17/05/2010: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT – NEW LEGISLATION

Contents:
Racial Discrimination Act – New Legislation
Extension of Income Management Australia-wide
Documentary by Sinem Saban about the NT Intervention
Aboriginal housing in the Northern Territory
Aboriginal unemployment and the NT Intervention
NT Government policy marginalises Aboriginal languages
Second New Way Aboriginal summit
Other Aboriginal Articles

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT – NEW LEGISLATION:

– Special STICS compilation

Stop the Intervention:
Racial Discrimination Act – New Legislation
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation

– Media Releases

Stop the Intervention: Les Malezer 12-5-10
FAIRA Calls for Adjudication on Racist Laws
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/media-releases/les-malezer-12-5-10
12 May 10: “The Brisbane-based Foundation for Aboriginal
and Islander Research Action (FAIRA) warns the government
that amendment laws that are being considered in the Senate
today are just as racist as the original intervention laws
and will only widen and compound Australia’s international
reputation as a racist country. FAIRA wants the government
to review its position and choose either to re-introduce,
without delay and without qualification, the Racial
Discrimination Act (RDA) or to first appear before the
international Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination (CERD) in August 2010 and seek a ruling on
the validity of the proposed new laws.”

Stop the Intervention: ‘concerned Australians’ 10-5-10
Senate to Debate Racist Legislation
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/media-releases/concerned-australians-10-5-10
10 May 10: “On Wednesday morning, hiding behind the
post-budget hype, Senators will debate the legislation that
will re-instate, what will ultimately be, a restricted
Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) into the Northern Territory
… ‘concerned Australians’ believes the Government is
misleading the public by implying that the Act, when
re-instated, will have the capacity to protect Aboriginal
people from racist measures. At the same moment as the Act
is re-instated, the new legislation introduced will have
the effect of restricting the powers of the RDA. …
‘concerned Australians’ calls upon Government to delay
reaching a decision on this legislation until a genuine
process of negotiation, and not flawed consultations, has
been entered into with elders and community leaders from
the Northern Territory.”

Leaders of the Congregations and Provinces of the
Sisters of St Joseph, Australia
The Re-instated Racial Discrimination Act needs to go further
http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/RDA-New-Legislation/MR-Sisters-of-St-Joseph-11-5-10.pdf
10 May 10: “The Leaders of the Australian Congregations and
Provinces of the Sisters of St Joseph have asked the
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and
Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, to ensure that the
legislation currently before parliament re-instating the
Racial Discrimination Act in relation to the Northern
Territory Intervention does so with more than minimalist
compliance. … ‘We call on the members of the Senate, as
the house of review for legislation, to ensure that the
bill currently before them goes beyond a mere minimal
compliance with the requirements of the Racial
Discrimination Act and in fact restores to Aboriginal
people the rights they ought to enjoy as citizens of this
nation.’ Sr Anne [Derwin] concluded.”

– Dissenting report by Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens

Inquiry into the provisions of the Social Security and
Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and
Reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009
and related legislation
Click on link to download word document: http://greensmps.org.au/webfm_send/358

– News

National Indigenous Radio Service:
Moves to reinstate RDA are a smoke screen: Siewert
http://www.nirs.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3523:federal-govts-move-to-reinstate-rda-are-a-smoke-screen-rachel-siewert-&catid=2:news-broadcasts&Itemid=65
12 May 10: “Greens Indigenous Affairs spokesman, Rachel
Siewert says the Federal governments moves to reinstate the
Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) into the Northern Territory
are a smoke screen.”

Koori Mail: Delay RDA, NTER bills debate, says group
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
11 May 10: “A GROUP of ‘concerned Australians’ has called
on the Federal Government to defer Senate debate on
legislation amending the NT Intervention and introducing
far-reaching welfare reforms until after hype surrounding
tonight’s Federal Budget dissipates. The group says that,
if passed, the legislation will reinstate only a restricted
version of the Racial Discrimination Act, preventing
challenges to racist measures under the NT Intervention.”

National Indigenous Radio Service:
Calls to delay reinstatement of RDA
http://www.nirs.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3512:calls-to-delay-reinstatement-of-rda-until-genuine-negotiation-with-nt-community-&catid=2:news-broadcasts&Itemid=65
11 May 10: “Alastair Nicholson QC is calling on the federal
government to delay the reinstatement of the Racial
Discrimination Act (RDA).”

Koori Mail: Senate prepares to debate welfare reforms
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
11 May 10: “LEGISLATION proposed by the Federal Government
to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act in the Northern
Territory and extend income quarantining to welfare
recipients nationwide is expected to pass through Federal
Parliament later this week. The Federal Opposition isn’t
opposing the changes but the Australian Greens say the
welfare reforms are draconian and are maintaining their
opposition.”

EXTENSION OF INCOME MANAGEMENT AUSTRALIA-WIDE:

– Greens Special Feature

Rachel Siewert: Income Management
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/im
10 May 10: “The Rudd Government has legislation currently
before the Senate which would give it to power to introduce
income management for people on many kinds of Centrelink
payments. These laws could be extended Australia-wide and
they could affect your family.”

DOCUMENTARY BY SINEM SABAN ABOUT THE NT INTERVENTION:

– Event

Stop the Intervention:
Documentary by Sinem Saban about the NT Intervention
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/films-and-literature/doco-by-sinem-about-nt-intervention
Also, NSW Reconciliation Council: http://www.nswreconciliation.org.au/_webapp_475104/Our_Generation_Screening
“Preview Fundraiser Screening of the ground-breaking new
documentary on Aboriginal Rights “OUR GENERATION”
www.ourgeneration.org.au
“This is a very important film that everyone needs to see….
It will change your life” – John Butler, of John Butler Trio
Date: Thursday 20th May
Place: Footbridge Theatre, Parramatta Road, University of Sydney
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm”

ABORIGINAL HOUSING IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY:

– Video

ABC Lateline: Indigenous housing program under fire
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s2900234.htm
14 May 10: “The Northern Territory’s embattled Indigenous
housing program is once again under fire. The $672 million
initiative has so far delivered only seven of the 750 new
houses promised and may now come under the scrutiny of the
auditor-general.”

– News

ABC: Senate calls for audit of Indigenous housing
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/14/2899673.htm?section=justin
14 May 10: “The Senate has passed a motion calling for the
Auditor General to conduct an audit of the controversial
$672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Program [SIHIP]. It has done so after a call
by the Country Liberals Senator Nigel Scullion for an
urgent investigation into alleged waste and mismanagement.”

ABC: Aborigines ‘second rate citizens’ under SIHIP
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/13/2898214.htm
13 May 10: “The Federal Government must double the funding
for Aboriginal housing refurbishments or risk creating
substandard housing, the chairman of the Council of
Territory Cooperation says. The council, headed by
independent MLA Gerry Wood, has been touring
newly-refurbished homes in remote communities and says some
are simply not up to scratch.”

ABC: Budget falls short on Indigenous housing: CLP
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/12/2897137.htm
12 May 10: “The Northern Territory Opposition says the
federal budget will not help the Strategic Indigenous
Housing and Infrastructure Program [SIHIP] meet its
deadlines and promises.”

ABC: New SIHIP house stands idle as community waits
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/11/2895773.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
11 May 10: “Indigenous people in the remote community of
Gunbalanya say they cannot understand why homes under the
Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program are
taking so long to build. The Chief Minister visited the
Arnhem Land community yesterday but one of the houses he
visited was locked and no one had moved in, months after it
was completed.”

Australian: Little to show for $170m
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/aboriginal-australia/little-to-show-for-170m/story-e6frgd9f-1225863378269
7 May 10: “NEARLY $170 million has been spent on a total of
seven new houses and 155 refurbishments for Aboriginal
homes in the Northern Territory, according to budget
papers.”

ABC: Indigenous housing has $110m black hole: CLP
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/07/2893080.htm
7 May 10: “The Northern Territory Opposition says there is
a $110 million black hole in a Government-run Aboriginal
housing program. The controversial $672 million Strategic
Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program aims to build
750 new homes in remote Indigenous communities in the
Territory.”

ABORIGINAL UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE NT INTERVENTION:

– Media Release

Rollback the Intervention: Media Releases
Fund jobs not a new ration system, says campaign group and union.
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/media/
14 May 10: “The Intervention Rollback Action Group (IRAG)
and the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union
(LHMU) NT Branch have today condemned a recent announcement
that $18 million in federal funding will be invested in the
Central Desert Shire’s Community Development and Employment
Project (CDEP). The groups say that the new CDEP scheme is
incredibly exploitative, forcing Aboriginal people to work
for quarantined Centrelink payments, and that the money
should be invested in fulltime jobs for local Aboriginal
workers to provide Shire services. In the past month, 86
Aboriginal workers have joined up unions as part of a ‘jobs
with justice’ campaign to press these demands.”

– News

Green Left: Aboriginal people fighting against unemployment
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/44007
9 May 10: “In late April, activists from the Intervention
Rollback Action Group (IRAG) toured several communities
affected by the NT intervention. In particular, they looked
at how employment patterns had changed. The results were
the same everywhere they went: This is as bad as it has
ever been.”

– Interview

Solidarity: Aboriginal communities say:
‘We need jobs and services not the Intervention’
http://www.solidarity.net.au/issue-24-may/aboriginal-communities-say-%E2%80%98we-need-jobs-and-services-not-the-intervention/
May 10: “Solidarity spoke to Mark Fordham, until recently
the works manager for the Barkly Shire Council who service
Ampilatwatja, a “prescribed community” under the NT
Intervention, about the failure in providing basic services
there – and the failure to employ any Aboriginal people to
provide them. Alongside the Intervention, mega-Shires like
the BSC have taken over from locally run Aboriginal
community councils, acquiring all of their assets and
laying off staff.”

NT GOVERNMENT POLICY MARGINALISES ABORIGINAL LANGUAGES:

– News

ABC: Schools boss seeks solution to bilingual anger
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/12/2897553.htm
12 May 10: “The head of the Northern Territory Education
Department [Gary Barnes] is preparing to meet with parents
who are angry about the Government’s bilingual policy in
remote schools. Indigenous residents from the community of
Areyonga, south-west of Alice Springs, have lodged a
complaint with the Human Rights Commission about a
Territory Government policy that requires remote schools to
teach in English every morning.”

– Opinion/Analysis

Fully (sic) – Crikey’s language blog:
Speak your home language but do it in English please!
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2010/05/13/speak-your-home-language-but-do-it-in-english-please/
13 May 10: “What sort of fool is capable of saying
something as ridiculous as this?: “We want people to speak
their home language for the first four hours but we want it
predominantly done in English.” Only the CEO of the
Northern Territory Education Department, Gary Barnes (as
quoted on the ABC News website). He’s referring to a
draconian policy he oversees which excludes Aboriginal
languages from being the language of instruction in all NT
classrooms for the first four hours of every school day.”
Greg Dickson

SECOND NEW WAY ABORIGINAL SUMMIT:

– Reportback

Indymedia Australia: Second New Way Aboriginal summit:
“Reject the names invaders gave us”
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/05/15/second-new-way-aboriginal-summit-%E2%80%9Creject-the-names-invaders-gave-us%E2%80%9D
15 May 10: “Aboriginal political activist Michael Anderson
(pictured) said today that the second New Way Summit held
over the weekend of the 8-9th May at the Sydney University
was very successful. While it was very difficult for many
people to attend, the internet is very effective at getting
to a large audience, Mr Anderson said. … The next New Way
summit will be at the Melbourne University during the June
Queen’s Birthday weekend, when the lead topic will be the
British genocide of Aboriginal people and the ongoing war
against Aboriginal people through assimilation and
absorption. Another key topic to be discussed is the
‘Treaty’.”

– Background

Indymedia Australia: Next Aboriginal summit in Sydney in May
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/04/26/next-aboriginal-summit-in-sydney-in-may

OTHER ABORIGINAL ARTICLES:

– Opinion/Analysis

Australia.to:
No Frills, No Strategy in Aboriginal Health Budget: NACCHO
http://australia.to/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2675:no-frills-no-strategy-in-aboriginal-health-budget-naccho&catid=97:news-media-releases&Itemid=161
13 May 10: “There were no frills and no clear strategy to
embrace the opportunities in Aboriginal health in last
night’s budget says Mr Justin Mohamed, Chair of National
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
(NACCHO). “The budget’s largest overall health investment
has been chewed up in the hospitals deal. … ” Mr Mohamed
said.”

TRANSCEND Media Service: Apartheid Is Alive and Well
http://www.transcend.org/tms/2010/04/apartheid-is-alive-and-well/
“There is a place where indigenous blacks are still being
shunted off their land into reservations; where work is
rewarded not with wages but with ration cards, to spend in
white-owned supermarkets; where public services are
lavished on the already wealthy but denied to the poorest
unless they agree to hand over their birthright.” Associate
Professor Jake Lynch, Director, Centre for Peace and
Conflict Studies, University of Sydney

– News

ABC: Study questions indigenous welfare management
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/16/2900701.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
16 May 10: “A group of leading academics from across the
nation says the Federal Intervention is doing more harm
than good in the Northern Territory. … according to new
research published in the Medical Journal of Australia,
income management has not resulted in more healthy food
being bought and eaten by many Aborigines.”


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