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] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
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] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
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] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
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] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
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] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
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.”


  1. Daphne Naden Says:

    Family Income Management has been imposed in my home community at the Mossman Gorge (not a remote community – 5 minutes drive out of Mossman township and 1 hrs drive on sealed road to Cairns, the Regional service centre) for over 7 years now. Still NO NOTABALE IMPROVEMENT. This community has third world health conditions, grossly overcrowded housing, lack of employment/training opportunities etc. etc. Why – because of marginalisation and blatant racism. What to do? – Pearson & the government’s solution – Impose Welfare Reform measures on top of this. After 2 years – NO NOTABLE IMPROVEMENT. Where are the millions going? Is it to prop up the regional organisations – give more jobs to “qualified” non-Indigenous people. AT the end of the day – tax payers will be screaming “waste of public monies” and pointing the fingure at the community people. The Government should be looking into the competence of regional organisations (both Indigneous & mainstream) and asking why after so many years there’s little or no measurable outcomes. Don’t blame the local community people for the incompetance and blatant empire building schemes of Regional organisations. How is success measured by Government these days – by ticking of the boxes of national, state and regional plans (not actually meeting the needs of the community people). Where are the community plans?
    Fame and recognition is what’s driving government bureaucrats and local Indigenous leaders at the demise of community people’s dignity and rights as human beings.
    Welfare (I think) should be made available to all Australians who fit the criteria; without any conditions attached.

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