WGAR website: http://wgar.info/

NT government diverts $2 billion earmarked for Aboriginal
and other disadvantage
Alice Springs town camp residents decide against appeal
Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs
Extension of Welfare Quarantining to Non-Aboriginal People
Council for Territory Co-operation
Will they be heard? report on “consultations”
NT Intervention Articles
Other Aboriginal Articles


– News

Australian: $2bn diverted from aid for Aborigines and welfare
28 Nov 09: “THE Northern Territory Labor government has for
the past five years diverted $2 billion earmarked for
indigenous disadvantage and other key services to
mainstream spending in marginal Darwin seats. … In
services to indigenous communities alone, the Territory
government has on average underspent by 54 per cent.”

– Radio

CAAMA News Radio
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
30 Nov 09: “N.T. Government allegedly misspending
Commonwealth Indigenous disadvantage money.”


– Media Release

Residents decide against appeal on Alice Springs town camps
Statement on behalf of the Applicants
3 Dec 09: “Alice Springs town camp residents have this
morning decided not to proceed with an appeal against the
Federal Court’s decision last week to uphold the validity
of the Federal Government’s 40-year leases over the town
camps. The Court’s ruling will take effect at 10.30am EST
this morning. The leases enable the Federal Government to
take control of Aboriginal land for 40 years, during which
time residents will be substantially alienated from
participating in decision making about what happens in the
town camps. The residents have been extremely concerned
that the terms of the 40-year leases impact on their
fundamental rights of self-determination and control over
communal lands.”

– News

Koori Mail: No appeal from town camp residents
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
3 Dec 09: “ALICE Springs town camp residents have this
morning decided not to proceed with an appeal against the
Federal Court’s decision last week to uphold the validity
of the Federal Government’s 40-year leases over the town
camps. The Court’s ruling will now take effect from today.”

Brisbane Times: Residents won’t appeal town camp ruling
3 Dec 09: “Alice Springs town camp residents will not
appeal to a higher court over a Federal Court decision to
allow the commonwealth to take over town camps. Mt Nancy
town camp resident Barbara Shaw in August won an injunction
to halt the execution of the leases of 16 Northern
Territory indigenous housing associations. … But last
week, the Federal Court dismissed the appeal that followed
the injunction, … “

– Radio

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
4 Dec 09: “Residents decide against appeal on Tangentyere
Alice Springs town camps.”


– News

Tangentyere Council homepage:

Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs:
Tangentyere Welcomes Agreement
27 Nov 09: “Tangentyere Council today announced that the
Alice Springs Town Camp Housing Associations had agreed to
the terms and conditions for the sub-lease of their Special
Purposes Leases offered by the Australian Government. The
way is now clear to begin addressing the enormous
accumulation of need built through years of neglect by
government authorities. The main sticking point had always
been the fate of people who might face eviction by
Territory housing, when the government took over tenancy
management in the Town camps.”

Australian: Aboriginal council confirms town camps in
Alice Springs will sign 40-year lease
30 Nov 09: “THE Aboriginal council in charge of Alice
Springs’ town camps has confirmed the camps’ governing
bodies will honour an agreement with the federal government
to sign long-term leases. Tangentyere Council president
Walter Shaw said the town camps’ housing associations had
agreed to the terms of the sub-leases being offered by the

Koori Mail: Work to begin in town camps
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
4 Dec 09: “With legal obstacles now removed, leases for the
town camps in Alice Springs have been signed and
transformation work is about to begin, according to the
Federal and Northern Territory governments. Federal
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said a major
clean up would begin next week, and housing and
infrastructure work would begin in the new year.”


– Background

WGAR News: Income Management to be extended to include
Non-Aboriginal People (30 Nov 09)

– Opinion

On Line Opinion: Proving yourself to Centrelink
3 Dec 09: “How many of us could justify how we spend our
money to a middle level officer from Centrelink? How do we
prove we are engaged with our community and responsible in
our spending? What about the utilities bill that we paid
late or the bargain case of booze with Christmas coming up?”
Eva Cox

Solidarity: RDA still suspended, Macklin entrenches Intervention
Dec 09: ” … Macklin has used two strategies to get around
the contradiction between racist Intervention laws and the
RDA. Firstly, the system of compulsory welfare
quarantining, currently applied only to “prescribed”
Aboriginal communities, will be extended to a range of
Centrelink recipients right across the NT. Secondly, all
other Intervention powers that have been used to enforce
the assimilationist agenda: compulsory 5-year leases;
draconian police powers; Government Business Managers and
bans on alcohol and pornography, will be declared “special
measures” under the RDA.” Paddy Gibson

Green Left: ‘First they came for the Aboriginal people…’
– new plan to extend ‘welfare quarantining’ to all
2 Dec 09: “On November 25, the federal Labor government
tabled legislation in parliament to allow the extension of
the policy of “welfare quarantining” to unemployed people
and single parents throughout the country regardless of
ethnic background.” Tony Iltis

NT News Editorial: Paternalistic? You bet it is
1 Dec 09: “PREDICTABLY, the Federal Government income
management initiative has angered many liberals. Yes, it is
paternalistic. And, yes, it is a bit Big Brother. But the
scheme will be applauded by most Australians as a bold and
imaginative step towards ending welfare dependency.”

Australian: And income control for all
28 Nov 09: “WHEN Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin
unveiled her sweeping revisions to the Northern Territory
emergency response this week, not only did she neatly
defuse the intervention’s discriminatory aspects, she
foreshadowed a transformation of welfare policies on a
national scale.” Nicolas Rothwell

National Indigenous Times:
RINGY’S RAMBLINGS: Challenging the incoming figures
26 Nov 09: “Whenever she visits a remote community in the
NT, Minister Macklin is apparently besieged by excited fans
of welfare quarantining. But GRAHAM RING* notes the
continued absence of hard evidence.”

– News

The Guardian – The Worker’s Weekly
Dole changes: the stigmatising agenda
2 Dec 09: “A social security policy bombshell was dropped
in Canberra last week but hardly anybody noticed.
Overshadowed by the Liberals leadership turmoil was
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin’s announcement
that welfare quarantining – imposed on remote Northern
Territory Aboriginal communities during Howard’s NT
intervention in 2007 – would be applied to the rest of the
Territory from next year and the whole country from 2011.”

Koori Mail: Amnesty: Intervention changes fall short
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
1 Dec 09: “A LEADING human rights organisation has welcomed
Federal Government moves to reinstate the Racial
Discrimination Act in Aboriginal communities affected by
the NT Intervention but says it’s unacceptable that
race-based welfare quarantining will continue until 2011.
Amnesty International says the controversial measure will
still affect Indigenous people disproportionately, even if
extended to non-Indigenous welfare recipients.”

Koori Mail:
Senate to inquire into Intervention, welfare proposals
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
1 Dec 09: “THERE’S to be a Senate Inquiry into Federal
Government proposals to extend welfare quarantining beyond
Northern Territory Aboriginal communities and reinstate the
Racial Discrimination Act, which had been suspended under
the NT Intervention. The Senate Standing Committee on
Community Affairs will take public submissions on
Government parliamentary bills on the changes until 1


– IRAG Submission

Rollback the Intervention:
Submission to Council for Territory Co-operation
[scroll down page] http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/
23 Nov 09: “The Intervention Rollback Action Group (IRAG)
has been working with Aboriginal people in communities and
town camps in Central Australia, as well as homeless people
since 2007, to record their experiences and support people
to deal with the effects of the Northern Territory
Emergency Response (Intervention). … The Intervention
Rollback Action Group submits that, considering the rapidly
increasing growth in the Aboriginal population in the
Northern Territory and the obvious disquiet, concern and
stress felt at the increasing social upheaval and rapid
change in Aboriginal people’s lives, the Northern Territory
Government take time to reconsider the proposed SIHIP model
of housing provision and to further consider community or
social housing models which would involve Aboriginal people
themselves in planning and decision-making for their

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
TERRITORY TALKIN’: Council members not so co-operative
26 Nov 09: “It seems that the Territory Council for
Co-operation may not operate in quite the warm and fuzzy
manner envisaged by independent MLA Gerry Wood, who is for
all intents and purposes the driver of this controversial
conveyance. The new body sat for the first time in Darwin
recently, cross-examining a number of bureaucrats about the
sorry Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure
Program (SIHIP) saga.” Graham Ring, a fortnightly NIT
columnist and writer


– Background

WGAR News: Will they be heard? – independent report on
NT Intervention “consultations” (29 Nov 09)

– Opinion

The Stump – A Crikey Group Blog: Will they be heard?
24 Nov 09: “Will they be heard? Not when a consultation is a
continuation of the problem rather than the possible
solution like the federal government’s attempt to justify
its NT Intervention. Three community consultations in
detail versus 500 plus, well spun? Who to believe?
Yesterday a group of well qualified commentators released a
report called “Will they be heard?” … ” Eva Cox

RDA still suspended, Macklin entrenches Intervention
Dec 09: “From mid-July, the government launched an
extensive “consultation” process, involving over 500
meetings in prescribed communities. They have used these to
claim there is majority support for the Intervention,
making the laws “special measures” under the RDA. But a
report by the Jumbunna House of Learning and Alistair
Nicholson, a former Chief Justice of the Family Court,
closely analysed the consultation process and found it to
be a sham.” Paddy Gibson

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Flaws undermine NT consultations: report
26 Nov 09: “An independent report has slammed the Rudd
government’s controversial community consultations, stating
that it has failed in properly harnessing Aboriginal views
on the NT intervention and does not provide evidence of
consent for the special measures under the Racial
Discrimination Act (RDA). The Will They Be Heard? report,
released on Monday, is based on independent footage of
three consultations in Bagot, Utopia and Ampilatwatja. Its
launch coincided with the Rudd government’s own report into
the consultations, but they are in stark contrast to one
another.” Amy McQuire


– Background on the Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response


– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
1 Dec 09: “Amy McQuire – Tiga Bayles spoke with Amy
McQuire, acting Editor of The Nation Indigenous Times. They
spoke about the election of Tony Abbott as the leader of
the Liberal Party, Norther Territory Intervention,
Aboriginal people living in makeshift humpies in a remote
Central Australian Aboriginal community who have to pay $50
a week and Indigenous housing and infrastructure.”
Listen to this interview on-line:

– Opinion

Solidarity: Govt figures prove ‘things are getting worse’
Dec 09: “The federal government’s “Closing the Gap in the
Northern Territory” monitoring report, released quietly in
October, provides damning evidence of the failure of the NT
Intervention. It compares statistics pre and post
Intervention. As Jon Altman, Director of the Centre for
Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the ANU summarised,
“things have actually gotten worse.” ” Lauren Mellor

Green Left: Human rights shame: Aboriginal people fighting back
9 Dec 09: “Rudd promised to “close the gap” between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous education and health
outcomes. The gap is indeed glaring: Aboriginal life
expectancy is 17 years less than that of other Australians.
However, Rudd’s policies have actually increased the gap.
This is clear in the Northern Territory, where the Rudd
government has continued the Coalition’s racist NT
intervention, recently renamed “Closing the Gap NT”. The
intervention’s policies aimed to attack Aboriginal
self-determination.” Tony Iltis

National Indigenous Times:
EDITORIAL: Rudd government hard of hearing
26 Nov 09: “This month yet another human rights expert came
and went, criticising Australia for its NT intervention and
failure to lift Indigenous disadvantage. This time it was
Irene Khan – the Amnesty International Secretary General.
She labelled the third world conditions in remote
Aboriginal communities as “morally outrageous”. While on
her trip, she commented on the stark difference between
Australia’s urban centres and the communities she visited.”
Amy McQuire, acting editor

National Indigenous Times:
AT LARGE: A sorry report on a sad state of affairs
26 Nov 09: “Self praise is no recommendation. But
sometimes, things are so bad that even self-praise proves
impossible. I am, of course, referring to the federal
government’s own report into the train wreck known as the
Northern Territory intervention. You can tell how good (or
bad) a government report is going to be before it’s even
launched by how many official leaks precede it, and how
much fanfare greets it. This particular work of fiction was
released with trumpets, and to deathly silence. Not
surprising when you consider the authors of the report are
the architects of the policy – FaHCSIA.” Chris Graham,
founding editor of the National Indigenous Times

National Indigenous Times:
THE BIG READ: Two Worlds: The price of civilisation
26 Nov 09: “The redevelopment of Darwin’s Waterfront, cost
the Territory taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, Aboriginal people in the Territory in grinding
poverty and suffer amongst the worst life expectancy
averages on earth. … About a month ago, Nicolas Rothwell,
a regular columnist for The Australian and Weekend
Australian newspapers, unleashed on the Northern Territory
government. The headline of the article was The Failed
State. The term ‘scathing’ doesn’t go far enough in
describing the attack. … ” Chris Graham, former editor of
the National Indigenous Times

– Video

ABC Unleashed: The Intervention
Dec 09: “Delivering the final Sydney PEN Lectures for 2009,
Aboriginal lawyer, academic and activist Larissa Behrendt
delivered a damning assessment of the last two years, and
the ideological agenda that she believes underlies the

– Media Release

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
NT child health checks—many children benefit,
some still need follow-up services
4 Dec 09: “Many children have benefited from health
services following health checks in the Northern Territory,
but not all children have received follow-up services for
their health problems, according to a report released today
by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.”

– News

SMH: High staff turnover hampers intervention
2 Dec 09: “THE practice of flying city doctors and other
health professionals into and out of remote indigenous
communities under the Federal Government’s intervention in
the Northern Territory has been criticised by a
parliamentary committee.”

Green Left: Stop the NT intervention
2 Dec 09: “Fifty people gathered outside federal government
offices on November 26 to protest the Northern Territory
intervention against Aboriginal communities.”

Croakey – the Crikey health blog:
Stop the attack on homelands and outstations: new report
1 Dec 09: “The Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the
NT (AMSANT) has this week released a report, Health and
Homelands: Good Value for Money?, calling for an immediate
moratorium of funding cutbacks to homelands and outstations.
The report’s author, health economist Professor Gavin
Mooney, writes below that governments should start taking
note of their own rhetoric about evidence-based policy: … “

Centralian Advocate: Camps win-win situation
1 Dec 09: “AN injection of $100 million for infrastructure
in Alice Springs town camps will be a huge boost for the
town’s economy, especially if businesses work together on
the contracts.”

SMH: English policy will create more sniffers: charity
30 Nov 09: “THE Northern Territory Government’s decision to
force schools to teach in English for the first four hours
of each day will create the next generation of petrol
sniffers, says the head of an Aboriginal organisation in
Arnhem Land. Richard Trudgen, who has worked in the
Territory for 30 years and is head of the non-profit group
Aboriginal Resources and Development Services, said … “

ABC: Aboriginal living conditions ‘fifth world’
30 Nov 09: “A former government business manager says
Aboriginal people in parts of Central Australia are still
living in car bodies and humpies. … Alan Hudson has told
783 ABC Alice Springs he walked away from the job because
he could no longer represent a Government that was so
unresponsive to the concerns of people living in

ABC: ‘Incompetence’ hindering NT progress
28 Nov 09: “Reconciliation Australia has described the
Federal Government’s amendments to the Northern Territory
Emergency Response legislation as “a step in the right
direction”. … Reconciliation Australia says it does not
support welfare quarantining as social policy but says it
recognises anecdotal evidence some families – and children
– have benefited from the measure.”


– News

SMH: UN says Aboriginal health conditions worse than Third World
5 Dec 09: “ANOTHER United Nations official [Anand Grover,
UN special rapporteur] has deplored the quality of life of
indigenous Australians, saying Aboriginal health compares
badly with indigenous communities in other developed
countries and was even worse than in some Third World

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
THE POINTED VIEW: Casting a shadow on the apology
26 Nov 09: “Last week, Kevin Rudd made another historic
apology – this time to the Forgotten Generation. But Prof.
LARISSA BEHRENDT* laments that the Stolen Generations are
still crying out for justice.” Larissa Behrendt, a
Professor of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney

National Indigenous Times:
NIT FORUMS: CDEP: Closing the gap or creating a crisis?
delve into the dismantling of CDEP in the Ngaanyatjarra
lands of Western Australia and what it means for the
region. A few weeks ago two adults were killed in a car
accident on a dusty back road in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in
the central desert region of Western Australia. … However
these deaths can also be indirectly connected to the recent
changes to CDEP in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands.”

National Indigenous Times:
THIS LITTLE BLACK DUCK: Breaking down the bars
26 Nov 09: “In a month where we saw an Aboriginal boy
charged for allegedly receiving a chocolate, NICOLE WATSON*
urges Australia to get serious about reducing Indigenous

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: