25/10/2011 Govt ‘consultation’ report and plans for a new Intervention

* Govt ‘consultation’ report and plans for a new Intervention
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention


– The Report


– Media Releases

Stop the Intervention:
Stop the Intervention campaign blasts sham consultations
21 Oct 11: “The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney
says the process of consultations with Aboriginal
communities on the future of the NT Intervention has been
a sham.
The comments come following the release of a report on the
outcome of consultations around the government’s Stronger
Futures discussion paper on Tuesday. Indigenous Affairs
Minister Jenny Macklin used the release of the report to
flag her support for continuing key Intervention measures.
Minister Macklin also announced the expansion of a punitive
trial linking welfare payments to school attendance.
Paddy Gibson from STICS was in touch with numerous
representatives from ‘prescribed areas’ across the NT
throughout the consultations period.
Mr Gibson says the government took a predetermined agenda
into the consultations and has failed to even slightly
shift course, despite an outpouring of despair and protest
across the NT:”

Rollback the Intervention:
Macklin can’t fix broken Intervention with a bigger stick
19 Oct 11: “The Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice
Springs has slammed Minister Jenny Macklin’s announcement
that the federal government will continue with key aspects
of the NT Intervention, and expand punitive welfare
IRAG says these plans fly in the face of widespread
condemnation of Intervention measures across NT communities
during recent consultation meetings and mounting evidence
of growing social crises arising from the Intervention.
IRAG and a delegation of Arrernte womn from Alice Springs
were evicted from Minister Macklin’s private launch of the
Stronger Futures consultations report yesterday.
Lauren Mellor from the Intervention Rollback Action Group
stated: “These consultations were a farce from the
beginning. The Stronger Futures discussion paper released
in June outlines precisely the agenda announced by Minister
Macklin yesterday. Consultation meetings I attended saw
Government Business Managers aggressively promoting these
measures despite widespread opposition.”

Rachel Siewert: Greens: More punitive measures for
Aboriginal communities won’t get results
18 Oct 11: “Collaboration and not punishment is the key to
getting positive results when it comes to school attendance
in the Northern Territory, Australian Greens spokesperson
on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues Senator
Rachel Siewert said today.
Responding to the reported details of the Government’s
Strong Futures Consultation report, Senator Siewert said
she was deeply concerned about the expansion of top-down,
punitive measures aimed at improving school attendance.
“The School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform
Measure (SEAM) trial is a sanctions-based approach which
causes further harm to families and doesn’t address the
underlying causes of alienation from the education system,”
Senator Siewert said.
“Minister Jenny Macklin would do better to commit to the
principles outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous People, to guide a better approach to education.
There needs to be significant reform to the education
system to meet Aboriginal needs, including working with
parents and ensuring a commitment to bi-lingual approach
to education. ”


Rachel Siewert: Greens:
Punitive measures are not the solution for NT education

– Alternative Media Release

Crikey: Cox: The media release the minister
should’ve written on the NT Intervention
19 Oct 11: “by Eva Cox. The following is a draft
alternative media release for Jenny Macklin (and what she
should have said as a response to the current consultation
rather than harping on about truancy and grog!).
I want to again say sorry! Despite our 2008 apology, this
government made more policy  mistakes and added to the pain
of indigenous people. The intervention we inherited had
already failed to engage the local communities and
unfortunately we have continued down this path. The latest
consultations showed that we still have not really listened
to the local communities as local groups told us clearly
that we needed to change the way we do policy and programs,
i.e. bottom up, culturally appropriate programs.”

– Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 21-10-2011
21 Oct 11: “The Gillard Labor Governments plan for Northern
Territory Aboriginal people after the intervention comes to
an end next year fails to include their ideas and virtually
mirrors the vision which government had proposed prior to a
so called consultation process according to a leading
Australian researcher and political commentator.”

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 20-10-2011
20 Oct 11: “The Federal Government continues to come under
fire for its announcement of plans to continue with key
aspects of the NT intervention with Ngambri Elder Matilda
House-Williams saying the new policies which continue to
target only Aboriginal communities are racist and

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
20 Oct 11: “Today we’re catching up with Barbara Shaw – a
town camp resident and vocal opponent of the Northern
Territory Intervention since its introduction in 2007 by
the Howard government … ”
Listen to this interview on-line:
[27 minutes into this interview Barbara talks about the
government ‘consultations’.]

The Wire:
Intervention mark 2 fails to support alcohol ‘floor price’
20 Oct 11: “The Northern Territory’s alcohol problems are
legendary and reducing alcohol consumption was one of the
targets of the NT intervention. This week the government
has announced that it will continue the intervention into
indigenous communities, but has failed to support the call
for a floor price, in spite of evidence that making alcohol
more expensive means people drink less.”

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 19-10-2011
19 Oct 11: “The Gillard Labor Government will press ahead
with “Tough Love” legislation to ensure Aboriginal children
in the Northern Territory attend school every day and
strong controls on alcohol remain in place.”

The Wire: NT intervention continues,
welfare to be linked to school attendance
18 Oct 11: “The Federal Government has today proposed
reforming the Northern Territory intervention welfare
policy to link parents’ welfare payments to their
childrens’ school attendance. Jenny Macklin, Minister for
Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous
Affairs will try to pass the legislation through Parliament
before Christmas despite existing policy measures that have
increased school attendance in the NT. Jenny Macklin claims
she is making these welfare reforms based on widespread
support from the local communities involved, but
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR)
believe the proposed reforms are draconian and do not
express the wishes of the entire community. …
Featured in story: Jacqueline Phillips – National Director
of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR)”

ABC PM: Intervention report stokes debate
18 Oct 11: “BRENDAN TREMBATH: The Federal Government is
trumpeting a new report that’s found most Indigenous people
in remote communities have accepted the emergency measures
of the Northern Territory Intervention. Buoyed by that, the
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says the
Government will expand a program that links welfare
payments to school attendance. But there are questions
about whether the report is an accurate reflection of what
Indigenous people in the Territory really think.”

– Video

ABC Lateline: Intervention to continue despite protests
18 Oct 11: “ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: When the Howard
Government moved into remote Northern Territory indigenous
communities back in 2007 it divided opinion. Some labelled
it discriminatory, and many called for it to be scrapped;
but the intervention looks set to continue, with Gillard
Government saying it’s what Aboriginal people want. …
TOM NIGHTINGALE: The Federal Government’s already trialling
a program in the Northern Territory and Queensland linking
school attendance with welfare payments. That trial will
now be extended, without knowing whether it works.”

ABC: Opinion split on intervention report findings
18 Oct 11: “The Federal Government is trumpeting a new
report that has found most Indigenous people in remote
communities have accepted the emergency measures of the
Northern Territory intervention. But there are questions
about whether the report is an accurate reflection of what
Indigenous people in the territory really think. …
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice
Commissioner Mick Gooda says there were flaws in the
consultation process that produced the report. … Greens
Senator Rachel Siewert says some Indigenous people feel the
consultations had a foregone conclusion.”

– Analysis / Opinion

Australian Editorial:
NT indigenous challenge demands long-term work
19 Oct 11: “THE Stronger Futures for the Northern Territory
consultation report is a timely document that contains some
distressing and encouraging insights. Given the importance
of the task and the divided opinions on the implementation
and impact of the NT intervention, it was important for
authorities to undertake hundreds of meetings with a range
of stakeholders and people living in almost 100 indigenous

Age: NT welfare to be tied to school attendance
18 Oct 11: “WELFARE payments will be linked to school
enrolment and attendance across the Northern Territory as
part of a strategy to improve education outcomes when the
emergency intervention imposed by John Howard expires next
year. Strong support for introducing the ”tough love”
welfare reform in communities where attendance levels are
below community standards was expressed during
consultations that included almost 100 community meetings
in recent weeks.” Michael Gordon

– News

newsTracker: Amnesty calls for solutions, not interventions
20 Oct 11: “NORTHERN TERRITORY: Amnesty International says
disadvantaged Aboriginal communities need local solutions,
not the “failed” intervention policy being pursued by the
federal government. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister
Jenny Macklin on Tuesday said the government would continue
the interventionist policies brought in by the Howard
government in remote Indigenous communities. Releasing a
new report, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory,
she also flagged a tougher approach to truancy and said
parent’s welfare payments would be linked to children’s
school attendance.”

Australian: Labor lashed for intervention bias
20 Oct 11: “Feminist campaigner Eva Cox yesterday claimed
the consultation report, released on Tuesday by Indigenous
Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin, did not reflect the
feelings of Aboriginal people living in intervention
communities. The report said that there was chorus of
indigenous people happy with the programs delivered by the
intervention and there was strong backing for some
policies, including the cancelling of welfare payments for
parents of regular truants. “What they’ve got in the final
report is pretty much what they decided to do before they
started consulting,” Ms Cox said.”

From welfare to business an unrealistic ask, say elders
20 Oct 11: “THE federal government’s bid to provide
indigenous Australians with improved business opportunities
as part of its fine-tuning of the Northern Territory
intervention is out of step with reality, senior Aboriginal
figures say. Launching the government’s indigenous economic
development strategy to 2018, Indigenous Affairs Minister
Jenny Macklin yesterday identified business development,
education and training and housing as the pillars of its
policy to enable Aborigines to share in the nation’s strong

SBS World News Australia:
Amnesty slams intervention ‘extension’
19 Oct 11: “Amnesty International says disadvantaged
indigenous people need local solutions, not the “failed”
intervention policy being pursued by the federal
government. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin on Tuesday said the government would continue the
interventionist policies brought in by the Howard
government in remote indigenous communities. Releasing a
new report, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory, she
also flagged a tougher approach to truancy and said
parent’s welfare payments would be linked to children’s
school attendance.”

9 News: End ‘failed’ intervention policy: Amnesty
19 Oct 11: “The approach was criticised by indigenous
elders and others living in so-called “town camps” where
people live often in shocking poverty, sometimes without
running water or reliable power supply. Amnesty on
Wednesday called on the government to work in partnership
with Aboriginal communities to find practical solutions.
“I haven’t seen anywhere in the world where quarantining
people’s money will help get children to school,” said
Rodney Dillon, an indigenous rights campaigner with

newsTracker: Govt under fire over intervention policies
19 Oct 11: “NORTHERN TERRITORY: The federal government has
come under fire for vowing to tie welfare payments to
school attendance in remote Aboriginal communities to
ensure children get to class. … Barbara Shaw, from the
Intervention Rollback Action Group, attacked the policy,
saying the Howard-era intervention had failed. … An
elder of the Ngambri nation, Matilda House-Williams, told
AAP a policy that targeted Aboriginal communities but did
not treat problems in poor white communities in the same
way would be discriminatory.”

Australian: Truant crackdown to test Aborigines
19 Oct 11: “THE widespread acceptance among indigenous
communities of the Northern Territory intervention is being
put to the test by the Gillard government’s plan to cut
welfare payments for the parents of truant children. …
Leading indigenous educator Chris Sarra said the
intervention dehumanised Aboriginal people and was the
latest in a history of government policies that “engineered
the impoverishment” of indigenous communities.”

ABC: Local opinion divided on truancy link to welfare
19 Oct 11: “A Northern Territory school principal says
linking school attendance to welfare payments is flawed and
a trial program has not worked at her college. Principal
Kathryn Van Egmond says 40 per cent of the students at
Xavier College on the Tiwi Islands often do not come to
school. But, she says, their parents do not receive welfare
payments so they are not penalised. She says there has been
some success with the docking of welfare payments but many
children are falling through the gaps.”

Australian: Indigenous welfare stance isolates Greens
19 Oct 11: “THE Greens will seek to block federal Labor’s
extended intervention into Northern Territory indigenous
communities, damning its tough-love policies as punitive
and rejecting its claims of on-the-ground support. But the
Coalition has offered in-principle support for Labor’s
plans, isolating the Greens and attacking the minor party’s
“inner-city intelligentsia” as having no understanding of

Age: Abbott backs enrolment, welfare link
19 Oct 11: “OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has declared his
support for legislation to link welfare payments to school
attendance in the Northern Territory but questioned the
Gillard government’s resolve. … Indigenous Affairs
Minister Jenny Macklin dismissed criticisms that the move
was discriminatory, insisting it would only apply in those
parts of the territory where there were serious problems
with children not going to school.”

National Indigenous Times: A new Intervention planned
19 Oct 11: “The Federal Government’s Indigenous Affairs
Minister, Jenny Macklin has claimed her much criticised
series of meetings with Northern Territory communities
revealed support for the Northern Territory Intervention
and her findings from those meetings will now form the
basis of the Labor Government’s new Intervention program
next year. … The community meetings subsequently
organised by Ms Macklin’s department were strongly
criticised by Indigenous leaders and community members with
claims there was little meaningful consultation because
little advance notice was provided when the meetings would
be held; documentation setting out the Government’s plans
were only made available shortly before meetings and
thirdly, the documentation was only provided in English
when most of the communities use English as their third

National Indigenous Radio Service:
Greens slam intervention expansion
18 Oct 11: “The Australian Greens have criticised the
Federal Government’s announcement on the next phase of the
Federal Intervention in the Northern Territory. … Greens
Senator Rachel Siewert says the consultation has been
inadequate and she disagrees with the compulsory nature of
the process.
Rachel Siewert: …continuation of more of the same
punitive approach instead of actually re-looking and
re-designing the intervention.  So, instead of being a
top-down, punitive, discriminatory approach, you’re
actually coming from a genuine approach of collaboration
and working with people. Voice ends.”

newsTracker: Labor launches Stronger Futures report
18 Oct 11: “NORTHERN TERRITORY: Indigenous Affairs Minister
Jenny Macklin says the federal government will do whatever
it takes to lift education standards and tackle alcohol
abuse in remote Aboriginal communities. With the Howard
government’s controversial intervention policy in the
Northern Territory set to expire next year, the Labor
government says it has been consulting with remote
communities to decide what will come next. Ms Macklin
released the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory
report in Alice Springs today.”

SBS World News Australia:
Report calls for intervention expansion
18 Oct 11: “And the current government says the release of
this report shows the intervention has the support of the
community as well. That allegation has been hotly disputed,
with both the Greens and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Commissioner saying the findings aren’t
representative of community opinion. “This is a very
complicated process. It covers a whole lot of very in-depth,
detailed issues, so it’s the six-week timeframe we have a
problem with,” Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said.”

Australian: Labor’s new-look Northern Territory intervention
18 Oct 11: “PARENTS who allow their children to become
truants will lose welfare payments under Labor’s plan to
toughen elements of the Northern Territory intervention
after a report found widespread acceptance of the
controversial program in Aboriginal communities. …
Speaking to The Australian in Alice Springs yesterday,
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said she remained
convinced grog bans, night patrols and welfare quarantine
measures were protecting women and children across the

Abbott offers ‘in-principle’ support of NT welfare reforms
18 Oct 11: “TONY Abbott has offered ”in-principle”
support for an extension of welfare reforms in the Northern
Territory but wants the government to get tougher on
truancy. The Opposition leader today said the Coalition
would work ”constructively” with the government to
introduce income management and truancy reform in the NT
but would need to see more detail of the plan.”

Australian: Howard minister Mal Brough backs crackdown on
welfare payments to truants’ parents
18 Oct 11: “THE architect of the Northern Territory
intervention has backed a planned crackdown on welfare
payments for the parents of truant children while urging
the government to proceed with the second stage of his
emergency response to tackling indigenous disadvantage.”


Creative Spirits:
Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER)
– “The Intervention”:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response:

CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association)
– NT Intervention:

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney):

Tracker – NT Intervention:

The Greens: Rachel Siewert: Northern Territory Intervention:

Crikey – NT Intervention:

Treaty Republic – NT Intervention:

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group):
Mparntwe – Alice Springs:

‘concerned Australians’:
Without Justice there can be no Reconciliation:

MAIC (Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective):

The Conversation – After the Intervention:

ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation)
– NT intervention:

Jobs with Justice:

New Matilda – northern territory intervention:

Amnesty International Australia:
Looking back at the Northern Territory Intervention:

Students For Indigenous Rights – UQ:
The Northern Territory Intervention:

Defending Indigenous Rights:

Intervention walk-off’s Blog:

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Northern Territory ‘Emergency Response’ intervention:

FAIRA; Human Rights Law Resource Centre; NACLC:
Australia’s compliance with CERD – Fact Sheet 2:
Northern Territory Intervention:

Green Left: Northern Territory intervention: myths and facts:

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights):

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