Challenge to Takeover of Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps
Will the NT Indigenous Policy Minister quit Labor?
Update on Aboriginal housing in the Northern Territory
Other NT Intervention articles
Other Aboriginal articles


– Special Investigation

National Indigenous Times:
NIT Special Investigation: Macklin botches Alice Springs
town camp compulsory acquisition… again
27 Jul 09: “Jenny Macklin has botched the compulsory
acquisition of the Alice Springs town camps for the second
time in as many months, and now faces the prospect of
having to cut a deal with Tangentyere Council – an
organisation she has been publicly flogging for two months
– or delay the government takeover until at least October,
documents obtained by the National Indigenous Times reveal.
The latest blunder relates to the period of notice that must
be provided by the Commonwealth to anyone whose interest in
the town camp land is affected by the proposed compulsory
acquisition.” Chris Graham

– Radio

ABC Radio Australia: Connect Asia: Australian government
set to take control of ‘appalling’ town camps
27 Jul 09: “The Australian Government has described living
conditions in Aboriginal communities on the fringe of Alice
Springs in central Australia, as appalling and in need of
urgent change. But government plans to take over the camps
looks set to be delayed even further. Solicitors acting for
one town camp resident are threatening a legal challenge to
the takeover on the grounds that the Australian Government
hasn’t given the camps’ Indigenous residents enough notice.
But not all camp residents support the legal action and some
say they’re desperate for change.
Presenter: Sara Everingham.
Speakers: Mark Lockyer, resident of the Hidden Valley town
camp; George Newhouse, lawyer for a town camp resident”

– News

ABC: Macklin notified of Federal Court injunction
28 Jul 09: “Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin has been officially notified about legal action
against her. Alice Springs resident Barbara Shaw has made
an application for a Federal Court injunction claiming the
Minister’s notification process for the compulsory
acquisition of town camps is flawed and unfair.”

ABC: Legal action launched over town camps takeover
27 Jul 09: “An Alice Springs resident has commenced legal
proceedings in an attempt to stop the Federal Government
taking over town camps. Lawyers have submitted an
application for a Federal Court injunction claiming
Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, has not
consulted directly with over 200 residents about the
compulsory acquisition of the camps.”

Australian: Takeover of camps faces new obstacle
27 Jul 09: “THE federal government’s proposed takeover of
the squalid and violent Alice Springs town camps faces
further delays, with lawyers representing a camp resident
threatening to seek a Federal Court injunction. … An
injunction could force the minister to strike an agreement
with the Tangentyere Council or extend the consultation
period by another 60 days.”

ABC: Town camps takeover could be averted: Tangentyere
24 Jul 09: “The Tangentyere Council says it is confident it
can reach an agreement with the Commonwealth that will
avert a planned takeover of the Alice Springs town camps
next month. … A Tangentyere spokesman says while town
camp residents do not want to become public housing
tenants, they would be likely to accept the deal if
Territory Housing contracted the council to continue some
tenancy services, such as rent collection.”

– Tangentyere Background Briefing

Rollback the Intervention:
Background to the threatened Commonwealth acquisition of
Alice Springs town camps
July 09: “Contents
– Introduction to Tangentyere Council
– Brief history of recent housing and lease negotiations
– Concerns of town camp residents about the Territory
Housing takeover
– Article: “The Other Side of the Alice”,
Sydney Morning Herald, August 21, 2007.
Outline of the struggle for resources in the town camps
– Article: “Leaked advice reveals Macklin’s deception”,
National Indigenous Times, July 6, 2009”

– Further Background Info

Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs:
Resolution on Lease Negotiations Close (22 May 09)

WGAR News:
Takeover of Aboriginal Land in Alice Springs (26 May 09):

WGAR News:
Compulsory Acquisition of Alice Springs Town Camps (30 May 09):

WGAR News:
National support for Tangentyere Council (3 June 09):

WGAR News:
Alice Springs town camps takeover (6 Jun 09):
[scroll down page] http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-marion-scrymgour-resigns-labor-party-alice-springs-town-camps-takeover-6-jun-09

WGAR News:
Alice Springs town camps takeover (12 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]

WGAR News:
Alice Springs Town Camps (19 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]

National Indigenous Times:
The Boxed Seat: A pox on all their houses (25 Jun 09)

WGAR News:
Alice Springs Town Camps (6 Jul 09)
[scroll down page]

National Indigenous Times: Special NIT Investigation:
Leaked advice reveals Rudd government’s deceit on NT
intervention consultations and Alice Springs town camps
land grab (6 Jul 09)

NT council slams town camps plan (11 Jul 09)

WGAR News:
Attempt to Takeover Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps (20 Jul 09)

WGAR News:
Attempt to Takeover Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps (24 Jul 09)
[scroll down page]


– Of Related Interest

WGAR News: Marion Scrymgour resigns from Labor Party (6 Jun 09)

– News

Australian: Minister may quit over NT housing
24 Jul 09: “NORTHERN Territory Aboriginal Affairs Minister
Alison Anerson has threatened to quit the Labor party in
protest over the Rudd government’s “appalling” handling of
a $700million remote housing package that she labelled a
“big farce”.”

Northern Territory News: Anderson threatens walk-out
24 Jul 09: “ANOTHER Territory Labor Government politician
has threatened to leave the party over the handling of
indigenous affairs. … Ms Anderson told The Australian
that a briefing last week warned that the Commonwealth’s
$672 million housing program would only deliver 300 houses.
“It was quite openly told to us that there will be 15 per
cent administrative costs going to government, 40 per cent
for the alliance (building) partners and another 15 per
cent for indirect costs, whatever that is,” she said. “That
leaves 30 per cent that will hit the ground.” ”

ABC: Chief Minister dismisses walk-out threat
24 Jul 09: “The Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul
Henderson, says his Minister for Indigenous Policy, Alison
Anderson, will not be leaving the Labor Party despite a
newspaper report saying she was threatening to do so. The
report in The Australian said Ms Anderson was willing to
walk away from the party over its $672 million remote
housing program for Indigenous communities, which has come
under fire after it was revealed no houses had been built
after more than a year.”

news.com.au: Indigenous housing figures ‘are wrong’
24 Jul 09: “NORTHERN Territory Chief Minister Paul
Henderson is adamant damning figures on the progress of a
remote indigenous housing program are wrong. He has also
played down talk of divisions within his party, and says
he’s confident Labor will hold onto power in the NT.”

Northern Territory News:
Govt crisis with second minister’s threat to quit
25 Jul 09: “THE Northern Territory Government is again on
the verge of collapse after another Labor politician
threatened to leave the party over the handling of
indigenous affairs. The possible defection of Indigenous
Affairs Minister Alison Anderson would leave Labor and the
Country Liberals with 11 members each in parliament.”

Australian: Minister adds fuel to house fee anger
27 Jul 09: “A SECOND indigenous minister in the Northern
Territory has demanded an explanation from his government
on how $800million in public funds for Aboriginal housing
will be spent. The Territory’s Minister for Central
Australia, Karl Hampton, has backed the concerns of
Indigenous Affairs Minister Alison Anderson, who last week
labelled Labor’s handling of the program as a “big farce”.”

ABC: Cabinet to meet after walk-out threat
28 Jul 09: “Northern Territory Government ministers are due
to meet today for the first time since a senior member
threatened to resign over allegations Indigenous housing
money is being wasted. Indigenous Policy Minister, Alison
Anderson, has been on leave since threatening to resign
last week, but she is planning to attend today’s Cabinet

Northern Territory News: Cabinet to talk or Alison walks
28 Jul 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Alison Anderson is
set to face her Labor colleagues for the first time since
she publicly threatened to walk out on the party and bring
down the NT Government. … If she [Anderson] is not
satisfied, Ms Anderson could carry out her threat to leave
the party – which could lead to a change in government or
trigger an election.”


– Background on NT Housing

WGAR News:
No new Aboriginal houses under Northern Territory Intervention (12 Jul 09)

WGAR News:
Government failure over NT Aboriginal housing (24 Jul 09)

– Background on Aboriginal Elders Walk-off

WGAR News:
30 Aboriginal Elders Walk-off to Protest NT Intervention (20 Jul 09)
[scroll down page]

WGAR News:
Aboriginal Elders Walk-off, challenging the NT Intervention (24 Jul 09)
[scroll down page]

– Radio

CAAMA Radio News AM
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
24 Jul 09:
“* Things go from bad to worse for the Federal Labor
Governement Aboriginal housing policy
* Macklin Claims she will get back with the figures
* Aboriginal people affraid to take part in NTER

CAAMA News Radio: Breaking News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
24 Jul 09: “Northern Territory Minister for Central
Australia Karl Hampton speaks exclusively with CAAMA Radio
about the growing fiasco surrounding the Rudd Labor
Governments Aboriginal housing plan.”

CAAMA News Radio:
Calls for more communities to follow Ampilitwatja Walk Off
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
23 Jul 09: “Elders and leaders from Ampilitwatja
(Um-blood-a-wich) are urging other communities across the
NT to join them in taking strong action to restore
Indigenous rights following some community members movement
away from the community to outstations.”

– Video

ABC Lateline: SIHIP ‘hasn’t delivered single house’
23 Jul 09: “It’s part of the most expensive
Indigenous-housing project Australia’s ever seen. But
almost two years after it started, the program known as
SIHIP has yet to deliver a single house. The Federal
Government says everything’s on track and has reacted
angrily to allegations the money is being wasted.”
[includes comments by Nigel Scullion, Jenny Macklin,
Kim Hill and Rob Knight]

– Opinion

Green Left: No new houses: Labor’s Aboriginal housing plan
26 Jul 09: “On July 15, elders left the remote Aboriginal
community of Ampilatwatja for more remote ancestral lands.
They were protesting a dire lack of basic services in their
community, despite repeated government promises to “close
the gap” and end Aboriginal disadvantage. The elders left
the 150-strong Ampilatwatja community, outraged that after
three years of the Northern Territory intervention, nothing
had improved in their community.” Peter Robson

National Indigenous Times:
Editorial: Time for action
23 Jul 09: “Even for those who don’t care about black
suffering, the revelations that Minister for Indigenous
Affairs Jenny Macklin is poised to waste hundreds of
millions of dollars of taxpayer’s funds should outrage all

National Indigenous Times:
Ringy’s Ramblings: Cut the crap, close the gap
23 Jul 09: “Earlier this month, COAG met in Darwin to help
‘close the gap’ and generated more of the hot air that is
already available in abundance here in Darwin, writes
GRAHAM RING*. … Consider for example a recent joint
offering from federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs,
Jenny Macklin and Northern Territory Housing Minister, Rob
Knight entitled ‘SIHIP upgrades underway in the Territory’.”

National Indigenous Times:
The Pointed View: More hope goes down the drain
23 Jul 09: “On the Rudd government’s repeated claims of a
focus on closing the gap, PROF LARISSA BEHRENDT smells a
rat. The community of Ampilatwatja smells something even
worse. A protest in the Northern Territory in recent days
has highlighted why the government cannot shift the
disparity in living conditions between black and white

– News

Northern Territory News: ‘Open’ book closes on Jack’s pay
28 Jul 09: “TERRITORIANS are not allowed to know how much a
former Labor Government minister is being paid to advise on
the roll-out of a $672 million housing program.”

National Indigenous Times:
NT govt can’t be trusted to deliver indigenous housing: oppn
27 Jul 09: “The fact no houses have been built in remote
Indigenous communities under a new scheme shows the
Northern Territory government isn’t up to the task, the
opposition says.”

ABC: CLP demands answers over Indigenous housing
27 Jul 09: “The Northern Territory Opposition says the
Territory Government must produce a breakdown of how money
is being spent under the $672 million Strategic Indigenous
Housing and Infrastructure Program.”

Australian: Vow to explain cost of remote housing plan
25 Jul 09: “Following reports that millions in funding
under the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure
Program was being squandered in bureaucratic and
administrative costs, NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson
vowed yesterday to “get to the bottom” of how the $672m
package was being spent.”

ABC: Aboriginal housing program concerns us: HIA
24 Jul 09: “The Housing Industry Association says many
contractors continue to believe an Indigenous housing
program in the Northern Territory will not meet its
targets. … The program has been criticised for being
inefficient because it has been operating for 15 months but
at this stage no new houses have been built.”

ABC: Sewage crisis reveals appalling housing: NT Shelter
24 Jul 09: “The Northern Territory’s peak housing group [NT
Shelter] says a mass walk-out from a Central Australian
community highlights the appalling housing conditions in
remote Aboriginal areas. Some residents in Ampilatwatja,
325 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs, walked out of
their community last week, saying ageing infrastructure was
to blame for raw sewage flowing into houses.”

ABC: No new houses for Ampilatwatja: Macklin
24 Jul 09: “The federal Indigenous Affairs Minister says no
new houses will be built in the remote central Australian
community of Ampilatwatja. Residents walked off the
community two weeks ago protesting against housing
conditions and the federal intervention. One of their
demands was new houses to replace tin sheds in the

ABC: Abbott ‘derelict in his duty’: Brough
24 Jul 09: “The former Indigenous affairs minister, Mal
Brough, has criticised fellow Liberal Tony Abbott for
refusing to comment on a controversial Aboriginal housing
scheme because of a book deal.”

Northern Territory News: Labor denies housing failure
24 Jul 09: “THE Territory Government yesterday denied
reports it was wasting 70 per cent of the Commonwealth’s
$672 million housing program on various administrative

National Indigenous Times:
Ticking Boxes: Pt II
23 Jul 09: “Indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin was
warned more than a year ago that the Rudd government’s
Northern Territory intervention housing program would not
build any new homes before 2011, could lead to high-level
corruption and needed to be reviewed before “too much more
money was wasted”, leaked government documents reveal.”

National Indigenous Times:
Greens quiz FaHCSIA on SIHIP
23 Jul 09: “Jenny Macklin’s department refused to disclose
to parliament whether the minister had been advised against
the $700 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Program (SIHIP), after being quizzed by a
Greens Senator.”

National Indigenous Times:
Unanswered questions: Macklin’s office stonewalls on SIHIP woes
23 Jul 09: “Last week the National Indigenous Times
provided a series of written questions to the Minister for
Indigenous Affairs about the government’s handling of the
SIHIP program. Most of our questions were ignored.
Following are some of the questions sent by NIT.”

ABC: Barkly Shire demands $5m for Utopia housing
23 Jul 09: “The Barkly Shire president has called for an
immediate injection of $5 million for housing in her
community. Rosalie Kunoth Monks says the Utopia region has
been left out of plans for new housing under the Strategic
Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program.”

National Indigenous Times:
Macklin denies Indigenous housing project not spent on homes
23 Jul 09: “Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin says reports only 30 per cent of funds set aside to
built remote Indigenous houses will be spent on new homes
are “completely wrong”.”

ABC: Macklin defends admin costs for Indigenous housing
23 Jul 09: “The federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny
Macklin, has defended the amount of money spent on
administering the Aboriginal housing program in the
Northern Territory.”

– Government Response

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP &
Paul Henderson MLA, NT Chief Minister:
Media Releases: Driving Indigenous housing in the NT
24 Jul 09: “The Australian and Northern Territory
Governments are determined to achieve the ambitious targets
they have set in housing reform to deliver long-overdue
housing to Indigenous Australians in the NT. Over the next
5 years, the Australian and NT Governments have committed
$672 million to the Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Program (SIHIP). This program will see the
construction of around 750 new houses, 230 rebuilds of
existing houses and 2500 upgrades plus essential
infrastructure including power, water and sewage.”


– Background to Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Stop the Intervention website:

Rollback the Intervention website:

Working Group for Aboriginal Rights website:
[see WGAR NT Intervention e-newsletter archive]

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
Opinion: Ticking Boxes Pt 1 Update: A not-so-united nation
23 Jul 09: “In ‘Ticking Boxes’ Part I we brought you
revelations that Jenny Macklin was advised by her
department against formally consulting with Aboriginal
people on the compulsory acquisition of their land under
the NT intervention. Human Rights Medal winner LES MALEZER*
predicts more damage for Australia’s reputation on the
international stage.”

– News

Socialist Alternative:
Aboriginal rights protest targets centrelink
July 09: ” “Basic Rights, not Basics Cards!” That was the
chant as around a hundred protesters converged on the
Centrelink office in Heidelberg (Melbourne) on July 10. We
had been protesting against the Northern Territory
Intervention outside the office of Jenny Macklin, the
Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister. … We were generally
well received by both Centrelink clients and staff; many
took our leaflet with a smile. The Heidelberg police,
however, were not so pleased to see us. Even though people
were still being served, the police insisted in clearing
the office.” Jerome Small

National Indigenous Times:
A violent end to NT intervention Centrelink protest
23 Jul 09: “A disabled man was pulled from his wheelchair
and dragged along the ground by Victorian police in a
violent end to an NT intervention protest at a Centrelink
branch, a few blocks from the office of Indigenous affairs
minister Jenny Macklin.”


Vimeo: Basic Rights -v- Police Brutality
(Australian style re NT Intervention)

WGAR News:
Anti-Intervention sit-in at Centrelink in Melbourne (20 Jul 09)
[scroll down page]


– Media Release

Global Day of Action Against Open-Pit Mining
& Lake Cowal goldmine
22 Jul 09: “Neville Chappy Williams, who has consistently
opposed the open-pit mine at Lake Cowal in the middle of
the Murray-Darling Basin, is delivering documents to the
Canadian High Commissioner and the Minerals Council of
Australia in Canberra as part of the Global Day of Action
against open-pit mining. Neville Chappy Williams is a
Traditional Owner of Lake Cowal and has fought many court
cases against mining at Lake Cowal. “It is my sacred duty
to protect Lake Cowal and our ancient cultural heritage.
We will never give up. I will fight to the bitter end.”
Currently, he has halted the proposed expansion of the gold
mine in Barrick v Williams in the NSW Court of Appeal.”

– Speech

Crikey: Ian Thorpe: Australia’s dirty little secret
23 Jul 09: “Once more an Australian government has claimed
it is doing its best for Aboriginal Australians by taking
over their communities, appointing white managers, more
government bureaucrats, promising all kinds of things, if
Aboriginal people will just sign over their communities
under forty year leases to the Federal Government. And
politicians wonder why Aboriginal people do not trust
them.” Ian Thorpe

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
Blackcurrent: Getting blood from our stone
23 Jul 09: “In the designated week for celebrating
Aboriginal culture, we saw white Australia’s willingness to
disrespect it, writes AMY McQUIRE. … NAIDOC was a
celebration of culture that was transmitted from the blue
waters of the Torres Strait and the high peaks of the
Kimberleys, from the urban homes of Redfern right to the
heart of the red centre. It was a pity though, that during
this week a cloud shrouded iconic Uluru – a symbol of the
Anangu’s ongoing spirituality.”

See: WGAR News: Attempts to restrict Aboriginal languages
in Northern Territory schools (15 Jul 09)

National Indigenous Times: Opinion:
NIT coverage of bi-lingual debate a disgrace: Scrymgour
23 Jul 09: “In the past few editions of the National
Indigenous Times, we’ve included extensive coverage of the
decision by the Northern Territory government to
effectively axe bi-lingual education in Aboriginal schools.
That coverage has been the subject of a detailed complaint
by the former Minister for Education in the NT, Marion

National Indigenous Times:
Opinion: A reply in writing from Scrymgour
23 Jul 09: “Last month, as part of our coverage of the NT
bi-lingual debate, we sent former Minister for Education,
Marion Scrymgour a list of questions. The reply was lengthy
and, as is standard practice, we published excerpts which
summarised Ms Scrymgour’s view. However, Ms Scrymgour has
complained the quoting was selective, and misrepresented
her position. NIT stands by its reporting and rejects the
assertions made by Ms Scrymgour. However, in the interests
of fairness, following are the questions and responses in

National Indigenous Times:
Opinion: Scrymgour outlines her position
23 Jul 09: “On June 26, Marion Scrymgour issued the
following written statement in response to media articles
criticising her decision over the future of bi-lingual
education in the Northern Territory.”

See: WGAR News: Attempts to restrict Aboriginal languages
in Northern Territory schools (15 Jul 09)

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: