Media Release
Radio Interview


Intervention Rollback Action Group:
Takeover of Aboriginal Land marks Opening of Reconciliation Week
24 May 09: “Today Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin
marked the opening of Reconciliation Week by announcing
that Alice Springs town camps will be compulsorily
acquired. The announcement has been met with outrage by
town camp residents. The move comes after Tangentyere
Council, acting on behalf of town camp residents, rejected
a 40 year lease deal which precluded all Aboriginal control
and management of camp housing which would put
decision-making and resources into the hands of Territory


CAAMA Radio (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
Australian Exclusive-
Tangentyere Council refuses $120 million dollar land lease
22 May 09: “CAAMA News Director Paul Wiles talks to the
Tangentyere Council President Walter Shaw, about their
decision to reject the Rudd Government’s land lease deal”


SBS Living Black: Northern Territory – Lease Of Life
18 May 09: “Last year the Federal Government proposed to
take over the camps in a 40 year lease agreement: it would
provide town campers with $50 million to improve housing
and living conditions. In exchange, housing management
would be given to the Territory Government. The town
campers weren’t willing to sign. With deadlines looming and
the offer of money doubled, Living Black’s Yaara Bou Melhem
spoke to town campers about the reasons why they say they
still won’t sign.”


Age: We could wait no longer on shanty towns
25 May 09: “Alice Springs’ camps of despair are crying out
for Government action. … I am convinced that embarking on
this difficult course of action is the moral and right
thing to do.” Jenny Macklin, Minister for Indigenous

Australian: Macklin right to act on Alice Springs
25 May 09: “The minister is obliged to help house suffering
people. PERHAPS there is a case against Indigenous Affairs
Minister Jenny Macklin’s announcement that she will
compulsorily acquire the Aboriginal- controlled town camps
around Alice Springs, but it is a hard one for anybody who
puts the wellbeing of the most disadvantaged of all
Australians above ideology to make.” [anonymous]

GLW: Aboriginal communities under new attack from ALP
23 May 09: “Meanwhile, Tangentyere Council in Alice Springs
has rejected on offer of $125 million from the federal
government to upgrade housing and services in the
Aboriginal town camps it represents. The funding was
conditional on Tangentyere signing its housing stock onto
40-year leases, a condition it has consistently opposed.
The offer would have meant Tangentyere Council became an
advisory body for residents, rather than the representative
and service-delivery agency it currently is.” Peter Robson

GLW: Alice town camps resist ‘mainstreaming’
16 May 09: “In a new lease deal proposed by Aboriginal
affairs minister Jenny Macklin in early May, Aboriginal
people in Alice Springs town camps could lose control over
their housing. … The town camps are represented by
Tangentyere Council, which also provides locally organised
services such as night patrols. Tangentyere Council has
been given until May 21 to accept or reject the lease deal,
but CEO William Tilmouth has been deeply critical of the
government’s offer and the negotiation process.” Peter Robson


Koori Mail: Town campers fear eviction, say lobbyists
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/
25 May 09: “The Intervention Rollback Action Group says
Alice Springs town campers are worried they’ll be evicted
or face higher rents under Federal Government plans to
compulsorily acquire the town camps for management by NT
Housing. It says NT housing has a record of evicting people
for cooking kangaroo in the backyard or receiving visit
from bush relatives.”

SMH: Territory land resumption ‘clearly discriminatory’
25 May 09: “THE possible compulsory acquisition of town
camps around Alice Springs by the Rudd Government could be
referred to the United Nations, the human rights lawyer and
former Labor election candidate George Newhouse says.”

ABC: Town camps takeover illegal: lawyer
25 May 09: “The Commonwealth’s threat to compulsorily
acquire Aboriginal town camps in Alice Springs breaches
international law, a prominent lawyer says. … But lawyer
George Newhouse, who is representing several town camp
residents over a separate matter, says the forced resumption
of leases would go against the Government’s commitments to
the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial

Australian: Macklin lays down law on town camp seizures
25 May 09: “JENNY Macklin says she has taken her toughest
stand as Indigenous Affairs Minister by telling the
Tangentyere Council she will compulsorily acquire the town
camps of Alice Springs unless it accepts her $125 million
offer to upgrade them. Ms Macklin said she would use
Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation to seize
the camps … ”

Brisbane Times: Federal Government to acquire NT Aboriginal camps
25 May 09: “ALICE Springs’ notorious Aboriginal town camps
will be compulsorily acquired by the Rudd Government after
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said she could no
longer tolerate the “appalling living conditions” and
endemic violence some 2000 residents are forced to endure.”

Koori Mail: Govt to compulsorily acquire town camps
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/
24 May 09: “The Federal Government says it will
compulsorily acquire the Alice Springs town camps,
following Tangentyere Council’s rejection of a $125 million
housing and infrastructure offer. Indigenous Affairs
Minister Jenny Macklin says ‘appalling’ conditions in the
camps and the Council’s insistence on controlling who gets
a house – sometimes based on ‘who you’re related to’ – have
left the Government with no other option.”

ABC: Govt threatens to take over town camps
24 May 09: “The Federal Government is threatening to take
over Indigenous town camps around Alice Springs. The
Government has been negotiating a 40-year lease agreement
with the Tangentyere Council which controls the town camps.”

ABC: Town camps takeover ‘sends mixed messages’
24 May 09: “The Federal Opposition has accused the
Government of sending mixed messages to Indigenous
communities over the Northern Territory intervention.”

Australian: Move to seize Alice Springs town camps looks set
23 May 09: “THE Rudd Government is considering compulsorily
acquiring the town camps of Alice Springs after the
Tangentyere Council this week turned its back on another
huge package aimed at alleviating suffering in the camps.”

ABC: No deal: council rejects $100m lease offer
22 May 09: “The Tangentyere Council has rejected the
Federal Government’s offer of $100 million for 40-year
leases over town camps in Alice Springs.”

Koori Mail: Two sticking points on town camp deal, says Tangentyere
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/
22 May 09: “Tangentyere Council says it is ‘very close’ to
cutting a deal with the Federal Government for $120 million
in housing and infrastructure for Alice Springs town camps
but is holding out for community decision making powers
under any 40-year sublease and for a Tangentyere-owned
company to manage town camp housing for at least three

NIT: Macklin says no deal yet on Alice Springs camps
22 May 09: “The Aboriginal council which oversees the Alice
Springs town camps is yet to agree to a Rudd government
offer of $125 million for new housing and services. The
Tangentyere Council has been reluctant to do a deal because
it involves signing over traditional lands to the Northern
Territory government for 40 years.”

Koori Mail: No deal on Alice Springs town camps
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/
22 May 09: “The Federal Government is considering its
options after Tangentyere Council yesterday rejected $120
million for housing and infrastructure in Alice Springs
town camps in exchange for 40-year leases. Chief Minister
Paul Henderson says the news is a tragedy but the Territory
Opposition says the failure to reach agreement illustrates
government incompetence.”

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