Archive for November, 2009


Posted in NEWSLETTER on 30/11/2009 by D

Income Management to be extended to include Non-Aboriginal People
Other NT Intervention Articles


– Media Releases

STICS – Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
New Intervention laws still breach RDA
26 Nov 09: “The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
will protest at FaHCSIA offices at 12:30pm today, against
plans to expand compulsory welfare quarantining across the
country and continue with discriminatory Northern Territory
Intervention laws. STICS argues that Minister Jenny
Macklin’s claim that Income Management (IM) is benefitting
NT communities is deceitful and that the new laws will
continue to breach the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA).
“Income quarantining has been a disaster for ‘prescribed

Greens condemn Rudd Government move to nation-wide
welfare quarantining
25 Nov 09: ” “This is the biggest negative shift in social
policy from an ALP Government ever,” said Greens community
services spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert today. “I am
shocked that a Labor Government would countenance such poor
social policy without a shred of evidence of positive
outcomes from this level of social control. This is a huge
shift in values away from a culture of a ‘fair go for all’
and towards a paternalistic approach that restricts the
choices of the disadvantaged ‘for their own good’. It is
unbelievable that the Rudd Government thinks that simply
because some people are unemployed or single parents they
cannot look after their children or manage their money,”
said Senator Siewert.”

Concerns remain about the Northern Territory Emergency Response
25 Nov 09: “Extending income management to all welfare
recipients in the Northern Territory will
disproportionately and adversely affect Aboriginal people
in Northern Territory. said ANTaR National President, Dr
Janet Hunt. “It appears that the mooted idea that
compulsory income management could be made a special measure
under the Racial Discrimination Act, has been discarded by
the Government as indefensible,” says ANTaR National
President, Dr Janet Hunt. ANTaR has consistently opposed
ideas that income quarantining could be seen as a special

Hon Jenny Macklin MP:
Strengthening the Northern Territory Emergency Response
25 Nov 09: “Moving the NTER to a sustainable development
phase can not be achieved while the suspension of the
Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) continues. The
Government will introduce legislation into the Parliament
to repeal all NTER laws that suspend the operation of the
RDA. … Income management will be re-designed as a
non-discriminatory measure. The new scheme will commence
across the NT – in urban, regional and remote areas – as a
first step in a national roll out of income management in
disadvantaged regions.”

Hon Jenny Macklin MP:
Major welfare reforms to protect children and strengthen families
25 Nov 09: “As part of major reforms to the welfare system,
the Australian Government will introduce a new income
management scheme to protect children and families and help
disengaged individuals. The Government is committed to
progressively reforming the welfare and family payment
system to foster responsibility and to provide a platform
for people to move up and out of welfare dependence. The
reforms will help fight passive welfare and mean that more
money goes to food, clothes, rent and less money goes to
buying alcohol and gambling.”

– Opinion

New Matilda: Macklin Announces Massive Changes To Welfare
26 Nov 09: “In order to keep the NT Intervention without
appearing racist, the Government has moved to give itself
income management powers for the whole country, writes
Greens senator Rachel Siewert. Late on Tuesday in Canberra,
while the eyes of the nation were focused on a climate
split in the Coalition party room, the Minister for
Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous
Affairs, Jenny Macklin, quietly briefed a few selected
journalists on controversial plans to roll out welfare
quarantining nationwide. … ” Rachel Siewert

Crikey: Persecuting white and black isn’t racist
25 Nov 09: “How do you discriminate against Aboriginal
families without being racist? You add in non Indigenous
families and treat them equally badly. The reported bad
experiences of income quarantined families do not suggest
that these changes will bring much, if any benefits to the
recipients. Yet Macklin is about to announce that those on
certain benefits in the NT will share the distress and
injustices on a non racist basis.” Eva Cox

Croakey: What will income management mean for peoples’
health and wellbeing?
25 Nov 09: “Croakey has put this question to a range of
people across the health sector, and will keep you posted
as the responses come in. … Two reports from 2008
highlighting the diversity of views on income management.
Circa Report. The CIRCA report was commissioned by the
independent NTER Review Board …
Central Land Council – NTER: Perspectives from Six Communities”

Australian: Tough love works best
25 Nov 09: “EXTENDING income management beyond Northern
Territory indigenous communities to the rest of Australia
should get bipartisan support. Why? Because it works and is
supported by many of the biggest victims of welfare
dysfunction: women and children.” David Moore

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Widespread concerns over nationwide income management roll out
26 Nov 09: “The Rudd government’s plan to rollout the
income management scheme, a controversial plank of the NT
intervention, into the whole of Australia has been met with
criticism, with concerns most of the people affected will
still be Aboriginal. … But welfare groups and Aboriginal
activists have criticised the plan. Former Family Court
Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson, who just this week
launched an independent report labelling the NT
intervention consultations as “fundamentally flawed” told
the ABC that most of the people affected would still be

SMH: Welfare measure attacked
26 Nov 09: “EXPANDING income management across the country
will demonise more people on flawed evidence that it
benefits disadvantaged communities, social service, charity
and church groups say. The controversial measure,
introduced in 2007 as part of the Federal Government’s
intervention into the Northern Territory, was yesterday
extended to low socio-economic groups across the country.”

NT News: Outrage at income plan
26 Nov 09: “WELFARE recipients are outraged about the
Federal Government’s plan to expand income management
across the whole of the Territory. The scheme will force
them to spend half of their payments on food and other
essentials. Federal Families Minister Jenny Macklin said it
would reduce the amount of money spent on grog and gambling.
But Gail Barnes, 39, who has been on the dole for several
years, said the policy was disempowering.”

Australian Council of Social Service – ACOSS News
Rollout of Blanket Income Management Unfair and Un-Australian
25 Nov 09: “ACOSS has raised concerns about the Federal
Government’s plans to roll out income management across the
country, saying it could further disadvantage low income
Australians. “While the reinstatement of the Racial
Discrimination Act is welcome step, it comes at a cost,”
said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social
Service. “These are major reforms to our welfare system and
we are concerned there is no evidence to warrant an
extension of income quarantining.”

Australian: Compulsory income management worst Labor
social policy ever, say Greens
25 Nov 09: “NATIONAL compulsory income management is the
worst social policy of any Labor government, the Australian
Greens say. The Rudd Government wants to force welfare
recipients around the country to spend half of their
payments on essentials like food and clothing.”

Koori Mail: ACOSS slams welfare reform plan
[scroll down page]
25 Nov 09: “THE Australian Council of Social Service
(ACOSS) is concerned that rolling income management out
across the country could further disadvantage low-income
Australians. ACOSS chief executive officer Clare Martin
says blanket income management is unfair, un-Australian and
a blunt instrument which does not consider individual

Koori Mail: Govt fails to listen to Aboriginal concerns: ANTaR
[scroll down page]
25 Nov 09: “A FEDERAL Government proposal to eventually
extend welfare quarantining from just Aboriginal people in
the Northern Territory to communities throughout Australia
is proof the Government failed to listen during recent
consultations with Aboriginal people regarding NT Emergency
Response measures, according to Australians for Native
Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) president Janet Hunt.”

ABC: Welfare changes like Big Brother: ex-chief justice
25 Nov 09: “A former chief justice says compulsory income
management is like Big Brother and interferes with people’s
rights and liberties. … Alistair Nicholson says the
income management measures may allow the Government to
reinstate the Act but the policy could still be considered

ABC AM: Welfare quarantining set to go national
25 Nov 09: “Welfare recipients are facing significant
restrictions on the way they can spend their payments under
major changes to the welfare system announced by the
Federal Government. The measure of quarantining welfare so
money can only be spent on essential items has been in
place in Northern Territory Indigenous communities as part
of the federal intervention. Now the Government plans to
extend the scheme to non-Indigenous people in the Northern

ABC: Welfare plan to be tested on Territorians
25 Nov 09: “The Federal Government has taken the first step
in rolling out compulsory income management in
disadvantaged communities across the country. It is part of
changes to the Northern Territory Intervention to make it
comply with the Racial Discrimination Act. Until now, the
scheme has been used only in Indigenous communities.”

SMH: Welfare control goes country-wide
25 Nov 09: “COMPULSORY income management will be expanded
to welfare recipients across the country to make the
Government’s control of Aboriginal welfare comply with
racial discrimination laws. From July 1, the measure that
forces people in remote indigenous communities to allocate
half their welfare payments to food, rent and clothing,
will apply to all severely disadvantaged people.”

Australian: New law to quarantine all welfare payments
25 Nov 09: “WELFARE recipients across Australia face
compulsory income-management under a Rudd government move
to ensure their payments are not being wasted on alcohol,
drugs or gambling. Under legislation to be introduced into
the House of Representatives today, the government will
have the power to require that 50 per cent of a welfare
recipient’s payments be quarantined for spending on food
and the essentials of life.”

Koori Mail: Income management to spread
[scroll down page]
25 Nov 09: “COMPULSORY income management will be extended
to non-Aboriginal welfare recipients in the Northern
Territory by the end of next year and eventually across the
board in other disadvantaged regions of Australia. The
moves form part of Federal Government attempts to make
‘non-discriminatory’ the NT Emergency Response (NTER) or
Intervention, which suspended the operation of the Racial
Discrimination Act in 73 NT Aboriginal communities.”

ABC: Kids’ plight forces Macklin’s hand on income management
26 Nov 09: “Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin’s radical move to extend income management to all
welfare recipients in the Northern Territory is in part a
recognition that child safety in the NT is far from
satisfactory. A crucial decision in the Federal Court today
has determined that the Federal Government can proceed to
take over the Alice Springs town camps.”

ABC: Income management to be extended
24 Nov 09: “The Federal Government is preparing to announce
significant changes to welfare policy, with income
management to be extended to include non-Indigenous people.
People living in prescribed Indigenous communities in the
Northern Territory have restrictions placed on the way they
spend welfare payments as part of the emergency
Intervention. The Federal Government is now moving to
extend those measures throughout the Territory.”

– Reports

FaHCSIA: Policy Statement: Landmark Reform to the Welfare
System, Reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act, and
Strengthening of the Northern Territory Emergency Response
Nov 2009: “The Government is moving to introduce landmark
reforms to the welfare system which, over time, will see
the national roll out of a non-discriminatory scheme to
income manage welfare payments in disadvantaged regions
across Australia.”

FaHCSIA: Report On the NTER Redesign Engagement Strategy
and Implementation
Nov 2009


– Background on the Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response

– Media Releases

STICS – Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
FaHCSIA’s Whitewash ‘consultation’ report
25 Nov 09: “The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney
(STICS) has labeled a FaHCSIA report on NT Intervention
consultations a “shambolic whitewash”, deliberately
designed to mask deep community opposition to Intervention
measures. STICS says that claims of community support for
the Intervention rely on secret, unaccountable meetings
with Intervention staff. The strong anti-Intervention
sentiments expressed through public consultation meetings
have been misrepresented or ignored. Contrary to Minister
Jenny Macklin’s statements, the report provides evidence
that the Intervention is responsible for widespread abuses
of human rights and the intensification of many social
problems, particularly relating to alcohol.”

ANTaR: Racial Discrimination Act changes crucial to
re-engage Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory
25 Nov 09: ” “Reports released on Monday on the Federal
Government’s consultation process for ‘redesigning’ the
NTER indicate the urgent need for fundamental change in the
government’s approach to dealing with Aboriginal
communities in the Northern Territory”, ANTaR President,
Dr Janet Hunt said. … The reports reveal a deeply
disturbing picture of widespread community frustration and
confusion regarding the measures introduced under the NTER.
Communities have been struggling to cope with chaotic,
uncoordinated and disempowering changes that have been
imposed without their input. “The government’s consultation
process provides no basis for continuing aspects of the
NTER, such as compulsory quarantining of income – either as
so-called ‘special measures’ or if applied to all welfare
recipients across the Territory to avoid racial
discrimination”, Dr Hunt said … “

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Reinstating the RDA in the Northern Territory welcomed
25 Nov 09: “The Australian Human Rights Commission has
welcomed today’s announcement by the Australian Government
that it will reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA)
in the Northern Territory in 2010. Race Discrimination
Commissioner, Graeme Innes, said the proposal to
progressively lift the suspension of the RDA and
anti-discrimination laws in the Northern Territory and
Queensland was essential for Australia to be able to comply
with its human rights obligations and ensure that people
were protected from discrimination on the basis of their

– Audio

Rollback the Intervention: Audio
November 26, 2009: Rally outside FaHCSIA, Sydney
[Under the theme: “Unconditionally restore the Racial
Discrimination Act: Racism is not a special measure”]
“Uncle Dootch Kennedy- Sandon Point Tent Embassy …
Larissa Behrendt-Director- Research Unit,
Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS …
Eva Cox- Women for Wik …
Paddy Gibson- Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney …
Barb Shaw- Mount Nancy Town Camp and Intervention Rollback
Action Group Alice Springs (via phone link) …
Michael Brull_Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney”

Dodson: Racial Discrimination Act to force intervention changes
21 Nov 09: “Aboriginal leader Mick Dodson says the Federal
Government will have to abandon compulsory management of
welfare income in the Northern Territory if the Racial
Discrimination Act is reinstated. The act was suspended
back in 2007 with the Howard government’s intervention. But
next week, the Rudd Government will introduce legislation
to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975. … “
[includes interview with Mick Dodson]

– News

Koori Mail: Other Intervention measures here to stay
[scroll down page]
25 Nov 09: “THE Federal Government says it will modify but
keep alcohol and pornography restrictions, five-year
leases, expanded law enforcement powers and other key
measures under the Northern Territory Emergency Response
(NTER). Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin and
Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon say the measures
qualify as ‘special measures’ under the Racial
Discrimination Act, which the Government says it will now
seek to reinstate in affected communities.”

Koori Mail: All eyes on Govt for reinstatement of RDA
[scroll down page]
24 Nov 09: “THE Australian Government is expected to reveal
today how it intends to ensure that measures under the
Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) will comply
with the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. Speculation is
rife over whether such controversial intervention measures
as compulsory income quarantining can continue in NT
Aboriginal communities if the Act is reinstated there.”

ABC Alice Springs:
Racial Discrimination Act will change intervention: Dodson
22 Nov 09: “Indigenous leader Mick Dodson says a plan to
re-instate the racial discrimination act in the Northern
Territory is at odds with the intervention in Indigenous
communities. … Professor Dodson says the intervention
itself is discriminatory and will have to be changed
dramatically if the laws are reintroduced.”


Posted in NEWSLETTER on 29/11/2009 by D

Will they be heard? – independent report on NTER “consultations”
Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps Court ruling


– Report

Will they be heard? – a response to the NTER Consultations
– June to August 2009
Introduction by the Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC
Prepared by Alastair Nicholson, Larissa Behrendt,
Alison Vivian, Nicole Watson and Michele Harris
Research Unit, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning
Nov 2009: “II. Summary Points
37. The consultation process undertaken by the Department
of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous
Affairs (‘FaHCSIA’) in relation to the Northern Territory
Emergency Response (‘NTER’) is insufficient to qualify as
indicating consent by Aboriginal people in the Northern
Territory to special measures for the purposes of the Racial
Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth).
38. The deficiencies in the process include:
a. Lack of independence from government on the part of the
people undertaking the consultancy;
b. Lack of Aboriginal input into design and implementation;
c. Lack of notice;
d. An absence of interpreters;
e. The consultations took place on plans and decisions
already made by the government;
f. Inadequate explanations of the NTER measures;
g. Failure to explain complex legal concepts; and
h. Concerns about the government’s motives in implementing
consultation. … “

– Media Releases

Melbourne Law School: The University of Melbourne:
The Hon. Malcolm Fraser launches “Will they be heard?” report
23 Nov 09: “Former Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Fraser,
has joined legal experts and community group “concerned
Australians” in calling for the Rudd Government to
reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act, in line with human
rights principles, as he launched the “Will they be heard?”
report at Melbourne Law School, today. In launching “Will
they be heard?”, the Hon. Malcolm Fraser, said the report
provided detailed evidence that the Government’s
consultation with Aboriginal communities was significantly
flawed and had a predetermined end, that resulted in the
views of Aboriginal communities not being heard, even
though the imposition of “special measures” such as income
management, would have a profound and direct affect on

Greens: Independent report suggests Macklin’s attempts to
restore the RDA will fail
23 Nov 09: “An independent report released today on recent
Northern Territory reform consultation undermines any
attempt by Minister Jenny Macklin to restore the Racial
Discrimination Act by appealing to ‘special measures.’ The
independent report is at odds with the FaHCSIA consultation
report and media statements today by Minister Jenny Macklin
– who claims the consultations were ‘comprehensive’ and
highlighted comments supporting the NTER. “The independent
report concludes that serious deficiencies in FaHCSIA’s
consultation process mean that it cannot be legally
considered as indicating consent to the use of
discriminatory measures for the purposes of the Racial
Discrimination Act,” said Greens Aboriginal Issues
spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.”

STICS – Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
RDA reinstatement masks continuation of racist laws
24 Nov 09: “The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
(STICS) has condemned Minister Jenny Macklin’s plans to
introduce legislation this week, which characterise NT
Intervention controls as “special measures” under the
Racial Discrimination Act (1975). … “The government
claims to have held over 500 consultations – as though
Intervention policies have the support of effected
communities. However, the results of these consultations
were exposed as a farce the same day they were released.
The consultations were subject to devastating criticisms by
scholars like Alastair Nicholson and Larissa Behrendt.
They’ve shown that the decision to continue the
Intervention was made before the process started, and the
government structured meetings to stifle opposition.” “

Greens: NTER reform consultation meeting transcripts
denied public scrutiny
26 Nov 09: “The Senate today refused an Australian Greens’
motion to make available transcripts of the Government’s
Northern Territory reform consultation meetings. … “An
independent report has shown that deep flaws exist in the
Government’s consultation process. Yet the Government is
claiming there is support for continuing the use of
discriminatory measures, which is not consistent with the
findings of the Independent Review.” … “The independent
report identified significant problems in the manner in
which the consultation meetings they attended were
conducted, and released full transcripts that support
these claims,” said Senator Siewert.”

– Opinion

ABC Unleashed: Will they be heard?
26 Nov 09: “The Government plans to introduce amendments to
Parliament that have the effect of reviving the Racial
Discrimination Act in those NT Aboriginal communities
affected by the Howard Government’s 2007 Intervention.
While this is to be applauded, it appears that the
Government also wants to preserve aspects of the
Intervention and has held ‘consultations’ with the
communities which it hopes will enable it to characterise a
number of measures, including compulsory income protection
as ‘special measures’ under the Act.” Alastair Nicholson

Crikey: Jenny Macklin turns a deaf ear to intervention gripes
24 Nov 09: “Yesterday a group of well-qualified
commentators released a report called Will they be heard?,
which involved a detailed analysis of more than nine hours
of consultations between FaHCSIA and Aboriginal communities
at Bagot, Utopia and Ampilatwatja, plus government
summaries of all consultations held.” Eva Cox

New Matilda: The Government Wants A Word With You
23 Nov 09: “The Rudd Government seems to have a very
interesting idea of what ‘community consultation’ actually
means, writes Sarah Burnside … Tomorrow, at Melbourne Law
School, speakers including former prime minister Malcolm
Fraser and retired Melbourne bishop Hilton Deakin will
launch a report entitled Will they be heard? A response to
the NTER consultations June — August 2009. The report is
based on independent records of recent consultations held at
the Northern Territory communities of Utopia, Bagot and
Ampilatwatja.” Sarah Burnside

– Video

Vimeo: NT Intervention “consultations” at three communities
by Eleanor Gilbert
26 Nov 09: “Recordings of the “consultations” at
Bagot Community, Ampilatwatja and Arlparra/Utopia
– 5 minutes from each community”

Vimeo: “Will They Be Heard”: Malcolm Fraser launches
independent report on NT Intervention “consultations”
by Eleanor Gilbert
26 Nov 09: “Malcolm Fraser, former PM’s speech at the
launch of the independent report “Will They Be Heard?” “

Vimeo: Alastair Nicholson’s critique of NT Intervention
by Eleanor Gilbert
27 Nov 09: “Alastair Nicholson, Former Chief Justice of the
Family Court delivers his critique of the FHCSIA
“consultations” and introduces Shane Charles, Prof Larissa
Behrendt, Theo Mackaay”

– Radio

ABC Life Matters:
Northern Territory consultation process ‘flawed’
24 Nov 09: “The Australian government has recently
consulted with Aboriginal communities about the Northern
Territory Emergency Response, known as ‘the Intervention’,
launched by the previous government. An independent report,
Will They Be Heard?, has called the consultation process
‘wasteful’ and ‘flawed’. It’s identified a lack of
independence and transparency with the process, and a
failure to properly explain the ‘special measures’ and
legal concepts. …
Guests: Alaistair Nicholson, Co-author, Will They Be Heard?
Former Chief Justice of the Family Court”

NT intervention deliberately ignored Indigenous views: report
23 Nov 09: “A new report accuses the Federal Government of
deliberately ignoring the views of Aboriginal people on the
Northern Territory Intervention. The former Prime Minister
Malcolm Fraser is launching the report this evening. The
former Chief Justice of the Family Court Alastair Nicholson
is one of the report’s authors. It concludes that the
government’s “consultation” sessions were a sham, which
offered the communities no choice on the Intervention’s
[includes interview with Alastair Nicholson]

ABC PM: Minister defends intervention consultations
23 Nov 09: “The Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny
Macklin says the report is wrong. Releasing the results of
the government’s consultations on the intervention today,
she said that generally people had reported benefits from
compulsory income management. She says the consultations
were comprehensive and were also monitored by an
independent agency.”

– News

ABC: ‘Inept’ consultations ignored Indigenous views
24 Nov 09: “A new report accuses the Federal Government of
deliberately ignoring the views of Aboriginal people on the
Northern Territory Intervention. It concludes that the
Government’s “consultation” sessions were a sham, which
offered the communities no choice on the intervention’s
future. … The “Will They Be Heard” report has been put
together by a community group called Concerned Australians.”
[includes 72 comments]

National Indigenous Times: Report revealing “fundamentally
flawed” consultations backed by Australian Greens
24 Nov 09: “The Australian Greens have seized on the
findings of an independent report as proof the Rudd
government’s consultations with Aboriginal communities over
the Northern Territory intervention were flawed. Greens
Indigenous spokeswoman Senator Rachel Siewert says
discriminatory elements of the scheme must now be scrapped.
“For all intents and purposes there has been a failure to
consult,” she said in a statement. “Claims of alleged
support for the proposed measures are not credible, and the
minister cannot use this process to claim genuine informed
consent.” “

Koori Mail: NTER reports diverge
[scroll down page]
24 Nov 09: “TWO divergent reports have been released on
community consultations over the ongoing NT Emergency
Response (NTER). Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser
yesterday launched a report that argues the inadequacy of
consultations held at Bagot, Ampilatwatja and Utopia, while
Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin released
a report on 500 meetings and workshops she said were
‘extensive’ and welcomed by many people as genuine.”


– Media Release

Rollback the Intervention: Media Releases
26 Nov 09: “On behalf of my fellow applicants I am making a
brief statement in relation to the court findings. We were
pleased to hear we won the two court injunctions back on
6 August, today we are sadden by the court’s rulings. With
the case, we were trying to give Aboriginal people affected
by the government’s policies a chance to take part in the
decision-making processes. We exercise our right under the
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which this
government finally supports.” Barbara Shaw, Mt Nancy Town
Camp, Mpartnwe-Alice Springs

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Aboriginal pleas fall on deaf ears over town camp takeover: Shaw
27 Nov 09: “A Federal Court decision to allow the federal
government to take over town camps in Alice Springs is
further proof Aboriginal people are not being listened to,
a town camp resident says. Mt Nancy town camp resident
Barbara Shaw in August won an injunction to halt the
activation of the leases of 16 Northern Territory Indigenous
housing associations. The federal government said it wanted
secure land tenure before spending money on new housing,
refurbishments and other works. Ms Shaw argued the 40-year
leases weren’t in the interests of the Aboriginal people
living in the camps and said there was no guarantee $100
million in promised funding would actually be spent.”

National Indigenous Times: Town camp takeover will allow
work to start by Christmas: Henderson
27 Nov 09: “Work will begin before Christmas to improve the
living standards of Aboriginal people in Alice Springs,
following a federal court decision allowing the federal
takeover of town camps. Northern Territory Chief Minister
Paul Henderson made the promise in Parliament in Alice
Springs on Thursday. He said he welcomed the Federal Court
decision, handed down in Adelaide on Thursday, to dismiss
an appeal against the planned takeover.”

Australian: Court win paves way for camp upgrades
27 Nov 09: “THE federal government will urgently move to
clean up Alice Springs Aboriginal town camps ahead of a
$100 million package of housing upgrades, after a court
rejected a last-ditch bid by residents to halt long-term
lease deals.”

Age: Town camp residents lose court challenge
27 Nov 09: “THE Federal Government will proceed with its
$100 million plan to improve conditions in Alice Springs’
decrepit town camps after a court yesterday rejected a
legal challenge by indigenous residents. Led by Barbara
Shaw, the camp residents argued that housing associations
that control the camps had signed new 40-year subleases
with the Government illegally, … “

National Indigenous Times: Rudd govt can proceed with
Alice Springs town camp takeover: court ruling
26 Nov 09: “The federal government can take over town camps
in Alice Springs after the Federal Court dismissed an
appeal to the deal. Justice John Mansfield today dismissed
an appeal against the planned takeover, launched by town
camp resident Barbara Shaw.”

Koori Mail: Alice Springs camps challenge fails
[scroll down page]
26 Nov 09: “ALICE Springs town camp residents have lost
their legal bid to stop the Federal Government from taking
over the leases on their land. The case, brought by town
camp resident Barbara Shaw, was rejected by the Federal
Court, but the judge has granted a temporary stay to allow
for an appeal.”

ABC: Alice town campers lose bid against takeover
26 Nov 09: “Alice Springs town camp residents have lost
their case against a Federal Government plan to impose new
lease agreements on their land. About 3000 people live in
town camps on the outskirts of Alice Springs. The
Government said it would compulsorily acquire the town camp
land if residents did not sign new 40-year leases in
exchange for the promise of housing upgrades.”

ABC: Residents fail in town camp challenge
26 Nov 09: “The Federal Government says it will soon be
able to start work cleaning up impoverished Indigenous town
camps in Alice Springs after winning a vital legal

– Radio

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
27 Nov 09: “Alice Springs Town Camp residents have a week
to appeal the decision by the Federal Court’s injuction of
the Rudd Government land take over.”

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
26 Nov 09: “Federal court has dismissed an appeal for the
Federal Government’s land takeover for Tangentyere town

ABC PM: Alice town camps sign lease deal with Commonwealth
26 Nov 09: “The Federal Government says it will soon be
able to start work cleaning up the impoverished Indigenous
town camps in Alice Springs. Sixteen of the camps have
agreed to sign 40 year leases with the Commonwealth in
return for hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent on
new houses and infrastructure. That plan was put on hold
when one resident launched a legal challenge to the leases.
But that was dismissed in the Federal Court today.”

ABC The World Today: Commonwealth wins court challenge
26 Nov 09: “BEN SCHOKMAN: I wouldn’t say it’s a
disappointing outcome. I think the important message here
is the fact that affected Indigenous communities feel as
though they haven’t had an adequate opportunity to
participate in decision making about matters which affect
them. Now the right of self determination is a fundamental
human right and the approach that we’re seeing of the
current Federal Government is to entirely disregard that
right. ELEANOR HALL: That’s lawyer Ben Schokman.”


Posted in NEWSLETTER on 22/11/2009 by D

Visit to Australia by Amnesty International Secretary General
Government progress report on the NT Intervention
Upcoming NT Intervention Protests
Other NT Intervention Articles
Other Aboriginal Articles


– News

National Indigenous Times: Indigenous poverty as
‘morally outrageous’ as torture: Amnesty head
19 Nov 09: “The poverty experienced by many Aboriginal
people is as morally reprehensible as torture and must be
eradicated, Amnesty International secretary-general Irene
Khan says. In Australia for a week-long visit, Ms Khan has
also called on the Rudd government to end the
discriminatory measures of the Northern Territory
intervention into remote Indigenous communities. They were
“stigmatising and disempowering an already marginalised
people”, she said.”

Koori Mail: Amnesty criticises intervention
[scroll down page]
18 Nov 09: “AMNESTY International says it’s ‘morally
repugnant’ that many Indigenous people live in poverty in a
country as rich as Australia. In Canberra today, the human
rights agency’s Secretary General Irene Khan described
compulsory income quarantining under the NT intervention as
‘a blunt instrument’ that unnecessarily pitted one set of
human rights against another, and said the Federal
Government was not genuinely engaging with Indigenous

ABC: ‘Tide of human tragedy’ affecting Aborigines
18 Nov 09: “The Secretary-General of Amnesty International
has criticised the Federal Government for its failure to
lift Aboriginal people out of dire poverty. Irene Khan says
she is appalled by conditions in the remote Aboriginal
communities she recently visited in the Northern Territory.
She says the human rights of Aboriginal people are being

Rollback the Intervention: Latest News
[scroll down page]
16 Nov 09: “Members of IRAG [Intervention Rollback Action
Group] met with Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty
International, and the Amnesty team. Ms Khan was presented
with a book of the statements collected over the past year
from Aboriginal people attending convergences and
gatherings, from individual Aboriginal people, and other
relevant statements. Information was also given verbally on
people’s experiences under the NT Intervention. Amnesty has
a strong commitment to ensuring the Racial Discrimination
Act is reinstated and that any special measures comply with
Australia’s international obligations.”

National Indigenous Times: INTERVENTION TALES:
Amnesty head shocked by conditions in Central Australia
16 Nov 09: “The Secretary General of Amnesty International
[Irene Khan] has likened conditions in Central Australia to
the poorest parts of Africa and Asia, and described the gap
between rich and poor in this country as the most stark
she’s even seen. … The 2006 Sydney Peace Prize winner is
in Australia this week as part of a campaign by Amnesty
International to urge the Rudd government to reinstate the
Racial Discrimination Act to the Northern Territory
emergency intervention legislation. Her trip includes a
meeting with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny
Macklin in Canberra tomorrow (Tuesday), and an address to
the National Press Club later in the week.”

ABC: Shocking conditions in Utopia: Amnesty
16 Nov 09: “Irene Khan visited the Utopia region yesterday
to assess the impact of government policies, such as the
Northern Territory Emergency Response. She says
intervention policies such as the suspension of the Racial
Discrimination Act are contributing to Aboriginal poverty
in Central Australia.”

– Audio

ABC PM: Amnesty condemns NT intervention
18 Nov 09: “The Secretary General of Amnesty International
[Irene Khan] has met the Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin in Canberra to tell her of Amnesty’s condemnation
of the Northern Territory intervention. … From our
Canberra studio this afternoon, Irene Khan told me that
she’d seen Jenny Macklin after visiting the Aboriginal
community at Utopia in the Northern Territory.”

Rollback the Intervention: Audio
“November 15 2009: Barkly Shire President Rosalie
Kunoth-Monks opens session with Amnesty International
secretary general Irene Khan at Utopia , NT (5 mins)”

– Action

Amnesty International Australia:
The unheard truth in the heart of Australia
19 Nov 09: ” “In the heart of this first world I found
scenes more reminiscent of the third world. That Indigenous
peoples experience human rights violations on a continent
of such privilege is not merely disheartening, it is
morally outrageous. The moral imperative to eradicate such
poverty is no less an imperative on government than to
eliminate torture.” Irene Khan … This was the reaction of
Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan upon her
visit to the Utopia Homelands last week.”


– Background

WGAR News: NT Intervention:
Government progress report on the NT Intervention (15 Nov 09)
[scroll down page]

– Opinion

Green Left: Gov’t report condemns NT intervention
18 Nov 09: “The Northern Territory Emergency Response, a
“tough love” government intervention into remote NT
Aboriginal communities, has been renamed by the federal ALP
government. Its official name is now “Closing the Gap NT”.
However, a new government progress report on the
intervention has revealed it’s causing the huge gap between
Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people to widen.”
Peter Robson

National Indigenous Times:
THE POINTED VIEW: Spin over substance in intervention report
12 Nov 09: “The Minister for Indigenous Affair’s take on
“evidence-based” policy is concerning, writes LARISSA
BEHRENDT*. There is no doubt that this Minister of
Indigenous Affairs is good at spin. She has deflected all
range of policy failures with the trite phrase, “I just
care about women and children”. … The Minister has a
tendency to spin what she claims are positive outcomes from
the Northern Territory intervention.” Larissa Behrendt,
Professor of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney

National Indigenous Times:
TERRITORY TALKIN’: News from a flailed state
12 Nov 09: “It’s unlike Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin to hide her light under a bushel, but TT can’t help
noticing that an intervention review report has been posted
on the FaHCSIA website without the usual drum-roll and
fanfare of trumpets. And it’s not even called the
‘intervention review’ anymore, having morphed into the
warmer and cuddlier title of ‘Closing the Gap in the
Northern Territory’. “Why is it so?” Julius Sumner Miller
would doubtless have wanted to know.” Graham Ring


Stop the Intervention
[scroll down page]
“Ralley Thursday, 26 November 2009
12:30 pm @ FaHCSIA office, 280 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
(near Central)
Unconditionally restore the Racial Discrimination Act:
Racism is not a special measure”

Rollback the Intervention: Upcoming Events
[scroll down page]
“13 February 2010 “SORRY IS NOT ENOUGH”
National Day of Action
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Byron Bay,
Alice Springs, Darwin, Perth
2nd Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations
Still no compensation
Still a racist NT Intervention
Still Deaths in Custody
Less jobs, more imprisonment for Aboriginal people”

Stop the Intervention
[scroll down page]
“Request for endorsement of protests on February 13, 2010
On the 13th of February 2010, Stop the Intervention
Collective Sydney (STICS) is organising a protest as part
of a national day of action against the NT Intervention and
for Aboriginal rights.”

Stop the Intervention
[scroll down page]
“Statement by representatives from “prescribed communities”
A call for protests on February 13, 2010
Macklin breaks another promise – Racism is not a “special
measure” “


– Background on the Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response

– Radio

CAAMA Radio News AM
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
19 Nov 09: “The Racial Discrimination act will not be
reinstated in the Northern Territory this year.”

– News

ABC Alice Springs: 2010 vote for Racial Discrimination Act
19 Nov 09: “The Federal Government will not reinstate the
Racial Discrimination Act in the Northern Territory this
year. The former government suspended the laws as part of
the Northern Territory intervention. Indigenous Affairs
Minister Jenny Macklin plans to introduce legislation next
week to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act – but it
will not be voted on until next year.”

National Indigenous Times:
Aboriginal woman appointed NT anti-discrimination commissioner
18 Nov 09: “An Aboriginal woman will serve as
Anti-Discrimination Commissioner of the Northern Territory
for the first time. NT Attorney-General Delia Lawrie on
Tuesday named Patricia Miller to the position, after several
days of controversy and speculation surrounding the
appointment. … In the role, Dr Miller said she would play
an important part in the reinstatement and enforcement of
the national Racial Discrimination Act.”

National Indigenous Times:
Dodson wants an end to income management
18 Nov 09: “COMPULSORY income management is doing nothing
to improve the wellbeing of Aborigines in Northern
Territory communities, indigenous leader Mick Dodson says.
The Australian of the Year says the measure, one of the
more extreme elements of Federal intervention, has the
capacity to do enormous damage. “Especially when it’s
targeted at Aboriginal people,” he told a national welfare
conference in Canberra on Tuesday.”

Australian: Housing reviews remain secret
17 Nov 09: “THE Northern Territory government has rejected
the need for public scrutiny of the crisis-plagued
Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Project,
refusing to release its external reviews into the first
stage of the Aboriginal housing program.”

Australian: Home scheme falling short
16 Nov 09: “FOUR out of five proposed renovations to houses
in several central Australian communities have been
scrapped because of cost blowouts in the crisis-ridden $672
million Aboriginal housing program, which is yet to build a
single house.”

ABC: Indigenous kids’ lung problems ‘not followed-up’
16 Nov 09: “A senior Northern Territory doctor says the
federal intervention documented serious lung problems in
thousands of Indigenous children but not enough resources
have been provided to follow-up the issue.”

National Indigenous Times:
TWO WORLDS: Power to the forgotten people
12 Nov 09: “NIT editor-at-large CHRIS GRAHAM* has been
travelling through Central Australia, reporting on the NT
intervention. You won’t believe what he found.”


– Research Monograph

Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research:
Power, Culture, Economy: Indigenous Australians and Mining
“Jon Altman and David Martin (Eds)
Research Monograph 30 / 2009″

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
NIT FORUMS: Restoring identity before it’s too late
12 Nov 09: “Governments must get serious about providing
proper reparations to members of the Stolen Generations,
writes VAVAA MAWULI*.” Vavaa Mawuli, a senior solicitor in
the Indigenous Justice Program at the Public Interest
Advocacy Centre

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Last bomb testing land to be returned to traditional owners
18 Nov 09: “The final section of the former British
Maralinga nuclear test site in South Australia is to be
handed back to its traditional owners. The state government
on Tuesday introduced legislation to parliament to allow
for Section 400, an area of 3,100 square kilometres, to be
returned to the Maralinga Tjarutja people.”

National Indigenous Times: Freddo charges against
Aboriginal 12-year-old likely to be dropped
18 Nov 09: “A 12-year-old Aboriginal boy charged with
receiving a chocolate Freddo Frog is almost certain to have
charges against him withdrawn following the intervention of
the West Australian police commissioner. The boy, who
appeared on Monday in Northam Children’s Court, east of
Perth, has indicated he will plead not guilty to counts of
receiving a Freddo Frog and a novelty sign, allegedly
stolen from stores in the area.”

National Indigenous Times:
Healthy food needed on outback shelves: report finds
17 Nov 09: “More can and must be done to ensure community
stores in remote Aboriginal communities are providing fresh
and healthy food at a reasonable cost, an inquiry has
found. Heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure and obesity
are major problems in Indigenous communities nationwide.
But a federal inquiry into outback stores, tabled in
federal parliament on Monday, has found fresh produce in
remote locations is 20 per cent more expensive than in

Croakey: Is the NT leading the way in primary health care
reform and Indigenous health partnerships?
11 Nov 09: “The launch on Remembrance Day of Pathways to
community control was a poignant moment for Stephanie Bell,
chairperson of AMSANT [Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance
Northern Territory]. For the first time, the Commonwealth
and a “state” government—the Northern Territory—had reached
an agreement with the Aboriginal Community Controlled
health sector to expand community-controlled primary health
care across a whole jurisdiction.”


Posted in EVENTS on 13/11/2009 by D