Archive for May, 2009

Aboriginal assimilation: the Hub of the matter

Posted in OPINION with tags , , , , , on 31/05/2009 by D

Since anthropologist Donald Thompson visited Arnhemland in the
late 1930s and early 1940s missionaries and governments have not
been able to keep from interfering in the lives of Aboriginal
people in the Northern Territory. Perhaps the worst form of
intervention has been the forcing of Aboriginal clans to assemble
at one point for the convenience of white administrators. This in
the past led and continues to lead to internecine disputes
between rival clan and language groups.

At one level the suggestion is that white “saviours” intervene in
the lives of Aboriginal people to “protect” them from the ravages
of other whites. But it can’t have escaped the notice of such
“saviours” that removing Aboriginal people from their traditional
lands opens the way for other whites to lay claim to recently
vacated Aboriginal land.

When it comes to testing the bona fides of such “saviours” one
only has to look at the record of police and other protectors in
Queensland who, according to historian Dr Ros Kidd, stole the
present day equivalent of $500 million from their Aboriginal
wards.

Assimilation has been forced on Aboriginal people throughout
Australia, including the Northern Territory. The process is
allegedly employed to assist Indigenous people to accommodate to
the demands of White Australians and thereby ready themselves for
life in the mainstream. Even at its most benign level,
assimilation separates the Aboriginal person from their culture,
kin and belief systems – that is, assimilation separates
Aborigines from their Aboriginality and hence any specific claim
to separate treatment on account of their prior ownership of this
country. This further privileges the white power holders. No
serious commentator has ever suggested that the place Aboriginal
people were offered was mainstream.

The Howard government, led by then Minister Amanda Vanstone,
started the latest attack on the outstation movement by claiming
that any community of less than 1,000 people was not viable and
would be amalgamated with other communities or abolished. The NT
Labor Government then did not support such a frontal attack on
Aboriginal sovereignty. Now that the Rudd Government has handed
control of such matters to the Northern Territory Government, and
grossly underfunded the program, it has wedged the NT Henderson
Labor Government to set up a process of 20 hub communities which
will be funded to provide schools, hospitals and other services.
In their crazy white minds, this will justify denuding even the
larger of the outstations of resources such as schools.

All this comes on top of the Brough/Macklin Intervention into
Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory which
necessitated the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act so
as to force Indigenous people to comply with the quarantining of
half their Centrelink money. United Nations Committees have
condemned such action as racist.

Macklin will now be able to insist that parents who wish to
receive Centrelink payments must enrol their children in school,
even if there is no school in their community. Parents will have
to shift to hub communities or forego welfare payments that all
the nice white people in towns and cities all over the rest of
Australia get without such requirements. Alternatively, it will
involve sending their children away to school in hub communities,
leading to a new round of stolen generations.

The Rudd Government is in the process of destroying the Community
Development Employment Program (CDEP) before establishing an
employment program to replace it. The CDEP, first introduced by
the Fraser Liberal Government on the advice of Nugget Coombs, has
managed to employ 30,000 and to provide necessary community
services to hundreds of communities in the Northern Territory and
elsewhere in regional Australia. These services will not now be
provided in the Northern Territory outside the hub townships.
This will further increase pressure on Aboriginal people in
remote communities to drift into hub communities.

Much of the important cultural artifacts, the production of which
the CDEP has encouraged in recent years, has occurred on remote
outstations. Much of the Aboriginal spiritual revival has
occurred on these outstations. The health profile of people on
remote homelands is generally better than those living in larger
communities. This is not a mysterious phenomenon; it is because
people are more at one with their Aboriginal identity and more
bush tucker is consumed in such communities (Anthony 2009).

Perhaps it would not matter so much that people from remote
communities were pushed by economic factors to come into town if
there was any hope that the hub communities could accommodate
their needs. The absence of any proper plan to prepare for
transmigration is the real betrayal in the NT Government’s plan
to push Aboriginal people into these 20 hub communities. Vacant
houses are not available in the hub communities for the
new-comers to move into. There are no jobs awaiting the
newcomers. Community services and schools are already
over-stretched.

Just in case anyone is foolish enough to think that hub
communities are a brand new idea then it is time to think again.
Wadeye, formally the Catholic Mission 400km southwest of Darwin,
is typical of hub communities. It is a town of 2,500 people and
has been the site of constant upheaval for the last decade. As
Mark Whittaker wrote in November 2007, youth gangs “are based
loosely on ancient divisions between the town’s twenty clans and
seven language groups, but also interwoven by marriage to make
them more complicated. They had kept the town in a perpetual
state of hostility as historic rivalries turned to modern
squabbles.”

The whites in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy and
Alice have amply demonstrated their racist intolerance of iterant
Aboriginal families in their towns. Forcing people into hub
communities where life is going to offer them very little will
lead to many drifting to the white enclaves of the Territory
frontier and in turn to increased criminalisation and social
dislocation. Criminalisation and social dislocation combine and
eventually lead to premature death of those subjected to these
twin processes.

If younger families with children are forced by Macklin’s racist
intervention to move into overcrowded houses in hub communities
and young able-bodied people shift there in search of work, the
old and people with disabling conditions will be left to fend for
themselves on outstations without the kin support to make life
tolerable. Their health will deteriorate and they will die
earlier than they might have – so much for Rudd’s mealy-mouthed
slogan of “Closing the Gap.”

Rudd is just the last of the colonisers who have waged a
relentless race war for 220 years against the Indigenous owners
of this country. The Labor Party in Canberra and in Darwin won’t
stop foisting their ill-thought through plans on Aboriginal
people until the last Aboriginal person gives up their last claim
to land or separate identity.

By John Tomlinson

http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=8976&page=0

PUBLIC FORUM: HOW CAN WE BETTER PROTECT INDIGENOUS RIGHTS IN AUSTRALIA? Tuesday 2nd June, 5.30pm, NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre

Posted in FORUM with tags , on 29/05/2009 by D

In celebration of the United Nations International Year of Reconciliation, NSW Reconciliation Council is holding a public forum to generate conversations around how we can better protect Indigenous rights in Australia. A panel of speakers will discuss the following topics:

Indigenous Peoples and the Constitution
Megan Davis, Director of the Indigenous Law Centre, UNSW

Indigenous Australians and Human Rights: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and other recent developments

Sarah Pritchard, NSW Barrister, Human Rights Lawyer, Editor of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations and Human Rights

Cultural and Environmental Rights of Traditional Owners
Steven Ross, Coordinator of Murray Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations

Join us for finger food prepared by Yaama Dhiyaan – modern Australian cuisine using Indigenous produce and flavour – 5.30pm

Welcome to Country by Aunty Sylvia Scott
Musical performance by Krista Pav

Entry: By donation
Date: Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Time: Food at 5.30pm for a 6pm start
Place: NSW Teachers Federation Auditorium, 39-41 Reservoir Street

RSVP (for catering purposes) to NSWRC@daa.nsw.gov.au or ph: 9219 0719


UK social workers for Aboriginal communities?

Posted in OPINION with tags , , on 29/05/2009 by D

By Diet Simon

Sydney, 28 May 09 – – British social workers are being recruited to work in Aboriginal communities because Australian women would not agree to take children away from their families, a NSW Aboriginal heritage conference in Sydney has heard.

Because the federal government stipulated that women to be sent into the communities had to be ready to remove children from troubled families, it couldn’t get enough Aboriginal or white Australian applicants for the jobs, Aboriginal leader, Michael Anderson told me from the conference venue.

“Families would have to go to court to get their children back,” the leader of the Euahlayi of northwest NSW and southwest Queensland points out.

“How can anyone freshly recruited from the UK have the skills to deal with the cultural complexities of Aboriginal communities?” he asks angrily.

“This is another aspect of the Rudd government’s genocide. It is the second phase of removing children in the guise of protecting them – the same as in the 1930s.”

The Elders assembled at the conference appeal to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians “not to believe the rhetoric that this is in the children’s interest”.

“That is a line the Rudd government can no longer use,” Mr Anderson says. “We have to stop this happening at all cost.”

He points out that it will cost taxpayers massive amounts of money to resettle the British social workers in this country to do jobs their Australian colleagues refused because of the child removal issue.

“Removing children from one ethnic group to assimilate them in another group is a crime against humanity,” Mr Anderson says.

“Our children are our greatest asset. They’re our real heritage. Talk to us, let’s work out solutions together. Don’t take our children away from us.”

Mr Anderson is the last remaining of the four 1972 founders of the Aboriginal Embassy. The 16 clans of the Gumilaroi nation have elected him their spokesman.

Contact Michael Anderson on mobile 0427 292 492, email ngurampaa@bigpond.com.


JOINT STATEMENT by the Indigenous Peoples Organisations of Australia attending the eighth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues New York, 18 to 29 May 2009

Posted in OPINION, UN CERD with tags , on 29/05/2009 by D

On 24 May 2009 the Minister for Indigenous Affairs announced the Australian Government is taking steps towards compulsory acquisition of the Alice Springs town camps ‘to give children in the camps a better chance at a safe, healthy and happy life’. The Minister described the conditions in the camps as appalling, referring to acute overcrowding, sub-standard housing, alcohol abuse, despair, hopelessness and horrific crimes. The Minister announced intentions to implement a comprehensive plan to transform the town camps and provide intensive support services.

We the Indigenous Peoples Organisations of Australia attending the eighth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues decide as follows:

We strongly oppose the proposal by the Government of Australia to compulsory acquire leases over Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands or territories without their free, prior and informed consent.

We call upon the Government of Australia to comply with its international obligations to respect the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Australia by ensuring that the representatives of the Aboriginal people in the region of Alice Springs are able to make an informed decision regarding the provision of adequate housing and services for their populations.

Specifically, we urge the Australian Government to re-open negotiations with Tangentyere Council, in concert with other relevant representative Aboriginal organizations, and facilitated by the Australian Human Rights Commission, with a view to concluding as soon as possible an agreement for urgent funding for suitable housing to meet the needs of the Aboriginal people of the region.

We ask the Australian Government to withdraw their decision to compulsory acquire the lands held by the Tangentyere Council.

In regards to the international obligations of the Australian Government we note the following paragraphs regarding the rights of Indigenous Peoples and relevant recommendations by the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations and international human rights treaty bodies.

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted two years ago by an overwhelming vote of the UN General Assembly. Australia was one of only four governments to vote against the adoption of this universal Declaration but on 3 April 2009 the Government announced its support for the Declaration.

‘Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In particular indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer such programmes through their own institutions.’
(Article 23, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)

In May 2007, following a visit to Australia during 31 July to 15 August 2006, the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, recommended to the United Nations in Paras 98 and 135 of his report that Aboriginal people should be given control to the greatest extent possible of our affairs and expressed his particular concern that removal of Aboriginal people as decision makers over the use and access of the land in the Northern Territory would undermine the right of self-determination. He advised that such action ‘may call into question Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including its provisions on self-determination’ .

‘Australian governments must urgently address the humanitarian tragedy of the lack of housing and basic services for the indigenous peoples of Australia, living on indigenous lands and elsewhere. To this end, the Special Rapporteur encourages relevant government staff to visit and reside in indigenous communities, including town camps, and rural and remote communities, in order to better comprehend the reality and the challenges faced by the populations and communities in these locations.’
(Para 133, Report on Mission to Australia, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, UN Document A/HRC/4/18/Add. 2, 11 May 2007)

On 13 March 2009, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) wrote to the Australian Government expressing its concern that the Racial Discrimination Act was suspended in the Northern Territory and calling for a report to the Committee by 31 July 2009 on the progress made in redesigning its (the Government’s) approach in the Northern Territory in consultation with the Aboriginal communities.

‘… In order to continue a constructive dialogue with your Government, the Committee requests the State party to submit further details and information on the following issues no later than 31 July 2009 progress on the drafting of the redesigned measures, in direct consultation with the communities and individuals affected by the NTER, bearing in mind their proposed introduction to the Parliament in September 2009 [and] progress on the lifting of the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act. The Committee welcomes the government’s commitment to building a new relationship with Indigenous Australians based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and responsibility.’

On 2 April 2009, the Committee on Human Rights released its findings on Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Committee expressed its concern with the Northern Territory Emergency Response measures and particular concern about the negative impact of the measures on the enjoyment of the rights of indigenous peoples and at the fact that they suspend the operation of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and were adopted without adequate consultation with the indigenous peoples.

‘The State party should increase its efforts for an effective consultation with indigenous peoples in decision-making in all areas having an impact on their rights … The State party should redesign NTER measures in direct consultation with the indigenous peoples concerned, in order to ensure that they are consistent with the Racial Discrimination Act 1995 and the Covenant.’
(Concluding observations on Australia, Human Rights Committee, UN Document CCPR/C/AUS/CO/ 5, 2 April 2009)

On 22 May 2009, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in examining Australia’s periodic report under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, expressed its concern that some of the Northern Territory Intervention measures are inconsistent with the Covenant rights, in particular with the principle of non-discrimination, and have a negative impact on the realisation of the rights of indigenous peoples and noted ‘with regret’ that measures were adopted without sufficient and adequate consultation with the indigenous peoples concerned

‘The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures, in line with the Committee’s general comment No.4 (1991) on the right to adequate housing (art. 11, para. 1, of the Covenant), to address homelessness in its territory. The State party should implement the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing contained in the report of his mission to Australia… The Committee calls on the State party to take immediate steps to improve the health situation of indigenous people, in particular women and children, including by implementing a human rights framework that ensures access to the social determinants of health such as housing, safe drinking water, electricity and effective sanitation systems.’
(Concluding observations on Australia, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN Document E/C.12/AUS/CO/ 4, 22 May 2009)

We also appreciate that the Australian Government has presented to this session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues a joint statement with our delegations expressing a desire that Australia meet its human rights obligations, and we recognise that a critical factor in achieving this goal is the degree to which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can set the agenda, and affect policy and service delivery.

Our delegations are encouraged by the Australian Government’s decision to support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Therefore, in conclusion to this statement, we support the view that the Government of Australia should establish and implement in conjunction with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process to adjudicate the rights of the Aboriginal people in relation to our lands. This provision is stipulated in Article 27 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We strongly recommend that the Australian Government provide, as a matter of priority and urgency, extensive human rights training on how human rights apply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the areas of non-discrimination and civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The training should target all sectors of society, but particularly it should target State officials having a direct role in engagement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the judiciary.


Northern Territory Intervention: Michael Anderson says “We should not be bludgeoned into giving up our identity”

Posted in Land Rights, MEDIA RELEASES, NEWS with tags , , on 27/05/2009 by D

Michael Anderson launches worldwide campaign against the Rudd government’s policy of genocide against Aboriginal Peoples.

Press Conference 9:30am

Tuesday 26 May 2009

at Aboriginal Embassy

opposite Old Parliament House, Canberra

Euahlayi leader and founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy, Michael Anderson, is in Canberra to launch a world wide campaign against the Rudd Labor government’s policy of genocide against Aboriginal Peoples.

Michael Anderson released the following statement today:

The UN Genocide Conventions defines crimes of genocide as including:

Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  Deliberately  inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical  destruction in whole or in part; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another  group.

Why haven’t governments learnt that their policies past and present fail Aboriginal people, or, is there a more sinister underbelly associated with government policies? We must remember that Aboriginal people have been subjected to the will of governors of the colony and, now, the Federal, State and Territory governments.

The political concern after federation was what to do with Aborigines. In 1937 the policy of assimilation was concluded between Commonwealth Ministers and State and Territory Protectors, with AO Neville, Chief Protector for West Australia having the final say:

An important aspect of the policy is the cost. The different States are creating institutions for the welfare of the native race and, as a result of this policy, the Native population is increasing. What is to be the limit? Are we going to have a population of 1 000 000 blacks in the Commonwealth, or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there ever were Aborigines in Australia?

Nothing has changed. The overwhelming success of the 1967 Referendum shocked the then Prime Minister, Harold Holt, and his Cabinet. In a confidential Cabinet Minute dated ‘Sydney 2nd July 1968 Decision 314’, the Cabinet referred to its first objective which Aboriginal policy it serves. The conclusion was:

‘… it declared firmly that the ultimate objective would continue to be assimilation – a  single Australian community. While recognizing that it will take generations for the  Aboriginals to become fully assimilated into the Australian community, the Cabinet’s position that it will hold patiently and purposefully to this aim.’

Prof CD Rowley was correct when he wrote thirty years ago in his book A Matter of Justice:

‘The policy of detaining persons for being Aboriginal required a complex set of special  laws which made the Aboriginal subject to the will of officials.’

Governments of all political persuasions have not deviated from this course and have wasted a lot of money in their efforts to totally assimilate Aboriginal people into a single Australian society. Governments constantly argue that the failure of their policies is the fault of Aboriginal Peoples. We must remember that Aboriginals themselves do not make government policies nor do they decide on prioritising the programs that governments fund. Always the governments’ catch cry is that what we are doing is in the best interest of the Aboriginal people. What rot!” Anderson exclaims.

We are at a time in Australia’s history when we should not look to locate blame. What is happening under the Rudd Labor Government policies is an absolute dictatorship.

The 1970s Homelands and Outstation movements were more successful and beneficial to Aboriginal people than the 1970s family resettlement program in New South Wales, where, despite their destitution, Aboriginal fringe dwelling and camp life were more intact and functional than anything we have today. The basis for dysfunctionalism in Aboriginal communities in southern Queensland and New South Wales is a direct result of the so-called ‘well intended’ policies of government. A major outcome of the 1970s Resettlement program is the breaking up of traditional family support structures in the fringe dwelling town camps. For the biggest majority of Aboriginal people who took up the offer to be resettled in centres such as Bathurst, Orange, Newcastle and Wagga, this ‘well intended’ government policy left the people destitute and isolated. When the economic climate declined in the late 1970s and early 1980s, people lost jobs, causing financial disasters that resulted in further family break up, abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction and the list goes on.

One would think that if this Rudd Labor government pursues its current policy, by forcefully removing people from their homelands and out stations to the proposed 20 town centres, all they will do is make the same mistakes yet again – another offense against Aboriginal people. The people who will be impacted by this current policy have nothing but a nightmare and extreme trauma to look forward to.

There are cries coming out of the Northern Territory where people such as Yananymul Mununggurr who, when speaking on behalf of the Laynhapuy Homelands Association, asserted in a press statement that ‘the Northern territory government has either refused, or is unable, to fully understand the cultural significance of Homeland.’ She added: ‘The Northern Territory government announced a policy that relegates our homelands to third world conditions, if not extinction. She also asked in her press statement of 21 May 2009, when questioning the NT government’s A Working Future Policy : ‘Where is the economic modeling, the data collection or cost/benefits analysis recommended by the NTG’s own consultant, Patrick Dodson, when establishing these town centres?’

Prof Jon Altman, Director at the ANU for the Centre of Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, criticises the proposed development of the 20 Aboriginal communities at the expense of the other 500 communities throughout the NT by saying: ‘It’s a terrible idea.’

We know from the past that governments have not be able to fulfill nor deliver in full their policy objectives of assimilation. The centralizing of Aboriginal people of different language groups, different skin groups, all of whom belong to different nations will have long term disastrous affects that will be felt for generations to come. We here in the south are a testament to the failures of this type of policy and strategy.

Dr Gawirrin Gumana AO, a Yolngu Elder, posed a challenge to the Australian government last Thursday, when he said: ‘Government, if you don’t help our Homelands, and try to starve me from my land, I tell you, you can kill me first. You will have to shoot me.’ He added: ‘I don’t want to move again like my father moved from Gangan to other places like Yirrkala or Groote. I don’t want my children to move. I don’t want my family to move. I will not lose my culture and my tribe to your games. Like a bird moving from place to place, looking for its camp or to sleep in other places, on other peoples’ land that is not our land.’ His final plea: ‘I do not want my people to move form here and die in other places, I don’t want this. We don’t want this. We want to stay on our own land. We have our culture, we have our Law, we have our land rights, we have our painting and carving, we have our stories from our old people.’ Dr Gawirrin Gumana last words to the government were: ‘I know you have got the money to help our homelands. But you also know there is money to be made form Aboriginal land.’

What this government is doing to Aboriginal people is genocide by nature and design. Even the Muslim people in this country have the right to exist as a free people with their schools, mosques and the right to gather and live in one suburb. The Italians and Greeks who escaped the atrocities of the WWII have the right to go home to their old countries and live on their homelands while being paid Australian pensions.”

Why is it that Aboriginal people cannot be free to decide their own future, live where they want to live while maintaining their culture and traditions.

Why can’t we teach our own culture, languages? Why don’t we have the right to retain our national identity in our own land?

We accept there is a lot wrong, but because government policies have failed we should not be bludgeoned into giving up our identity, our traditions, our religion, our culture for the sake of trying to be like a whiteman.

All we ask governments to do is: ‘Work with us, don’t dictate to us.’ Governments must overcome their paranoia of Aboriginals asserting our right to self-determination. We can enjoin and develop by way of treaties through informed consultations and negotiations. We seek to be free and have the right to make our own choices for our children’s future.

The current path under the Rudd government policies is designed to make us like the non-Aboriginal communities. We are and never will be suburbanites. We have our own Dreamings, the Story of creation. We don’t want to be part of a world where, in the name of the creator, wars are fought. Hate, mistrust and distrust pervades the society that you wish us to become part of. The path of assimilation ends in genocide and we will fight against it by any and every means possible, because the only possible outcome for this Rudd policy will be further ‘mental harm to members of the group’ and can only result in ‘conditions of life set to destroy the group in whole or in part’ both of which are definitions under the Genocide Convention.

In the 1930s, the Chief Protector of Aboriginal people in Queensland, J.W. Bleakley, argued that the public interest in Aboriginal affairs had grown to the point where definite measures needed to be developed for the protection of the remaining Aboriginal population because: ‘…it seems to be the generally accepted view that the extinction of the Australian Aborigine is inevitable.’

He questions: ‘Is it any use trying to preserve these people? Is not their extinction inevitable?’ Then Bleakley reaches the core of the issue by quoting Lord Glenelg, when Secretary for the Colonies: ‘ “Let us not cast upon Heaven a destruction which is our own and say the aborigines are doomed by Divine Providence when the guilt lies with ourselves?”’

Michael Anderson,

Aboriginal Embassy, Canberra

26 May 2009

Takeover of Aboriginal Land marks Opening of Reconciliation Week

Posted in Land Rights, MEDIA RELEASES with tags , , on 25/05/2009 by D

Media Release

Intervention Rollback Action Group


Takeover of Aboriginal Land marks Opening of Reconciliation Week

Today Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin marked the opening of Reconciliation Week by announcing that Alice Springs town camps will be compulsorily acquired. The announcement has been met with outrage by town camp residents. The move comes after Tangentyere Council, acting on behalf of town camp residents, rejected a 40 year lease deal which precluded all Aboriginal control and management of camp housing which would put decision-making and resources into the hands of Territory Housing.

The community housing model proposed by Tangentyere Council and the ability of residents to have input into housing management has been flatly rejected by the government. The community housing model was to be run by the Central Australian Affordable Housing Company, which Minister Macklin helped establish in March last year but has now been rejected in favour of a government takeover.

Residents represented by Tangentyere are opposed to Territory Housing management of the camps due to the high rate of evictions and predicted rent increases under government management. Many Aboriginal people who have been former residents of NT Housing, have already experienced evictions, with the most common reasons being for cooking kangaroo tail in the backyard or for having relatives from the bush visit. People are concerned they will have nowhere to go if evicted from town camps under Territory Housing, which already has a three year waiting list for new occupancy.

“This is an appalling decision by the federal government. It marks the start of a takeover for all Aboriginal communities who reject government leases. If the government were genuine about consultation with communities it would not be blackmailing people with long-term leases and the threat of compulsory acquisition” said Hilary Tyler from the Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs.

“You can’t take someone’s land without free, prior and informed consent. It is very hypocritical of the Government to endorse the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples when the Intervention contravenes at least 26 articles. By keeping the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) in place it goes to show the Government of Australia is in fact racist.” says Barbara Shaw from Mt Nancy town camp.

A rally of town camp residents targeting both the NT government and federal government over its announcement of outstation closures and the compulsory acquisition of Alice Springs towncamps will take place later this week in Alice Springs.

Contact: Barb Shaw on 0401 291 166, Hilary Tyler on 0419 244 012 or Lauren Mellor on 0413 534 125


Michael Anderson launches worldwide campaign against the Rudd government’s policy of genocide against Aboriginal Peoples. Press Conference 9:30am Tuesday 26 May 2009 at Aboriginal Embassy opposite Old Parliament House, Canberra

Posted in NEWS with tags , , on 25/05/2009 by D

Euahlayi leader and founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy, Michael Anderson, will be in Canberra tomorrow to launch a worldwide campaign against the Rudd Labor government’s policy of genocide against Aboriginal Peoples.

During his visit to Canberra Michael Anderson will be meeting with a number of Ambassadors and High Commissioners seeking help to reverse the policy path being pursued by this Rudd Labor Government against Aboriginal Peoples.

He warns that the Closing the Gap program boasted by Kevin Rudd is nothing more than a smoke screen.

He asserts that this Federal government is illegally coercing and bludgeoning the people into relinquishing all their rights and signing over their lands to a central administration in a form of communistic rule.

Michael Anderson is the leader of the Euahlayi Nation in NW NSW and co- founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra.

Contact mobiles: 0427292492 or 0421795639

ngurampaa@bigpond.com