23/08/09: UN RAPPORTEUR VISITS ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES

Contents:
UN Rapporteur, James Anaya, visits Aboriginal communities
Aboriginal Housing in the NT
Other NT Intervention articles
Other Aboriginal articles

UN RAPPORTEUR, JAMES ANAYA, VISITS ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES:

– Background

WGAR News:
UN Expert visits Australia to report on Aboriginal Human Rights (18 Aug 09)
http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=145907

WGAR News:
UN Expert James Anaya to examine NT Intervention (19 Aug 09)
http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=145947

– Video

CAAMA Radio Online News: U.N. visits Mparrentwe Alice Springs
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
http://caama.com.au/radio/un-visits-mparrentwe-alice-springs/
21 Aug 09: “U.N. takes a look at the human rights of
Australian Aboriginal people.”
[includes interview with UN Special Rapporteur]

– Radio

CAAMA News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
[scroll down page] http://caama.com.au/category/radio/
21 Aug 09: “U.N. special rapporteur on Indigenous rights
Professor James Anaya speaks with Aborignal people in
Mparrentwe / Alice Springs.”

– News

ABC: Macklin backs out of UN envoy visit
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/22/2663496.htm
22 Aug 09: “Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin has cancelled a visit to a remote Northern
Territory community with the United Nations rapporteur on
indigenous rights. … Today he [Professor James Anaya] is
expected to meet with representatives from the Northern
Land Council and the Laynhapuy Homelands Association in
Yirrkala.”

BBC: UN envoy in Aboriginal assessment
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8213366.stm
21 Aug 09: “The United Nation’s special rapporteur on
indigenous human rights has toured some of Australia’s most
disadvantaged Aboriginal communities. Professor James Anaya
is investigating complaints that government measures to
fight child abuse in remote settlements are racially
discriminatory. More than 70 indigenous townships in
Australia’s Northern Territory have been taken over by
federal authorities.”

Radio New Zealand: UN envoy looks at treatment of Aborigines
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2009/08/21/1245c242a944
21 Aug 09: “The United Nations special rapporteur on
indigenous human rights has toured some of Australia’s most
disadvantaged aboriginal communities to investigate claims
of racist federal government policy. … He has travelled
to the heart of Australia, Alice Springs, to learn more
about the unrelenting poverty that makes Aborigines by far
the country’s most disadvantaged people.”

ABC: UN briefed on prison van death
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/21/2662988.htm
21 Aug 09: “The United Nations has been briefed on the
death of an Aboriginal man in the back of a prison van in
Western Australia’s Goldfields. … The Deaths in Custody
Watch Committee’s chairman, Marc Newhouse, met the UN’s
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People,
James Anaya, this week.”

Uniting Church in Australia – National Assembly:
Territory Intervention Highlighted for UN Rapporteur
http://assembly.uca.org.au/media-centre/50-mediareleases09/506-mr-ntintervention.html
20 Aug 09: “The Uniting Church in Australia has taken its
vehement opposition to the Northern Territory Emergency
Response to the United Nations. The Uniting Church has
written to the United Nations special rapporteur on the
Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of
Indigenous People, currently visiting Australia, to draw
his attention to the concerns being expressed by Indigenous
members of the Uniting Church.”

Koori Mail: Church flags intervention concerns with UN
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
20 Aug 09: “THE Uniting Church has told a UN Special
Rapporteur on human rights that the Northern Territory
intervention is the nation’s most pressing human rights
concern. The church has written to James Anaya, currently
touring Australia, about its ‘vehement’ opposition to
suspension of the racial discrimination act and ‘inadequate
consultation’ with communities under the intervention.”

ABC Alice Springs: UN rapporteur hears Indigenous concerns
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/20/2662107.htm?site=alicesprings
20 Aug 09: “The United Nations special rapporteur on
Indigenous rights says he has heard both good and bad
reports about the treatment of Aboriginal people in central
Australia. Professor James Anaya held talks with
organisations and government agencies in Alice Springs this
morning. He later met with about 40 people, many of whom
were from Aboriginal town camps and remote communities.”

ABC: Alice hosts UN Indigenous rights visit
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/20/2661777.htm?site=news
20 Aug 09: “The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on
Indigenous Rights will meet Aboriginal organisations and
government and welfare agencies in Alice Springs today. …
A resident of the Mount Nancy Aboriginal town camp, Barbara
Shaw, says she hosted a dinner for Professor Anaya at her
house last night. … He will tour the town camps this
afternoon.”

China Post – Taiwan:
UN probes Aboriginal discrimination allegations
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/australia/2009/08/17/220873/UN-probes.htm
17 Aug 09: “Anaya, an American professor of human rights
law, said suspending anti-discrimination laws to apply the
measures appeared to be a discriminatory act. “On its face
yes, but I’m not expressing a conclusion about whether or
not that’s justified at this time,” Anaya told reporters.
“I’ll talk about my views at the conclusion of my visit.” “

BreakingNews.ie – Ireland:
UN probing claims child-abuse measures breached Aboriginal rights
http://www.breakingnews.ie/world/un-probing-claims-childabuse-measures-breached-aboriginal-rights-422854.html
17 Aug 09: “A United Nations representative is visiting
Australia to investigate complaints that a government
crackdown on child abuse in Outback settlements is
violating Aborigines’ human rights. … Activists say these
measures violate human rights because they target
Aborigines only.”

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 Brisbane.”

ABORIGINAL HOUSING IN THE NT:

– Background

WGAR News:
Government failure over Northern Territory Aboriginal housing (24 July 09)
http://wgar.info/240709-government-failure-over-northern-territory-aboriginal-housing/

– Video

CAAMA: Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association
The Forgotten Place
http://caama.com.au/radio/the-forgotten-place/
20 Aug 09

– Media Release

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Native title should be protected at all costs
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2009/74_09.html
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.”

– Opinion

Australian: Slice of pie for building is shrinking by the day
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25954870-7583,00.html
20 Aug 09: “WHEN it was revealed Northern Territory
ministers had been warned that less than half the promised
750 houses would be built under the $672 million Strategic
Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, federal
minister Jenny Macklin went on the attack. “That report is
completely wrong,” she said on national radio the morning
after the July 23 article in The Australian.” Natasha
Robinson

– News

Green Left: Indigenous housing program head sacked
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/808/41574
22 Aug 09: “Jim Davidson was sacked as the head of the
Northern Territory’s Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) on August 18. Davidson was
fired after revelations that SIHIP’s administration costs
would absorb a great deal of the program’s $672 million
budget. The program was launched 18 months ago with the
promise to build 750 houses for remote Aboriginal
communities. So far, no houses have been built.”

Australian: Jenny Macklin’s go-slow ‘to fix errors’ on housing
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25959162-5013404,00.html
21 Aug 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has
insisted she will not rush into delivering housing to
Northern Territory indigenous communities without securing
land leases and agreements for proper payment of rent.”

Koori Mail: SIHIP review report expected next week
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
21 Aug 09: “FEDERAL Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin has promised to make public the report from a
review of the embattled $672 million Strategic Indigenous
Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP). Ms Macklin says
she expects to receive the report next week.”

Australian: Macklin ‘seeking to save her political skin’
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25955127-601,00.html
20 Aug 09: “THE former head of a $700 million Aboriginal
housing project [Jim Davidson] claims Indigenous Affairs
Minister Jenny Macklin made unrealistic promises to build
750 houses in remote communities because of poor advice and
a lack of basic budget analysis by senior commonwealth
bureaucrats.” Natasha Robinson and Nicola Berkovic

Koori Mail: Release housing report straight away, says Opp
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
20 Aug 09: “THE Federal Opposition has called on the Rudd
Government to release straight away a report from a review
of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure
Program (SIHIP). The program has failed to build even a
single remote house in 18 months. The review report is
expected soon, possibly tomorrow.”

Canberra Times: Indigenous housing scheme under fire
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/indigenous-housing-scheme-under-fire/1601156.aspx
20 Aug 09: “Money earmarked for desperately needed homes in
remote communities across Australia could be used to prop
up an embattled housing scheme in the Northern Territory.
Hobbled by soaring costs and ”appalling mismanagement”,
the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program
is yet to produce a single new home in almost 18 months.”

ABC: ‘Pie in the sky’ house costs worry Wood
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/20/2661516.htm?site=news
20 Aug 09: “The independent Northern Territory politician
Gerry Wood says he is concerned the original budget for the
Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program was
out of touch with reality. … Mr Wood also wants a faster
review of the program.”

ABC: Housing Minister lets rip at previous failures
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/19/2660951.htm?site=news
19 Aug 09: “The Northern Territory Housing Minister, Rob
Knight, has launched a stinging tirade against previous
housing projects to defend his handling of a controversial
$672 million Aboriginal housing program. … Mr [Jim]
Davidson says the promised houses will not eventuate unless
the budget goes up to $1 billion.”

ABC: One fifth of housing funds allocated so far
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/19/2660857.htm?site=news
19 Aug 09: “The Northern Territory Government says only
about $120 million dollars of the controversial $672
million Aboriginal housing program have been allocated so
far and the project will still build the 750 new homes it
promised. … The Northern Territory Housing Minister Rob
Knight says the program is being remodelled to make sure
all promises are met within budget.”

OTHER NT INTERVENTION ARTICLES:

– Background to Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention

Stop the Intervention website:
http://stoptheintervention.org/

Rollback the Intervention website:
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/

Working Group for Aboriginal Rights website:
http://wgar.info/
[see WGAR NT Intervention e-newsletter archive]

– Opinion

Solidarity: Cracks in the Intervention as opposition mounts
http://www.solidarity.net.au/17/cracks-in-the-intervention-as-opposition-mounts/
Aug 09: “But they and Minister Jenny Macklin are on the
back foot. Firstly there is the mounting pressure on
Aboriginal politicians and leaders from their constituents
whose lives are wrecked by Intervention policies. …
Secondly, anti-Intervention campaigners have managed to
turn Macklin’s threatened takeover of the Alice Springs
town camps into a nightmare for the federal government.”
Jean Parker

SMH: Intervention turned our backs on reconciliation
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/intervention-turned-our-backs-on-reconciliation-20090819-eqhv.html?skin=text-only
20 Aug 09: “In the absence of any consultation with
affected communities or any real debate in the Australian
Parliament, the Government took control of communities,
compulsorily acquired land and imposed administrative and
statutory management over people’s lives that no other
Australians, free from prison, endure.” Patrick Dodson

– News

Solidarity: Walk-off protest still strong
http://www.solidarity.net.au/17/walk-off-protest-still-strong/
Aug 09: “The month old protest camp at Ampilatwatja is
still going strong. … Other communities are now preparing
to join the campaign against the Intervention. Richard
[Downs] reported, “We’re talking about getting together,
forming a united approach, getting together in Yuendumu,
Ti Tree, calling in Anmatyere people, the Kaytetye and just
do a strong letter to the Prime Minister … “

Solidarity:
Unions back anti-Intervention lobby of ALP conference
http://www.solidarity.net.au/17/unions-back-anti-intervention-lobby-of-alp-conference/
Aug 09: “The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney
organised a strong lobby of the national ALP conference on
Thursday July 30. About 150 people turned out to the
lunchtime rally.” Paddy Gibson

OTHER ABORIGINAL ARTICLES:

– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
19 Aug 09: “Ron Monaghan – Tiga Bayles spoke with
Queensland Councils of Unions General Secretary Ron
Monaghan. They spoke about Queensland Councils of Unions
Stolen Wages campaign, legal action and how to get
involved.”
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/get.php?web=98fm-podcast-2009-08-19-75864.mp3

– News

ABC Australia Network News:
No payments for Australian Stolen Generations
http://australianetworknews.com/stories/200908/2662630.htm?desktop
21 Aug 09: “Australia’s government says it will not comply
with a United Nations recommendation to compensate
indigenous victims of the so-called Stolen Generations. …
The Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement submitted a formal
complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee in March,
highlighting the lack of funding for Aboriginal legal aid
in Australia.”

National Indigenous Times:
Aboriginal elder sues government for stolen wages
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=18431
20 Aug 09: “An Aboriginal elder has launched a legal battle
for the return of wages he claims were stolen by the
Queensland government. Conrad Yeatman lodged a claim in the
Brisbane District Court on Thursday seeking the return of
money he earned while working as a carpenter and labourer
in the north Queensland community of Yarrabah, where he was
born in 1940.”


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