31/03/09: NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION

Contents:
Media Releases
Sydney Forum – Racism and the NT Intervention
Intervention Opinion
Intervention Radio Interviews
Intervention News
Other News

MEDIA RELEASES:

STICS: Intervention protesters condemn UN Declaration hypocrisy
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/media-release-intervention-protesters-condemn-un-declaration-hypocrisy
30 Mar 09: “The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney
(STICS) will hold a protest today at 1pm at the offices of
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd demanding an end to the NT
Intervention and the current pressure on remote communities
across Australia to sign long term land leases in exchange
for housing. STICS have described the Rudd government as
hypocritical, following the recent announcement that
Australia will endorse the United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The group says the
Intervention and proposed leasing arrangements severely
contravene the declaration.”

IRAG: Aboriginal women denied access to welfare payments
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/media-release-aboriginal-women-denied-access-welfare-payments
23 Mar 09: “Aboriginal women traveling interstate from the
Northern Territory have been unable to access their money
due to the limitations imposed by the Northern Territory
Intervention. Barbara Shaw from Alice Springs and Valerie
Martin from Yuendumu have been in the Byron Bay Shire on a
speaking tour for the past week. During this time, they
have been unable to access their money held in quarantine
by Centrelink.”

Progress report for the Northern Territory Emergency Response
http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/jennymacklin.nsf/content/progress_nter_22mar2009.htm
22 Mar 09: “The Northern Territory Emergency Response
(NTER) is making good progress with more than 15,000 people
on income management, more police on the beat and a
successful school nutrition program in 70 communities. The
Australian Government is moving the NTER to a sustainable
development phase to ensure measures will be effective for
the long-term, including engagement and partnership with
Indigenous communities. We are committed to strengthening
our efforts to combat violence, child abuse and rebuild
social norms. The Government must help protect women and
children from the shocking levels of abuse and violence.”
Jenny Macklin MP & Warren Snowden MP

SYDNEY FORUM – RACISM AND THE NT INTERVENTION:

Stop the Intervention: Racism and the NT Intervention – Forum
http://stoptheintervention.org/forum-racism-and-nt-intervention
“A forum addressing the impact of the ongoing suspension of
the Racial Discrimination Act by the Rudd Government took
place on Sunday, March 22nd 2009 at 3pm at the Guthrie
Theatre, UTS, 702 Harris St, Broadway, Sydney”

Rollback the Intervention: Audio Recordings
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/audio-recordings/
“The following tracks are from the forum held in Sydney on
March 22, 2009 “Racism and the NT Intervention”.”
Includes recordings of:

  • Speech by Irene Fisher, CEO of Sunrise Health Service in

Katherine – read by Professor Larissa Behrendt

  • Valerie Martin from Yuendumu community
  • Geoff Scott- CEO of NSW Land Council
  • David Cooper, Acting Director of ANTaR

(Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation)

  • Olivia Nigro from STICS

(Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney)

INTERVENTION OPINION:

Brisbane Times: Intervention is hurting health
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/intervention-is-hurting-health-20090330-9gzm.html
30 Mar 09: “The Sunrise Health Service covers 112,000
square kilometres of the Northern Territory east of
Katherine and is at the frontline in dealing with the
health parts of the intervention. All but one community
within its area are subject to the intervention’s measures,
including welfare quarantining. Sunrise has compared data
collected before and since the intervention and the results
are dispiriting.” Larissa Behrendt and Irene Fisher

Solidarity: Deceit and hypocrisy—Rudd’s sorry reportcard
http://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/deceit-and-hypocrisy-rudds-sorry-reportcard/
March 2009: “Apart from the Intervention, Rudd relied
largely on funding announcements to demonstrate his
commitment to “closing the gap”. But many of these
announcements—in areas like health, education and housing—
were not commitments to Indigenous specific funding, but
rather general spending programs “that Indigenous people
will benefit from”. Government plans for housing reveal
clearly how “mainstreaming”—breaking up Aboriginal control
of organisations and land—has become their central strategy
for “closing the gap”.” Paddy Gibson

‘Bureaucratic bungle’ leads to interference artificer hale condition scare
http://martincraft.blogvis.com/2009/03/27/%E2%80%98bureaucratic-bungle%E2%80%99-leads-to-interference-artificer-hale-condition-scare-%C2%AB-icnn/
27 Mar 09: “Indigenous and bon-Indigenous people woorking
as part of the federal intervvention are suffering because
o a lack of cross-cultural training, a Northern Territory
commugity development organisation [Aboriginal Resource and
Development Services] says.  … He [Richard Trudgen] says
some federal intervention staff are unprepared for the
culture shock they experience.”

Crikey: Some critical issues in Aboriginal health and education
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2009/03/23/some-critical-issues-in-aboriginal-health-and-education/
23 Mar 09: “John Greatorex, a Darwin-based academic who has
previously worked as a teacher in north-east Arnhem Land
for 30 years, has written the following detailed response
to the Inside Story article on media reporting of Aboriginal
health: “I remember when the NT Intervention was announced,
many families rang asking why the government was sending the
army to take their children. … ”

Crikey: How the NT intervention is harming children
http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090323-How-the-NT-intervention-is-harming-children-.html
23 Mar 09: “Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation
CEO Irene Fisher writes from Katherine, NT: Income
management shames those who live under it and takes us back
to the days of the mission. It sets Aboriginal people apart
from their fellow Australians,”

NIT: The Pointed View: No debate on what keeps kids in school
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=17346
19 Mar 09: “Punishing parents to keep kids in school is a
short-sighted and knee jerk reaction that simply won’t see
Indigenous students return to the classroom, writes PROF
LARISSA BEHRENDT. Professor Mick Dodson’s recent call for
better education outcomes for Aboriginal children should
have provoked more discussion. The mainstream media focused
merely on more rhetoric by the welfare reform-obsessed to
continue to punish parents – and punish them more onerously
– if their children to not attend school.”

Crikey: On questioning the “viability” of remote Aboriginal settlements
http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090318-On-Questioning-the-Viability-of-Remote-Aboriginal-Settlements-.html
19 Mar 09: “World Vision Australia and the University of
Queensland’s Mark Moran writes: “Remoteness” alone is not
the core problem for Indigenous Australians”

Crikey: “The intervention has made no health difference”: GP
http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090312-The-intervention-has-made-no-health-difference-GP.html
12 Mar 09: “Earlier this year, I spent three weeks working
in the remote NT community of Oenepelli, writes Melbourne
GP Di Marchant.”

INTERVENTION RADIO INTERVIEWS:

ABC Radio National – Awaye!: Indigenous life writing
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/awaye/stories/2009/2519447.htm
21 Mar 09: ” … we meet a senior traditional owner and
Yolngu educator [Yingiya Guyula] from East Arnhem Land
whose clan estates have been compulsorily acquired by the
Commonwealth under the terms of the Northern Territory
intervention. He says life on the Aboriginal homelands is
fundamentally different to that in remote communities.”

SBS Living Black: Northern Territory – Paradise Lost
http://news.sbs.com.au/livingblack/paradise_lost_563608
23 Mar 09: “Homeland communities, also known as
outstations, go to the heart of Aboriginal identity. Small
family groups live on their traditional lands, away from
the problems afflicting so many larger Aboriginal
communities. Your Say: Should governments support Indigenous
people living on homelands no matter what the cost? Homeland
life is linked to better health and stronger connections
with culture. But it’s not all paradise. … ”

INTERVENTION NEWS:

En Passant: Indigenous Activist Barbara Shaw speaks out
against Racist Northern Territory Land Grab
http://enpassant.com.au/?p=2541
27 Mar 09: “Barbara Shaw, an Indigenous activist from Mt
Nancy, Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and leading member of the
Intervention Rollback Action Group will be speaking at the
upcoming Marxism 2009 conference at Melbourne University …
Barbara Shaw will be expressing the Indigenous voice that
has so far been ignored by the mainstream media. This
session will be highlighting the active opposition
Indigenous communities are showing to Rudd’s racist Northern
Territory land grab.”

ABC: Indigenous communities ‘bribed’ to sign leases
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/27/2528513.htm
27 Mar 09: “Indigenous mayors and presidents of the
Northern Territory’s shires have accused the Federal
Government of unfairly bribing communities to sign land
leases.”

ABC: Intervention rebranding ‘welcome, but apology needed’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/27/2528258.htm
27 Mar 09: “The Barkly Shire’s president Rosalie
Kunoth-Monks has welcomed the Federal Government’s
rebranding of the Northern Territory Emergency Response.
The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin
said last week the intervention had moved from a “crisis”
to a “sustainable development phase”.”

ABC: Gulpilil joins One Mile Dam protest
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/26/2527117.htm
26 Mar 09: “Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil says he fears
the Northern Territory Government intends to move his
community off a piece of land in the centre of Darwin where
they have lived for 30 years.”

SMH: New card to control welfare spending
http://www.smh.com.au/national/new-card-to-control-welfare-spending-20090325-9ai7.html?skin=text-only
26 Mar 09: “THE Federal Government is investigating a new
Eftpos-style card that will allow it to continue taking
over people’s welfare payments in cases where it believes
money is being misspent.”

SMH: Rudd’s indigenous homes plan for just 26 communities
http://www.smh.com.au/national/rudds-indigenous-homes-plan-for-just-26-communities-20090324-98wx.html?skin=text-only
25 Mar 09: “THOUSANDS of remote indigenous communities
across Australia have been excluded from the first stage of
a $5.5 billion Federal Government program to build new
houses, schools and clinics.”

NIT: No welfare payments for NT intervention critics on speaking tour
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=17392
24 Mar 09: “Indigenous women from the Northern Territory
have likened welfare quarantining to the “old dog tag
system” after they were unable to access their payments in
NSW. … Barbara Shaw, from a town camp in Alice Springs,
and Valerie Martin, from the remote central Australian
community of Yuendumu, have spent the past week at Byron
Bay as part of a speaking tour of Australia. But the
Indigenous women said they were unable to access any of
their money, quarantined by Centrelink.”

NIT: Intervention doing nothing to stop grog running: NT police
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=17394
24 Mar 09: “A Northern Territory policeman says grog
running is still a huge problem in remote Indigenous
communities, despite the federal intervention.”

ABC: Macklin is ‘twiddling her thumbs on housing’: NT Opposition
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/24/2524821.htm
24 Mar 09: “The Northern Territory Opposition says the
multi-billion dollar Commonwealth commitment to new housing
in selected remote communities fails to get to the heart of
the disadvantage. The Opposition’s spokesman for regional
development, Adam Giles, says any money is welcome but
there needs to be more structured funding to make the
communities economic hubs.”

6 minutes: NT intervention may fizzle out
http://www.6minutes.com.au/articles/z1/view.asp?id=474355
24 Mar 09: “The Northern Territory health intervention is
in danger of losing momentum, a leading clinician warns. Dr
Bill Glasson, former AMA President and taskforce consultant
told 6minutes that disbanding the Northern Territory
Emergency Task Force after just one year of operation was
“far too short”, and the Federal government must take back
some of the subsequent control it gave to the territory.”

ABC: Abbott wants details on Indigenous housing plan
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/24/2524202.htm
24 Mar 09: “Federal Opposition Indigenous affairs spokesman
Tony Abbott says there needs to be more transparency in the
Government’s plan to boost housing in Aboriginal
communities. … Mr Abbott says the Government needs to
outline its economic strategy for those communities.”

Age: Canberra gag on intervention boss
http://www.theage.com.au/national/canberra-gag-on-intervention-boss-20090323-97hu.html
24 Mar 09: “THE Federal Government has banned Mike Zissler,
the new commander of the $1.5 billion emergency
intervention in 73 remote Northern Territory indigenous
communities, from answering media questions.”

ABC: Govt delivers town camp lease ultimatum
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/23/2523722.htm
23 Mar 09: “The Federal Government says it will not build
any more houses in town camps in Alice Springs unless
Indigenous communities agree to sign a Government lease
over their land by May.”

NIT: 26 Aboriginal communities to receive billions in funding
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=17389
23 Mar 09: “Twenty-six of Australia’s largest remote
Aboriginal communities will receive almost all of the
federal government funds set aside for new housing and the
upgrading of municipal services such as health clinics and
schools. … Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin told
The Australian newspaper that the 26 communities have been
selected for intensive help because of their potential to be
turned into hubs of “economic development”.”

ABC: Restore Racial Discrimination Act, former NT chief minister says
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/23/2523087.htm
23 Mar 09: “Former Labor chief minister of the Northern
Territory, Clare Martin, has joined calls for the Racial
Discrimination Act to be restored. Ms Martin says
Indigenous Australians in the Territory are the victims of
racial discrimination. … Yuendumu spokeswoman Valerie
Martin says Indigenous communities will not accept
proposals to lease land from the Government.”

Canberra Times: Thousands have welfare cheques quarantined
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/thousands-have-welfare-cheques-quarantined/1466197.aspx
23 Mar 09: “More than 15,000 Aborigines are having half
their welfare payments quarantined, the Federal
Government’s progress report on the controversial Northern
Territory Emergency Response reveals.”

ABC: NT intervention chief’s media gag appropriate: Macklin
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/23/2523350.htm
23 Mar 09: “The Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister has
sought to justify her Government’s decision to ban the head
of the Northern Territory Emergency Response from answering
media questions.”

ABC: Intervention moving into sustainable phase: Macklin
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/22/2522917.htm?section=justin
22 Mar 09: “The Rudd Government has released a report
saying Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory
have benefited from the federal intervention.”

ABC: ‘Bureaucratic bungle’ leads to intervention worker health scare
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/22/2522820.htm?section=australia
22 Mar 09: “The Federal Opposition says the Government has
shown an inability to learn from past mistakes after a
second health scare over housing it has provided for
Northern Territory intervention workers.”

GLW: Indigenous Australians speak out at WAC conference
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/788/40557
21 Mar 09: “Mitch, an inspiring Arrernte/Luritja author,
poet and artist, and an important voice against the NT
Intervention, together with Sam Watson, well-known
Aboriginal activist, Brisbane community activist and
Socialist Alliance national spokesperson on Indigenous
rights, will feature on a panel titled “From Invasion to
Intervention: Indigenous Australians speak out”.”

ABC: Air contamination scare for Intervention staff
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/20/2521653.htm
20 Mar 09: “Unions say they are amazed that Northern
Territory Intervention staff are facing a second air
contamination scare involving their accommodation.”

ABC: Extending Crime Commission taskforce intervention ‘unacceptable’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/14/2516319.htm
14 Mar 09: “Darwin’s Aboriginal Rights Coalition says the
extentson of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC)
taskforce involvement in the Northern Territory is
unacceptable. Coalition spokeswoman Alyssa Vass says
Aboriginal people are outraged that they are subjected to
special police powers normally reserved for international
crime syndicates and terrorists.”

See this related media release:

Darwin ARC: Aboriginal People call for the end to coercive
and excessive Australian Crime Commission powers in the NT
http://lists.ntne.ws/pipermail/talk/2009-March/000341.html

ABC: Leave leases alone: Mundine
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/13/2515710.htm
13 Mar 09: “Boxer Anthony Mundine says Aboriginal people
should not be forced into leasing their land from the
government. Under the intervention, the Federal and
Territory Governments are refusing to build any more remote
housing, until communities sign leases over their land.”

ABC: Question mark over bush stores, Senate told
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/13/2515355.htm
13 Mar 09: “An economic policy researcher says a comparison
study needs to be done between community-owned bush stores
and those owned by larger organisations. Jon Altman from
the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research has told
a Senate hearing that not enough research has been done on
which model provides a better service to Indigenous
communities.”

Herald Sun: New body formed to defend CDEP
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25176765-5005961,00.html
12 Mar 09: “A NEW body has been formed to lobby the Federal
Government on the future of the Aboriginal work-for-the-dole scheme. …
To provide a united voice to back the scheme, CDEP organisations from
across the NT have formed CDEP Communities NT (CCNT). ”

Age: NT alcohol laws a waste: police
http://www.theage.com.au/national/nt-alcohol-laws-a-waste-police-20090311-8vbw.html
12 Mar 09: “POLICE have attacked the $1.5 billion federal
indigenous intervention, describing the law requiring
people buying alcohol to provide photographic
identification in the Northern Territory as a farce that
should be scrapped.”

OTHER NEWS:

Solidarity: Two way education becomes a one way street
http://www.solidarity.net.au/13/two-way-education-becomes-a-one-way-street/
March 2009: “In a shock move in October 2008 the former
Northern Territory Minister for Education Marion Scrymgour
declared that the first four hours of teaching in all
Northern Territory schools would be in English. Bilingual
schools teaching in Indigenous languages would only be able
to teach language and culture in the afternoons. … They
[the government] are determined to mainstream and
“normalise” Aboriginal people in the belief that this will
fix the problems in Aboriginal communities. The keepers of
the culture and those recognising the unique value of
Aboriginal culture to Australia and the world should be
extremely concerned.” Marlene Hodder

ABC: Govt scraps unpopular Indigenous land plans
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/13/2515312.htm
13 Mar 09: “Residents of the Indigenous community Mona
Mona, near Kuranda, in far north Queensland, say they
welcome news the State Government has scrapped plans to
give most of its land to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife
Service. … Mona Mona descendant Rhonda Brim says she is
pleased with the Government’s change of heart, but will not
celebrate until an agreement is reached.”

See this related media release:

BarronRiverGreens.net:
The Greens Support Mona Mona, Oppose Government Land Grab
http://barronrivergreens.net/blog/2009/03/11/the-greens-support-mona-mona-oppose-government-land-grab/

ABC: Still waiting to close the Kimberley gap
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/12/2513906.htm
12 Mar 09: “It is more than a year since the Prime Minister
delivered his apology to the Stolen Generations and
promised to close the gap between Indigenous and
non-Indigenous Australia. For Kimberley Aboriginal people,
it has been another year of frustration as they grapple
with problems of poor health, education and housing and
limited economic opportunities.”

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