07/04/2011 Updates on NT Intervention, Deaths in Custody, Lake Tyers and Native Title

Contents:
* Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Human Rights Alliance calls again for a
Senate inquiry into deaths in custody
* Interview with Lake Tyers Women’s spokesperson,
Leanne Edwards
* Background to blockade by Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers
* Greens table important amendments to Native Title Act
* Other articles

NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:

– Media Release

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Efforts in Alice Springs should continue for communities to thrive
http://www.humanrights.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2011/27_11.html
5 Apr 11: “Existing long-term investment in Alice Springs
should be allowed to continue in order for the community to
have a chance to once again thrive, Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said
today.
But he said, access to essential services for Town Campers,
alcohol misuse in the general population, and racial
tensions needed to be overcome for Alice Springs to move
forward into a positive future.
Commissioner Gooda made the comments at the end of a
three-day visit to the area at the invitation of leading
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and
individuals.
“I’ve met with individuals and organisations and I’ve
visited Town Camps,” Commissioner Gooda said.
“I came to listen and to see, and what I heard was that
there are good things happening in Alice Springs. … “

– Opinion / Analysis

SMH: Listen to the First Australians PM, not your spinmeisters
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/listen-to-the-first-australians-pm-not-your-spinmeisters-20110401-1cqli.html
4 Apr 11: “There is an urgent need for a second federal
intervention into the Territory’s towns and remote
indigenous communities but not of the kind called for by
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. The answer is not to send in
extra police or white bureaucrats from down south, further
alienating and disengaging Aborigines. The solutions to
this crisis must come from Aboriginal people themselves
because imposing them from afar has never worked.”
Lindsay Murdoch

– News

Australian: ‘PM should visit Alice with Abbott and Brown’
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/pm-should-visit-alice-with-abbott-and-brown/story-fn59niix-1226034313201
6 Apr 11: “HOWARD government indigenous affairs minister
Mal Brough has called on Julia Gillard to take Greens
leader Bob Brown and Tony Abbott on a unheralded lightning
visit of Alice Springs. Writing in The Australian today, Mr
Brough calls for a media-free visit to be conducted without
notice in the middle of the night so bureaucrats don’t have
time to clean up the city and hide the drunks.”

ABC Alice Springs: Gooda says town camps have improved
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/04/05/3182861.htm
5 Apr 11: “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social
Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, says conditions in town
camps in Alice Springs have improved. “They don’t resemble
at all those images portrayed in the media of areas
littered with dirty mattresses, where packs of mangy dogs
freely roam,” he says. Commissioner Gooda made the comments
in Alice Springs today, following meetings with key
Aboriginal organisations including Tangentyere Council,
and Central Australian Aboriginal Congress. He says there
is ‘real progress being made’ in Alice Springs,
particularly in conditions at town camps.”

9 News: Gooda tours Alice Springs town camps
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8233109
5 Apr 11: “Contrary to local complaints that Alice Springs
is in crisis, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social
Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda says good things are
happening in the Red Centre. … Mr Gooda, who spent three
days in central Australia this week visiting Aboriginal
town camps and meeting with local indigenous leaders, says
existing long-term government investment in Alice Springs
should be allowed to continue in order for the community to
have a chance to once again thrive.”

National Indigenous Times:
Leaders pan Abbott’s Intervention proposal
http://www.nit.com.au/News/story.aspx?id=21466
4 Apr 11: “Northern Territory leaders have dismissed calls
by the Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott for a “new”
Intervention to be introduced into some areas of the
Territory, including Alice Springs. Mr Abbott said the
current Intervention program was not working and urgent
changes were required including an extra 100 police in
Alice Springs to take total police numbers in the city to
more than 300. Central Land Council Director, David Ross,
Northern Land Council Chief Executive, Kim Hill, First
Nations Party founder, Maurie Japarta Ryan and spokesman
for the Alyawarr people, Richard Downs all criticised Mr
Abbott’s proposal.”

National Indigenous Times:
Intervention worse than the Stolen Generation: critic
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21465
4 Apr 11: “Two highly respected supporters of Indigenous
Australians, Father Frank Brennan and Jeff McMullen have
appealed to Federal Government Indigenous Affairs Minister,
Jenny Macklin to end the Northern Territory Intervention
with Mr McMullen labelling the Intervention as the most
damaging policy inflicted on Indigenous people since the
Stolen Generation. The Minister, in separate responses to
Father Brennan and Mr McMullen, has rejected their call.
Father Brennan, … wrote an opinion piece on the Eureka
Street website where he criticised the current and former
Federal Governments for introducing the Intervention.”

National Indigenous Times:
Leaders appeal to the PM: Work together for our sake
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21510
4 Apr 11: “The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard will go to
Alice Springs to discuss the impact of the Intervention but
her decision to make the visit without Opposition Leader,
Tony Abbott has disappointed Indigenous leaders. Ms Gillard
announced last week she had rejected Tony Abbott’s offer of
a joint trip to trouble-ridden Alice Springs, telling the
Opposition Leader the government would stick with its
current approach to solving the crisis. The Prime Minister
said she would instead travel to Alice Springs with
Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin.”

National Indigenous Times:
Give our people control to fix Intervention: Pearson
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21530
4 Apr 11: “Noel Pearson, regarded as a key adviser to the
former Howard Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Mal Brough in
implementing the Intervention in the Northern Territory,
has said too much bureaucracy was one of the main reasons
the program was failing. Mr Pearson, who is the Director of
the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, said in
his opinion column in The Australian newspaper both Mr
Brough and the current Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny
Macklin were committed to “addressing Aboriginal suffering”
but they both “erred in a fundamental respect in relation
to the Territory”.”

National Indigenous Times: Macklin strikes back
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21532
4 Apr 11: “The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs,
Jenny Macklin has hit back at critics of the Northern
Territory Intervention, declaring it has and will deliver
positive outcomes for Indigenous Australians. The Minister
accepted the structure of the Intervention when it was
first introduced by the Howard Government under then
Indigenous Affairs Minister, Mal Brough was flawed but she
said she had and would continue to adjust it to meet the
foundation goals of the Intervention. Ms Macklin was
responding to the March 3 edition of the National
Indigenous Times which published comments from 27
Indigenous leaders from throughout Australia who called on
the Minister to stop the Intervention.”

National Indigenous Times: 5 criticisms, 5 responses
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21531
4 Apr 11: “The March 3 edition of The National Indigenous
featured comments by 27 Indigenous leaders throughout
Australia calling for the Intervention to be closed down.
Those concerns centred on five reasons. The Minister’s
letter responds to each of these concerns in detail in her
letter on Page 56 but in summary are:
1. The Intervention is discriminatory. Minister’s response:
The Government has fully reinstated the Racial
Discrimination Act provisions within the Intervention.
2. There has been no meaningful consultation with community
leaders and Elders. Minister’s response: The Government has
undertaken extensive and detailed consultation with the
communities and town camps.”

Green Left: Journalist slams Macklin for intervention
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47199
3 Apr 11: “Former ABC journalist Jeff McMullen attacked the
federal government’s intervention into Northern Territory
Aboriginal communities as racist and harmful in a March 21
letter to indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin.
McMullen said Macklin had “not responded to the calls by an
overwhelming majority of the Aboriginal leaders in …
occupied communities to end the Intervention now”. McMullen
wrote in response to a letter Macklin sent him on March 2
that defended the intervention. “Much of your letter is a
defensive and dubious argument about the good you claim to
have delivered through this Intervention,” he said.”
Simon Butler

Australian: Aborigines ‘must agree on future of Alice Springs’
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/aboriginal-australia/aborigines-must-agree-on-future-of-alice-springs/story-e6frgd9f-1226031633219
1 Apr 11: “ONE of the authors of the Little Children are
Sacred report that sparked the Northern Territory
intervention has called for any dramatic changes in Alice
Springs to be first agreed on by the indigenous people
directly affected. Aboriginal leader Pat Anderson told The
Australian she was still opposed to the NT intervention and
believed if extra measures were to be introduced in Alice
Springs, there needed to be an agreed approach.”
Patricia Karvelas

– Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 6-04-2011
http://caama.com.au/caama-radio-news-6-04-2011
6 Apr 11: “* The Australian Aboriginal Social Justice
Commissioner says racial tension and alcohol misuse need to
be overcome if Alice Springs is to move forward.
* Tangyentyerre boss Walter Shaw says mainstream media
needs to show Alice Springs town camps as they really are
instead of using old images which no longer apply.”

ABC Radio National Breakfast:
Conditions in NT nearing social crisis
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2011/3178361.htm
31 Mar 11: “Conditions in central Australia are arguably
worse than before the Northern Territory Intervention of
four years ago. … Prime Minister Julia Gillard has
rejected Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s calls for a new
federal intervention in the Top End. But she is expected to
visit central Australia in coming weeks where local elders
want her to ‘sit down in the dirt’ and come up with an
apolitical solution to the worsening social crisis.
Guests: Alison Anderson – Independent MP in the Northern
Territory Parliament, based in Alice Springs”

– Video

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Mick Gooda in Alice Springs
http://caama.com.au/mick-gooda-in-alice-springs
6 Apr 11: “The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social
Justice Commissioner says the issuses in Alice Springs is
not just about race and that to move forward we need to
find the answer by working together.”

ABC 7.30NT: Future for Alice Springs
http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/03/25/3174311.htm
25 Mar 11: “Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin
discusses the 2007 Federal intervention in the Northern
Territory and the future for Alice Springs.”

BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:

Creative Spirits: Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER)—”The Intervention”
http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/politics/northern-territory-intervention.html

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention

Jobs with Justice:
http://jobswithjustice.wordpress.com/

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney):
http://stoptheintervention.org/

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group):
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/

ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) – NT intervention:
http://www.antar.org.au/issues_and_campaigns/nt_intervention

MAIC (Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective):
http://maicollective.blogspot.com/

‘concerned Australians’:
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/

ASTIG (Adelaide Stop the Intervention Group):
http://www.stoptheintervention.com.au/

Defending Indigenous Rights:
http://defendingindigenousrights.wordpress.com/

Intervention walk-off’s Blog:
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights):
http://wgar.info/

HUMAN RIGHTS ALLIANCE CALLS AGAIN FOR A SENATE INQUIRY INTO DEATHS IN CUSTODY:

– Statements

Indymedia Australia:
The Human Rights Alliance is disappointed in The Greens and
the Senate for watering down the call for a Senate inquiry
into Australian deaths in custody
http://indymedia.org.au/2011/04/02/the-human-rights-alliance-is-disappointed-in-the-greens-and-the-senate-for-watering-down-
2 Apr 11: “The Human Rights Alliance’s Response to the
Australian Senate and to the Greens:
Senate backs Motion Acknowledging Deaths in Custody: This
is not Enough. We have called for a Joint Committee Senate
Inquiry into Australian Deaths in Custody.
The Human Rights Alliance, and with apologies, has quickly
crafted this Media Release to express our disappointment
that our campaign for a call for a Joint Committee Senate
Inquiry into Australian Deaths in Custody has been watered
down to a Senate Motion acknowledging what we already know.
This is attrition.
We urge the Senate to amend or add to the Motion and
ensure that a Senate Inquiry is convened.
Below is a release of some remarks, once again quickly
crafted, and we apologise however the urgency is
imperative, to our 76 Senators regarding the Motion to
acknowledge the worsening Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
statistics: … “

See: Rachel Siewert:
Senate backs Greens’ Motion on Deaths in Custody
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/senate-backs-greens%E2%80%99-motion-deaths-custody

Indymedia Australia: Call for Senate inquiry into Warburton
Elder and Palm Island deaths in custody
http://indymedia.org.au/2011/04/02/call-for-senate-inquiry-into-warburton-elder-and-palm-island-deaths-in-custody
2 Apr 11: “The Human Rights Alliance is calling for a
Senate Inquiry to be urgently convened as a Select
Committee Inquiry into the deaths in custody of the
Warburton Elder (Western Australia) and at Palm Island
(Queensland).
April 15 shall mark 20 years since the release of the
Final Report and the 339 recommendations from the 1987-1991
Royal Commission into Australian Deaths in Custody.
These two deaths must be demarcated to the Australian
Senate as many believe that justice has not been served by
the relevant Western Australian and Queensland authorities.
These two deaths in custody should be reopened firstly for
the pursuit of justice for the grieving families and
communities and secondly for these type of deaths, if
findings are upheld by the Australian Senate, never to
reoccur in our Australia.”

INTERVIEW WITH LAKE TYERS WOMEN’S SPOKESPERSON, LEANNE EDWARDS:

– Audio interview

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
24 Mar 11: “Leanne Edwards: Karen Dorante spoke with Lake
Tyers Women’s spokesperson, Leanne Edwards. They spoke
about Indigenous women from the community of Lake Tyers, in
East Gippsland, Victoria, who have been holding a blockade
against the state government’s self-imposed rule over their
community.”
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/audio/98fm-podcast-2011-03-24-73758.mp3

– Related news

National Indigenous Times:
Lake Tyers blockade continues as residents’ anger increases
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21529
4 Apr 11: “A government-appointed administrator broke the
blockade of the Lake Tyers Aboriginal community which has
further angered the local residents. The blockade has been
in place in an attempt to stop what the residents see as a
“Northern Territory-style Intervention” on their community.
In 1970 the Lake Tyers community was signed over to the
local Aboriginal community. “Shares were distributed to
Aboriginal people who were living on the Trust at that
time,” Leanne Edwards, a resident and shareholder in the
community, said. The biggest problem the residents see is
that changes to the Victorian Land Rights Act 1970 have
been made without proper consultation with shareholders.”

BACKGROUND TO BLOCKADE BY ABORIGINAL WOMEN OF LAKE TYERS:

WGAR News: Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers are staging a blockade (12 Mar 11)
http://www.indymedia.org.au/2011/03/12/wgar-news-aboriginal-women-of-lake-tyers-are-staging-a-blockade

WGAR News: More on the blockade by Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers (16 Mar 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/16/wgar-news-federal-court-challenge-over-nuclear-dump-resumes-in-august

WGAR News: Protest blockade by Lake Tyers Aboriginal women continues (21 Mar 11)
http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/21/wgar-news-protest-blockade-by-lake-tyers-aboriginal-women-continues

WGAR News: More on the blockade by Lake Tyers Aboriginal women (23 Mar 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/23/wgar-news-international-day-for-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination-harmony-day-21-m

WGAR News: Police used to break blockade by Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers (26 Mar 11)
http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/26/wgar-news-police-used-to-break-blockade-by-aboriginal-women-of-lake-tyers

GREENS TABLE IMPORTANT AMENDMENTS TO NATIVE TITLE ACT:

– Opinion / Analysis

New Matilda: Native Title Gets A Shake Up
http://newmatilda.com/2011/04/05/native-title-shake-up
5 Apr 11: “The Greens have tabled important amendments to
the Native Title Act. Sarah Burnside looks at how the
parties are likely to respond – and finds little
reassurance in their recent form on Indigenous affairs …
The Greens Bill provides, among other things, that
compulsory acquisition of land does not extinguish native
title rights. It requires decision makers to act with
regard to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples and provides that native title rights
can be of a commercial nature.”

– Background

WGAR News: Greens launch Native Title reforms (23 Mar 11)
[scroll down towards end of page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/23/wgar-news-international-day-for-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination-harmony-day-21-m

OTHER ARTICLES:

– Audio

ABC Radio National Breakfast:
Abbott flags tough changes to welfare benefits
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2011/3178279.htm
31 Mar 11: “Opposition leader Tony Abbott will deliver a
keynote address today in Brisbane, outlining a crackdown on
welfare benefits under a Coalition government. Abbott is
flagging a raft of changes, including making Work for the
Dole mandatory for people on unemployment benefits for more
than six months, and quarantining half the welfare income
of jobseekers to ensure the money is spent only on the
necessities of life.
Guests: Maree O’Halloran – President of the National
Welfare Rights Centre”

ABC Radio National Breakfast:
Abbott discusses his welfare payment policy
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2011/3178362.htm
31 Mar 11: “Opposition leader Tony Abbott will outline a
crackdown on welfare payments today in a speech in Brisbane.
There would be a new benefit, possibly at a lower rate, for
people whose disabilities can be treated. And job-seekers
on the Newstart allowance would have their payments
suspended if they live in areas with unfilled and
unskilled vacancies.
Guests: Tony Abbott – Opposition Leader”


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