against NT Intervention
18 Jun 09: “The WGAR, Working Group for Aboriginal Rights,
website is now up and running. … There is a world of
difference between ‘consult’ and ‘consent’. In Article 19,
the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
advocates Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), despite
attempts by several Nation States to substitute ‘consult’
for ‘consent’ during the drafting process in the UN. The
progress of the Intervention and the resistance to it is
turning on these two words. Minister Jenny Macklin appears
content with her version of ‘consult’ whereas the NT
Aboriginal voice for ‘consent’ is growing louder.”

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical
Negotiation not Coercion Needed in the Northern Territory
17 Jun 09: “Mr Graeme Mundine, the Executive Secretary of
the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC), expressed concern that the
‘consultations’ the Federal Government are undertaking with
Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory on the
intervention are token gestures. Negotiation not coercion
is needed in the Northern Territory. “Following recent
statements made by Minister Macklin, I am concerned that
the Government has already decided about the future of the
Intervention and these consultations are simply window
dressing”, said Mr Graeme Mundine.”

Testimony proves NT Intervention consultations ‘farcical’
15 Jun 09: “Campaigners against the Northern Territory
Intervention have criticised the ‘community consultation’
process initiated by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin as farcical. As the consultations began today,
testimonies of people living in ‘prescribed areas’
demonstrate a strong anger that compulsory Income
Management will continue and that meetings are taking place
without adequate notice. Minister Macklin is relying on the
consultations to help characterise Intervention powers as
‘special measures’ under the Racial Discrimination Act,
which require the informed consent of affected people.”

– Opinion

Australian Editorial: Income management compatible with RDA
15 Jun 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin
expressed a personal view yesterday that compulsory income
management — under which 50per cent of welfare payments
must be spent on essentials such as food and clothing —
could be retained as a special measure under the Racial
Discrimination Act. The idea showed Ms Macklin has a
sensible and sensitive grasp of her portfolio.”

National Indigenous Times:
This Little Black Duck: Govt’s cosmetic changes to the NTER
11 Jun 09: “Proposed changes to the Northern Territory
intervention are just more self-serving doublespeak, writes
NICOLE WATSON*. … Tragically however, thousands of
Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory are
experiencing this very humiliation as a result of the
income management regime. The insult is all the more
insidious because the government’s promise to lessen the
harshest impacts of the Intervention has proven to be mere
self-serving doublespeak.” Nicole Watson, Murri lawyer and
researcher based with the Ngiya Institute

– News

ABC Alice Springs:
Govt needs to canvass views on intervention: rights group
17 Jun 09: “The head of the Federal Government’s Human
Rights Consultancy Committee says Aboriginal people in the
Northern Territory still need to have their say about
aspects of the Emergency Response. … Father Brennan says
a significant issue raised is how the Federal Intervention
will accord with the Government’s commitment to reinstate
the Racial Discrimination Act. He says unless the Federal
Government ensures Aboriginal people agree with income
management, the policy could be contravening international

ABC Alice Springs:
Government defends NT intervention consultations
17 Jun 09: “A Federal Government department has rejected
claims of “farcical” consultation practices surrounding the
Northern Territory Emergency Response.”

ABC Alice Springs: Talks begin for future of intervention
15 Jun 09: “The Federal Government will begin its
consultation with Aboriginal communities today over the
future of the Northern Territory Emergency Response.”

ABC: Govt to consult with communities on NT intervention
14 Jun 09: “The Federal Government will this week start a
series of consultation meetings with Indigenous communities
in the Northern Territory over the future of the
intervention. The Government released a discussion paper
last month where it raised the possibility of allowing
people to opt-out of the compulsory quarantining of welfare

Australian: Macklin endorses income quarantining
15 Jun 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has
strongly endorsed a key plank of the Howard government’s
intervention into remote Aboriginal communities, indicating
that income quarantining of welfare payments will continue
despite the reintroduction of the Racial Discrimination
Act. … Valerie Martin from the central Australian
community of Yuendumu was scathing of moves to continue
compulsory income management.”

National Indigenous Times:
Quarantines breach human rights: expert
11 Jun 09: “A Canberra -based expert has warned that plans
to continue compulsory income management of prescribed
Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory will only
worsen Australia’s poor human rights record. Professor Jon
Altman, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic
Policy Research at the Australian National University said
that federal plans to continue income quarantining of
Aboriginal people will be viewed as a “crude instrument”.”


– News

Christian Today:
Indigenous Church leaders call for negotiation not consultation
11 Jun 09: “Indigenous Church leaders from across Australia
have met in Sydney to develop a unified platform for action
on the many adverse issues affecting Aboriginal people in
the wake of the Northern Territory Intervention. The forum
was hosted by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC) with its members
attending in solidarity with those of the National
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Alliance
(NATSICA). Executive Secretary of NATSIEC, Mr Graeme
Mundine, said there was a clear message from the forum
that, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christians,
we are united against the Northern Territory Intervention
in its current form.”

National Council of Churches in Australia:
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical
Commission (NATSIEC):
Northern Territory Intervention Forum
[scroll down page] http://www.ncca.org.au/natsiec
9 Jun 09: “In early June 2009, NATSIEC hosted a forum of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Church leaders to
discuss the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER)
also known as the Intervention. The aim of the Forum was to
develop a common voice from Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Church bodies and to develop a common platform for
action. … We met over four days and focused our attention
particularly on the Northern Territory Intervention. The key
areas of concern were the lack of proper negotiation with
Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and the lack of
voice given to many community people. An additional area of
concern was the discriminatory nature of the Intervention.”

– Statement

National Council of Churches in Australia – NATSIEC:
NATSIEC Forum on the Northern Territory Emergency Response – Forum Statement
June 2009: “As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Christians, we strongly believe that the Creator gave us
our identity as well as this land and the wisdom to care
for it. We recognise that there are many issues to resolve
as a Nation, one of which is the Northern Territory
Emergency Response (NTER – the Intervention). We believe
that, in its current form, the Intervention does not and
will not work for Aboriginal peoples. … We believe that
Aboriginal Peoples have not been listened to and our
stories have not been heard. … We have a particular
concern about the discriminatory nature of the Intervention.
… We believe that Government and Churches should nurture
and give greater recognition to the strong spirituality of
Aboriginal people. … We stand in solidarity with our
Northern Territory brothers and sisters and we send messages
of hope to them.”


– Background

WGAR News: Alice Springs town camps takeover (12 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]

WGAR News: Alice Springs town camps takeover (6 Jun 09):
[scroll down page] http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-marion-scrymgour-resigns-labor-party-alice-springs-town-camps-takeover-6-jun-09

WGAR News:
National support for Tangentyere Council (3 June 09):

WGAR News:
Compulsory Acquisition of Alice Springs Town Camps (30 May 09):

WGAR News:
Takeover of Aboriginal Land in Alice Springs (26 May 09):

– Speech

Greens: Alice Springs Town Camps
17 Jun 09: “I rise today to speak about two issues that I
feel very strongly about and am passionately concerned
about: the Alice Springs town camp leases and the exemption
of the Northern Territory intervention from the Racial
Discrimination Act. I have been extremely concerned by the
manner in which the government and the Minister for
Indigenous Affairs have proceeded with the negotiations
over the Alice Springs town camp leases and the way this
issue has been presented. In many cases-and I am not
accusing the minister of doing this-the way the government
has gone about saying that they are going to be compulsorily
acquiring leases has led to a blame game at Tangentyere
Council.” Rachel Siewert

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
Ringy’s Ramblings: Shakedown at Tangentyere
11 Jun 09: “The federal government is demanding that Alice
Springs town campers sign over their leases in exchange for
the kind of basic services that other Australians take for
granted. This scam is tantamount to extortion writes GRAHAM
RING*. … But instead of services, Macklin is offering
only a manipulative political strategy designed to wedge
Tangentyere and garner public support for a takeover. This
shameful con trick involves conflating the separate issues
of land tenure and service delivery. The minister is being
deeply disingenuous in her insistence that she can do
nothing without the leases to the camps in her pocket.”
Graham Ring

National Indigenous Times:
Blackcurrent: A world away from our nation’s shame
11 Jun 09: “The irony of watching a film [Samson and
Delilah] about life in an Alice Springs town camp from the
luxury of a Canberra movie theatre was not lost on AMY
McQUIRE*. … And yet, as I left the cinema and stepped
into the cold confines of the winter streets, I couldn’t
help but be transported back to the political ponderings
that so often take hold of Aboriginal Australia. I
contemplated the irony of this film’s timing. The film’s
success comes at the same time as a Rudd government threat
to compulsorily acquire the Alice Springs town camps.”
Amy McQuire

FaHCSIA: Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs town camps,
Central Land Council
[transcript of interview with Jenny Macklin]
11 Jun 09: “REPORTER: Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny
Macklin is in Alice Springs today to officially open the
new Central Land Council building; to open a new safe house
amongst other things. But what she won’t be doing is any
further negotiating with the Tangentyere Council over the
town camp lease deal. I spoke with her just before we went
to air and asked her whether she would be meeting with
Tangentyere Council at all during her visit.
JENNY MACKLIN: Not specifically. As you know they are on the
Alice Springs Transformation Group and so I am meeting with
that group, with the Alice Springs Town Council and the
Northern Territory Government representatives. …
REPORTER: And will you be discussing that $100 million,
40-year lease deal?
JENNY MACKLIN: Not on this occasion. …
REPORTER: Now you extended Tangentyere’s deadline to July
28 so that as you mentioned people could provide
submissions about an acquisition, to date have you had any
submissions and who from? JENNY MACKLIN: No I haven’t.”

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Deadline extended for Alice town camps
11 Jun 09: “The federal government will give Indigenous
people more time to comment on a controversial plan to
acquire the Alice Springs town camps before action is
taken. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says she’s
been advised by the government’s solicitor to extend to 60
days the time in which people can put their views.”


– Background

WGAR News: Marion Scrymgour (12 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]

WGAR News:
Marion Scrymgour resigns from Labor Party (6 Jun 09):

WGAR News:
Northern Territory Government’s new Homelands policy (4 Jun 09):

– Media Release

NT Greens: Greens Congratulate Marion Scrymgour and
Welcome More Representative Parliament
6 Jun 09: “The Greens congratulate the NT’s most successful
Aboriginal politician Marion Scrymgour for her strong
action this week in resigning from the ALP over important
matters of principle.”

– Opinion

GLW: Aboriginal MP: ALP fails on land rights
13 Jun 09: “Marion Scrymgour — the highest ranking
Aboriginal member of any government in Australia — quit the
Northern Territory Labor Party over its Aboriginal policy
on June 4. As an independent, she now holds the balance of
power. The former Indigenous affairs minister quit the
party due to disagreements on the proposed “outstations”
policy, which would provide priority infrastructure funding
to only 20 of the roughly 600 remote Aboriginal homeland
communities.” Peter Robson

National Indigenous Times:
The Big Read: We dream of Marion
11 Jun 09: “In politics you can justify almost anything.
But being an Aboriginal member of the Labor or Liberal
Party is no longer one of them. CHRIS GRAHAM looks at the
startling developments in the Northern Territory with the
resignation of Marion Scrymgour from the ruling Labor
Party. … Scrymgour’s defection has changed the face of
black politics in this country forever. … There are
currently five black faces in NT parliament – Scrymgour,
Malarndirri McCarthy, Alison Anderson and Karl Hampton for
Labor, and Adam Giles for the Country Liberals. The
question now becomes who else will follow Scrymgour’s lead?
Which of them will split with the major parties? The black
faces of NT parliament have an historic opportunity to
change not just governance in the NT, but the Australian
political landscape forever.” Chris Graham, editor of the
National Indigenous Times newspaper

National Indigenous Times:
The Box Seat: Homelands are where the heart is
11 Jun 09: “The media reporting of Marion Scrymgour’s defection from the ALP was of its usual standard, writes BRIAN JOHNSTONE*.
Last Thursday Darwin’s only daily newspaper the
Murdoch-owned Northern Territory News told its readers a
fairy tale.” Brian Johnstone

– News

ABC: Indigenous ‘concerned, angry’ over outstation policy
13 Jun 09: “The Northern Land Council (NLC) says Indigenous
people living in homelands have a deep mis-trust of the
Northern Territory Government because of its outstations
policy. Copies of the policy were burnt in protest at
Yilpara in Arnhemland yesterday, while hundreds of people
including the new Independent Marion Scrymgour watched on.”

National Indigenous Times:
NLC attacks govt’s homelands policy, backs Scrymgour
12 Jun 09: “Aboriginal people feel “betrayed and
marginalised” by the Northern Territory government’s
controversial homelands policy, says one of Australia’s
most powerful Indigenous councils. … The Northern Land
Council (NLC) on Thursday threw its support behind Ms
Scrymgour, who is now sitting as an independent, and voted
unanimously to condemn the initiative.”

Koori Mail: TOs slam NT homelands policy
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Jun 09: “TRADITIONAL owners in Maningrida in West Arnhem
Land have called on the Northern Territory Government to
review its new homelands policy. TO Jimmy Pascoe said the
policy could force people to move to larger communities for
Government services, threaten traditional culture and
increase the exposure of children to problems such as drug
abuse that are more endemic in larger centres.”

ABC: Protesters burn, spear outstation policy
12 Jun 09: “Copies of the Northern Territory Government’s
controversial funding policy for remote Indigenous
communities have been burned in a protest in Arnhem Land.
Hundreds of people were on hand at Yilpara for a
celebration of the first anniversary of the Blue Mud Bay
High Court decision, which gave traditional owners
exclusive rights over waters overlying Aboriginal lands.
But the celebration turned to protest when Yununmul
Munungurr from the Lhaynapuy Homelands Association spoke
out against the Territory Government’s outstations policy.”

ABC: NLC condemns outstations plan
12 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory Government is facing
increasing resistance to its Indigenous homelands policy.
The policy will see funding kept at current levels for
hundreds of outstations while extra services and
infrastructure go to 20 larger communities. The Northern
Land Council has voted unanimously to condemn the policy,
saying traditional owners are angry they have not been

National Indigenous Times:
NT Labor is disconnected, Opposition says
11 Jun 09: “The NT opposition says it’s too soon to say if
it will call for a no-confidence vote in the Northern
Territory government after the shock resignation of the
former deputy chief minister.”


– Background

Northern Territory News: Push to take over camps in Darwin
11 Jun 09: “ABORIGINAL town camps in Darwin should be next
on the agenda after the Federal Government takes over those
at Alice Springs, Territory Senator Trish Crossin has said.
… Aboriginal Development Foundation manager Bernard
Valadian said Senator Crossin had not spoken to him about
the call. “I’m not sure what that would achieve … to give
the land back after the hard struggle to get it,” he said.”

Australian: Senator urges takeover of Darwin camps
9 Jun 09: “NORTHERN Territory senator Trish Crossin
yesterday called for a federal takeover of the Aboriginal
town camps in Darwin, as the government extended its
deadline before compulsorily acquiring the fractured
communities on the edge of Alice Springs. The Labor Left
senator said the Darwin camps needed to be offered a similar
deal to the one offered to rebuild the 18 settlements in
Alice Springs.”

– News

Northern Territory News: Government eyes town camps
15 Jun 09: “DARWIN town camps will soon be next in line
after the Federal Government sorts out Alice Springs.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said yesterday
the camps would soon be the focus for the government.”

Brisbane Times: Macklin set to improve indigenous camps
14 Jun 09: “Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says
she’s got lots of money to spend and wants to get on with
the job of improving Alice Springs’ squalid indigenous town
camps and maybe also those of Darwin. … Ms Macklin said
she was willing to also consider the Darwin town camps.”


– Media Release

Central Land Council:
Media, Giles and Parliament duped by petition
15 Jun 09: “The Central Land Council says a petition
purporting to be from the people of Hermannsburg is a
fraud. CLC director David Ross said the petition allegedly
containing the signatures of 400 people who wanted the land
council sacked had received much press in recent days but
some simple research by the media and the Country Liberals’
member for Braitling Adam Giles, who tabled it in
Parliament, would have caused them to doubt its veracity.”

– News

ABC Alice Springs: ‘Dead people’ on anti-CLC petition
16 Jun 09: “The Central Land Council says a petition
purporting to be signed by about 400 people who want the
council sacked contains forged signatures and the names of
dead people.”

ABC: People have ‘right to call for CLC’s sacking’
15 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory’s Indigenous Policy
Minister says people have a right to call for the sacking
of the Central Land Council.”


– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
The Pointed View: A white fight against rights
11 Jun 09: “The people who lobby for the erosion of other’s
rights never have their own under threat, writes PROF
LARISSA BEHRENDT*. An editorial in The Australian on 26
October 2007, titled “Let them Eat Rights” gave a classic
account of the false rhetoric that dismisses human rights
as merely an idealistic concept – devoid of any practical
purpose.” Larissa Behrendt, Professor of Law, University of
Technology, Sydney

National Indigenous Times:
Marginal Notes: Closing the gap in an unequal world
11 Jun 09: “How can you hope to ‘Close the Gap’ in society
that remains unequal, asks Dr EVA COX*. There is a lot of
talk about ‘closing the gap’ but somehow they end up
blaming the victims. Look at the NT! There are problems but
are they because of locals’ drinking, porn use and other
sins? That seems to be the assumption so the governments
start getting bossy: take away local language learning,
move people off their land, quarantine their income, give
bigger bureaucracies their housing and so on….”
Dr Eva Cox, prominent Australian feminist and lecturer at
University of Technology, Sydney

National Indigenous Times:
Your Say: The underbelly of income management
11 Jun 09: “There is something rotten in the Income
Management content of the intervention in the Northern
Territory. The paternalism inherent in the design targets
the Australians who, through no fault of their own, are
powerless in the vacuum of ‘No Jobs’ and a lifetime of
Government Dependency by Policy.” Ian Newnham

– News

ABC: Inquest not a trial of NT intervention: coroner
16 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory Coroner says an inquest
into a death in custody is not an investigation into the
federal intervention. The inquest, which is being held in
Katherine, is examining the death of a 22-year-old man, who
cannot be named for cultural reasons.”

National Indigenous Times: Aboriginal justice group calls
for fed govt to allow customary law
12 Jun 09: “Commonwealth legislation that restricts the use
of Aboriginal customary law is resulting in “unjust and
unfair” sentences, says a group of lawyers representing
Indigenous people. The North Australian Aboriginal Justice
Agency (NAAJA) is calling on the commonwealth to repeal the
law, introduced by the Howard government as part of the
federal intervention, following the case of a Yolngu man
who allegedly stabbed his wife with a steak knife.”

National Indigenous Times: McMullen to host intervention
debate in Sydney on Friday night
11 Jun 09: “The controversial Northern Territory
intervention is the most dramatic policy change since the
policies that gave birth to the Stolen Generations,
prominent Australian journalist Jeff McMullen says. And he
says Australians have an obligation to be informed of the
repercussions of the intervention, which was announced
during Prime Minister John Howard’s 2007 election campaign
and continued by the government that succeeded him.”


  1. […] WGAR News: Alice Springs Town Camps (19 Jun 09): [scroll down page] http://wgar.info/190609-northern-territory-intervention-two-years-on/ […]

  2. […] WGAR News:Alice Springs Town Camps (19 Jun 09):[scroll down page]http://wgar.info/190609-northern-territory-intervention-two-years-on/ […]

  3. […] WGAR News:Alice Springs Town Camps (19 Jun 09):[scroll down page]http://wgar.info/190609-northern-territory-intervention-two-years-on/ […]

  4. […] WGAR News: Alice Springs Town Camps (19 Jun 09): [scroll down page] http://wgar.info/190609-northern-territory-intervention-two-years-on/ […]

  5. […] WGAR News: Alice Springs Town Camps (19 Jun 09): [scroll down page] http://wgar.info/190609-northern-territory-intervention-two-years-on/ […]

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