17/02/09: NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION & THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE APOLOGY

Contents:
Anniversary of the Apology
Intervention Opinion
Intervention News
Other News re NT
Other News

ANNIVERSARY OF THE APOLOGY

Media Release:

Greens: One year on from apology: what has changed?
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/one-year-apology-what-has-changed
13 Feb 09: “The Australian Greens say the Apology to the
Stolen Generations rings hollow on its anniversary today
because of policies which continue to penalise Aboriginal
people. … [Senator Rachel Siewert said] “The racist
Northern Territory Intervention continues, and we have seen
expansion of its punitive welfare quarantining elements
into the Kimberley and the roll-out of school truancy
trials.” … “We are deeply concerned that the Government
is axing the Community Development Employment Program
(CDEP) at a time where jobs are being lost across the
economy. It simply makes no sense to cut thousands of
useful jobs in Aboriginal communities and force people
onto welfare benefits.” “

Opinion:

Canberra Times: Sorry okay, but Act needs ‘to be reinstated’
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/sorry-okay-but-act-needs-to-be-reinstated/1433749.aspx
14 Feb 09: “It’s been one year since Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations, but the process
of healing is just beginning. … Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma said
the efforts of the Rudd Government were ”auguring very
well”, but questioned its reluctance to reinstate the
Racial Discrimination Act, set aside in 2007 when the
Howard government’s Northern Territory intervention was
rolled out. ”There’s no reason for it not to be
reinstated,” Mr Calma said.” Louis Andrews

Crikey: Sorry day anniversary: One year on, mind the gap
http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090213-The-Apology-to-Australias-Indigenous-Peoples-Reflections-12-months-On.html
13 Feb 09: “What these statistical gaps and indeed the
Apology fail to take account of is what might be
identified as the racism and human rights gap, a gap that
underpins the NT Intervention and appears to have been
retained by the Rudd government in its support for the
continuation of the intervention measures. This gap has
been recently commented on by Justice Kirby and forms the
basis of a complaint to the United Nations Committee for
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.” Jon Altman

Canberra Times Editorial: Rudd must also close rhetoric gap
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/rudd-must-also-close-rhetoric-gap/1433155.aspx?storypage=0
13 Feb 09: “In the NT, … there are few outward signs of
the promised new houses, schools and clinics for indigenous
communities, and many residents of those communities feel
their concerns about other aspects of the exercise the lack
of consultation, the unilateral acquisition of townships,
emasculation of the permit system … quarantining of
welfare income, dismemberment of the Community Development
Employment Projects and sidelining of the Racial
Discrimination Act have been overlooked or dismissed. The
Rudd Government’s failure to respond officially to the
report of the board set up to review the intervention …
has heightened such suspicions.”

New Matilda: The Apology – Sorry About That
http://newmatilda.com/2009/02/13/sorry-about
14 Feb 09: “On the day of the Apology the whole country
heard a lot of stories like that of Kutcha Edwards. A year
later, Kutcha, like many other members of the Stolen
Generations, can’t see what’s changed … When we talk
about whether he sees any of this shifting since the
Apology, his frustration emerges. “Obviously [Rudd] wanted
to make that step of acknowledgement, but then at the same
time, he still maintains the status quo with things like
the [Northern Territory] intervention. So he still has
that welfare mentality.” Rachel Maher

News:

ABC: One year on: Historic apology ‘falls short’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/13/2490289.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
13 Feb 09: “Today marks a year since Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd delivered the Federal Parliament’s formal apology to
the Stolen Generations. … The Australian Greens say the
apology rings hollow on its anniversary today because of
the Commonwealth’s Northern Territory Intervention. … Ms
Siewert says at a time where jobs are being lost across
the economy, it is morally wrong of the Government to cut
thousands of Community Development Employment Project
(CDEP) jobs in Indigenous communities. “We are deeply
concerned that they are getting rid of CDEP,” she said.”

INTERVENTION OPINION:

Open Letter:

Stop the Intervention: Open Letter to the Prime Minister,
the Hon Kevin Rudd – from Yolngu of the Laynhapuy Homelands
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/your-voice/yolngu-of-the-laynhapuy-homelands
3 Feb 09: “Yolngu clans of the Laynhapuy Homelands support
the Rollback the Intervention message to the Prime Minister
and Parliament this 3rd of February 2009. While we support
the Government’s elevation of the issues of chronic
Aboriginal disadvantage in remote communities, and welcome
investment to address years of neglect, we cannot agree
that the continuation of the Intervention is the best way
to move forward. … “

Media Release:

Greens welcome WA Government’s cooling on truancy trials
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/greens-welcome-wa-government%E2%80%99s-cooling-truancy-trials
14 Feb 09: “The Australian Greens today welcomed signs that
the Western Australian Government may not implement a
punitive Federal Government truancy trial in Perth schools.
“The program, which has been widely criticised by teacher’s
unions and welfare groups, allows Centrelink to halt
payments to parents whose children fail to attend school
for 13 weeks,” Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert
said. “Such a punitive program fails to address the
underlying causes of non-attendance and only further
undermines families in need of support.”

Opinion:

New Matilda: NT Intervention: Let’s Try That In Sydney
http://newmatilda.com/2009/02/13/nt-intervention-lets-try-sydney
13 Feb 09: “The Northern Territory Intervention is taking
place out of sight of the majority of the population. What
would happen if similar restrictions were imposed on
someone living in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Newtown?
newmatilda.com has set out to test the Northern Territory
Emergency Response (the Intervention) in an urban
environment. Over the coming fortnight newmatilda.com
journalist Scott Mitchell will be going gonzo to find out
what it’s like to have half your income “quarantined” by
the government (or in this case, the newmatilda.com
Department of Social Intervention). We’ll be publishing
Scott’s daily diary over the next week.”

New Matilda: Two Week Intervention – A Day On The Road
http://newmatilda.com/2009/02/16/day-road
16 Feb 09: “On day three of his two-week intervention,
Scott Mitchell discovers that even Howard voters think the
Northern Territory Emergency Response is dodgy”

Crikey: UN still smarting from Howard’s bullying on black affairs
http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090211-More-UN-scrutiny-of-Australias-record-on-black-affairs-ahead.html
11 Feb 09: “And in relation to our treatment of black
Australia, the UNHRC sought further responses in relation
to four issues: … But it is the fourth indigenous issue
that will be the most difficult matter for the government
to adequately respond to. That issue concerns the findings
of the Wild/Anderson “Little Children are Sacred” report of
2007. … Australia’s written response to the UNHCR Issues
of Concern of 21 January 2009 fails to answer the question
as to why the NT Intervention was “adopted without adequate
consultation with the Indigenous communities”.” Bob Gosford

NIT: The Big Read: Big Kev’s crazy ALP patriot sale!
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=17017
5 Feb 09: “THE first promise to Indigenous Australians in
the ALP’s national Platform is this:
“Labor is committed to supporting the international human
rights instruments to which Australia is a signatory,
including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The Northern Territory intervention – which Labor supported
unanimously in Opposition and has continued unaltered in
government, despite the recommendations of its only review
panel – is in breach of almost half of the 30 articles of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically
articles 2, 7, 8, 10, 12, 17, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30.”

Stop the Intervention: Frank Hytten, CEO Reconciliation Victoria
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/your-voice/reconciliation-victoria
“The responses that the government is sticking to so far
are focused on control – especially taking control of land
away from Aboriginal people and returning it to government.
There seems to be no coherent reason for this move. In
addition these policies are very, very disempowering, not
least in relation to foreclosing on real self-determined
development of policy and delivery of programs.”

Radio Interviews:

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM
Let’s Talk – Australia’s only Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
10 Feb 09: “Karen Dorante spoke with the Editor of The
National Indigenous Times, Chris Graham.”
[includes discussion of the NT intervention and the
complaint to the UN]
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-02-10-69789.mp3

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM
Let’s Talk – Australia’s only Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
3 Feb 09: “Karen Dorante spoke with Australians for Native
Title & Reconciliation (ANTaR) National President, Janet
Hunt.” [includes discussion of the NT intervention]
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-02-03-86318.mp3

INTERVENTION NEWS:

ABC: Grocery sales increase since welfare quarantining
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/14/2491604.htm
14 Feb 09: “Outback Stores says the Federal Government’s
quarantining of welfare payments in remote Indigenous
communities is not the main reason behind increased food
sales. … Outback Stores has been given $29 million by the
Federal Government to redevelop failing community stores.
Chief executive John Kop says redeveloped stores typically
increase sales by 100 to 400 per cent, but that is not due
to welfare quarantining.”

OTHER NEWS RE NT:

NIT: 40yr leases signed in four NT communities
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingnews/story.aspx?id=17069
11 Feb 09: “Traditional owners from four remote communities
have agreed to give up control of their land for the next
40 years under a lease agreement with the federal
government. In exchange, the communities will get about 300
new houses and 250 existing houses will be refurbished.”

OTHER NEWS:

News:

NIT: Aboriginal tent embassy plan to save rebel church
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=17074
12 Feb 09: “Aboriginal people will establish a tent embassy
at a rebel Catholic church in Brisbane and resist any
attempts to move it. Activist Sam Watson said the tent
embassy would be set up under the terms of a treaty signed
in November between St Mary’s Church in South Brisbane and
local Aboriginal people. … Mr Watson said St Mary’s had
tended to the needs of Aboriginal people for decades. “We
have declared that land upon which St Mary’s has been built
is sacred land and we assert the fact that as Aboriginal
people we have never ceded sovereignty to the British
Crown,” he said.”

NIT: Jesus also unorthodox, says rebel priest
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=17093
16 Feb 09: “Rebel Catholic priest Father Peter Kennedy has
defended his church’s social activism, telling a packed St
Mary’s church in South Brisbane that Jesus also was harshly
criticised for unorthodox behaviour. … Meanwhile, a plan
to establish an Aboriginal tent embassy on the site has
been postponed until next week, said Murri activist Sam
Watson. Mr Watson said many groups had asked to participate
in a broad coalition to save the St Mary’s community and it
was decided to start the tent embassy on the day Fr Kennedy
has been told to depart.”

Courier-Mail: Archbishop John Bathersby may call police on
parish priest Peter Kennedy over ‘unorthodox’ practices
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25043291-5006786,00.html
12 Feb 09: “BRISBANE Archbishop John Bathersby has warned
that police will be brought in and St Mary’s Parish priest
Father Peter Kennedy forcibly removed if necessary. …
Brisbane’s indigenous community will set up a tent embassy
at St Mary’s on Sunday, claiming a treaty between them and
the church gives shared custody of the land and that Father
Kennedy’s liberal practices should stay. Indigenous leader
Sam Watson is calling on Archbishop Bathersby to “sit down
and have a cup of tea” and take part in a sacred circle
with elders to resolve issues surrounding the controversy.”

Radio Interview:

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM
Let’s Talk – Australia’s only Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
12 Feb 09: “Tiga Bayles caught up with Sam Watson.”
[includes discussion of the Aboriginal tent embassy at
St Mary’s Church in South Brisbane]
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-02-12-72051.mp3

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