Archive for Housing

Deceit and hypocrisy—Rudd’s sorry reportcard

Posted in OPINION with tags , , on 31/03/2009 by D

Solidarity: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


Posted in NEWS with tags , , , on 27/03/2009 by D

13 MARCH 2009:
This newsletter:


Surrendering Land Rights for Housing
Australian Crime Commission (ACC)
Intervention Radio Interview
Intervention Opinion & News
Other News re NT
Other News



WGAR News 7 March 09: Surrendering Land Rights for Housing:

Media Release:

Aboriginal people to oppose Rudd’s bid for Australia
to join the UN Security Council
10 Mar 09: “Michael Anderson, cofounder of Aboriginal
Embassy and leader of the Euahlayi nation in northwest New
South Wales said today: “The Minister for Aboriginal
Affairs, Jenny Macklin, has made a pathetic attempt to
blackmail Aboriginal people of NSW into signing over their
lands for forty year leases to the Commonwealth government
so that social and welfare housing and other infrastructure
can be put in place. This is totally immoral and unethical.”
… Michael Anderson concludes: “To have Quentin Bryce,
the Governor-General, going to African nation states to
lobby them to support Australia’s nomination to the UN
Security Council is hypocrisy. Aboriginal people now need
to lobby as many African states as possible against
supporting Australia’s nomination to the UN Security
Council.” “


NIT: Editorial Opinion: Another Labor betrayal
5 Mar 09: “In terms of betrayal, it doesn’t get much bigger
than this. The Rudd government’s scheme to link public
housing access to land tenure reform – revealed this week
in a leaked letter from Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin to state housing ministers – lays bare Labor’s
stock-in-trade deceit in its dealings with Aboriginal
people. Less than two years ago, in her guise as shadow
Indigenous affairs spokesperson, Macklin was passionately
decrying a similar proposal being pushed by the Howard
government. Macklin even had the temerity to quote from the
famous Indigenous land rights song, “From Little Things Big
Things Grow”. She told parliament that it would be hard to
imagine any other Australian landowner being treated in
this manner. She demanded the Liberal government not force
Aboriginal people to bargain with their land for basic
services. She called for consultation. She demanded
transparency. And then Macklin got into government and did
exactly what she accused the Liberals of doing. She screwed
Aboriginal people.” Chris Graham

NIT Forums: From little cons, big cons grow
5 Mar 09: “When the Howard government began unpicking land
rights in the Northern Territory in 2007, with 99-year
leases and legislation that would force Aboriginal people
to give up land for access to basic services, Labor, in
Opposition, was outraged. Here’s then shadow spokesperson
for Indigenous affairs, Jenny Macklin with an impassioned
plea to parliament… a memorable speech that she was
probably hoping was forgotten.”

Australian: Aborigines shut out on home front,25197,25168155-7583,00.html
11 Mar 09: “Indigenous peoples shouldn’t have to swap land
rights for housing, writes Sara Hudson … AMONG the
multitude of policy failures in Aboriginal communities,
public housing is poorly designed and constructed, with few
of the amenities that most Australians take for granted.
… Communities are being told that if they want new houses
they have to agree to lease the land to the government. It
is not at all clear how these leases will lead to private
homeownership.” Sara Hudson

ABC: Indigenous housing: from rhetoric to reality
11 Mar 09: “For Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders to
have the same opportunity for homeownership as other
Australians, a lease scheme that allows communities to
decide how to sublet their land needs to be introduced.
‘Community leases’ could operate like company title with
eligibility rules and conditions for membership. This way
private homeownership in remote communities might actually
become a reality rather than mere rhetoric.” Sara Hudson



WGAR News 5 March 09:

WGAR News 7 March 09:

Media Release:

Darwin ARC: Aboriginal People call for the end to coercive
and excessive Australian Crime Commission powers in the NT
10 Mar 09: “The back flip by the Rudd Government over the
future status of the Australian Crime Commission specialist
taskforce operating in the NT to investigate child sexual
abuse is completely unacceptable. Aboriginal people across
the Top End have been outraged by the imposition of
measures that have meant Aboriginal people are subject to
special police powers normally reserved for international
crime syndicates and suspected terrorists, solely on the
basis of race. Barbara Shaw, of Mt Nancy town camp in Alice
Springs, said “The police are there to serve and protect
Aboriginal people, not to terrorise and scare people…
They should not treat us like terrorists.” … As such,
Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition calls for Rudd to stop
responding to inflammatory media reports from hard-line
Interventionists, and instead listen to the voices of
people affected, who are calling for the immediate
reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and all
policy regarding Aboriginal people to be non-discriminatory
and non-coercive.”


Age: Aborigines need action not ideology
7 Mar 09: “Memo Mr Rudd: This is a policy area that’s
working, so don’t try to ‘fix’ it. IN A week when the
Federal Government could take barely a trick on the
economy, it seemed like a small act of lunacy to open up a
new battle on the social policy front. But the Rudd
Government bungled indigenous policy badly when Home Affairs
Minister Bob Debus decided to terminate funding for the
Australian Crime Commission taskforce on indigenous child
abuse and violent crime.” Russell Skelton

Australian: Rudd’s highest hill,25197,25149550-16382,00.html
7 Mar 09: “Aboriginal affairs are a moral challenge for the
PM. SCORE one for common sense with the federal
Government’s decision to continue an Australian Crime
Commission investigation into child abuse in Northern
Territory indigenous communities.” [anonymous]


Liberal Party: Coalition sparks Labor backflip on indigenous child protection
6 Mar 09: “Earlier this week Shadow Minister for Justice
and Customs, Sussan Ley MP, took the Rudd Labor Government
to task for cutting essential funds to the Australian Crime
Commission (ACC) investigating crime in the Northern
Territory. … Since then Kevin Rudd has overruled his
Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus, and overturned the
careless decision which was going to cut $4.5 million in
funds to the ACC taskforce investigating indigenous child
abuse, drug trafficking and alcohol related crime.”


Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
9 Mar 09: “Tiga Bayles spoke with former Mayor of Palm
Island, Delena Foster. Tiga Bayles also spoke with Barbara
Shaw a Kaytetye-Arrernte woman from Central Australia.”
[includes discussion with Barb Shaw on the NT Intervention]
Listen to this interview on-line:



Inside Story: More than rights
11 Mar 09: “Dependency and marginalisation are as important
as race in judging the success of the Northern Territory
Intervention, argues Francesca Merlan … IS THE
INTERVENTION discriminatory? Both the NTER Review and the
Social Justice Report 2007, released in February 2008, find
it so, and discuss the reasons in detail. Here you might
part company with me, but I have never been convinced that
we should react to the intervention in terms that take
discriminatory treatment of Aborigines as the fundamental
issue. I want instead to take dependency, vulnerability and
marginality as fundamental problems in the situation of
Aboriginal communities.” Francesca Merlan


Northern Territory News: Yes Minister, grog laws dumb idea
10 Mar 09: “NORTHERN Territory bottleshops reacted happily
yesterday to the news the infamous $100 takeaway ID
register may be scrapped. Under a rule introduced by the
previous federal government, anyone who spends more than
$100 on takeaway alcohol must have their ID recorded and
say where they plan to drink it.”

Live News: Intervention ‘hit like a tsunami’: Elcho elder
9 Mar 09: “An Aboriginal elder has used the opening of a
police station on his remote island off Arnhem Land to slam
the indigenous intervention, saying it had hit his
community like a tsunami. … Reverend Djiniyini Gondarra,
a Uniting Church minister, said local Yolngu elders had
requested a permanent police presence in 2006, after years
of problems created by white men bringing kava and grog
into the community. … But the intervention, launched in
June 2007 to combat child sex abuse, had derailed the
negotiations and delayed plans, he said.”

ABC: Ombudsman: Hundreds of NT intervention complaints
9 Mar 09: “A spokeswoman for the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s
office says they’ve received about 600 complaints about the
federal intervention and other indigenous programs since
its Territory office opened over a year ago. Tarina Russell
says some of the main concerns are income management,
basics cards, school nutrition programs, housing and a
community development employment program.”

Australian: Extension helping us: Warren Mundine,25197,25150674-5013871,00.html
7 Mar 09: “INDIGENOUS leaders have praised the Rudd
Government for extending the Northern Territory Aboriginal
intervention, but the program’s architect, Mal Brough, said
it should have gone further. The Australian revealed
yesterday that the Government would guarantee funding for
law and order, alcohol and anti-pornography measures in
indigenous communities until 2012.”

ABC: Brough calls for answers on intervention progression
6 Mar 09: “The former federal minister who started the
intervention into Northern Territory Indigenous communities
says the Government needs to outline how it is going
promote economic development.”


Media Release:

Greens: Time to help parents, not punish them
12 Mar 09: “Punitive approaches to managing truancy in the
Northern Territory will not solve the problem because they
fail to address underlying causes, say the Australian
Greens. “It’s time the NT government stop trying to shift
the blame and got serious about addressing the problems in
schools in the NT, especially in remote Aboriginal
communities,” said Australian Greens Senator Rachel
Siewert. “The NT commissioned a comprehensive report into
education ten years ago which put forward practical
measures to improve attendance and outcomes – ten years
later they have failed to act on its recommendations and
put in place the resources needed.” “


NIT: Bilingual education in NT to be scrapped within six months
12 Mar 09: “Moves to effectively scrap bilingual education
will be in place in most remote Aboriginal schools within
six months, says a Northern Territory schools official.
Widespread Opposition forced the NT government to backdown
on the controversial policy late last year, but last month,
former Education minister, Marion Scrymgour, herself an
Aboriginal woman, gave the policy the green light.”

NIT: Language ban blamed for Indigenous school attendance drop
11 Mar 09: “A UNION has blamed a partial ban on local
indigenous languages at remote Aboriginal schools for a
drop in attendance, saying “Nazi language police” are
enforcing the policy. Attendance rates at remote Aboriginal
schools are down on last year, despite the combined efforts
of the Federal and Northern Territory governments to get
more children into classrooms.”

ABC: Remote Indigenous school attendance drops
10 Mar 09: “New figures show Indigenous school attendance
rates in very remote Northern Territory schools are down
from last year.”


Media Release:
The Greens Support Mona Mona, Oppose Government Land Grab
11 Mar 09: “The Greens usually welcome new National Park
initiatives but find themselves in the ironic situation of
opposing the formation of one on the old Mona Mona reserve.
The Queensland Government’s moves to take this land and put
it into the surrounding National Park are objectionable.
The land of the Mona Mona settlement is the only remaining
part of the Kuranda area for an Indigenous-run community.
“We fully support the aspirations of the Mona Mona people
of the Kuranda area and surroundings. In particular, a
settlement for the long standing and grievous issue of
their rights in the Mona Mona land is needed” said Sarah
Isaacs, Greens candidate for the Barron River. “In addition,
we strongly oppose any new divisions of the Mona Mona block.
The cabinet decision in November last year to carve up the
land must be overturned.” “


Cairns Post: Mona Mona to stay
12 Mar 09: “THE Bligh Government has backflipped on plans
to turn the old Mona Mona mission into a national park and
stop indigenous people living on their ancestral land near
Kuranda. … Mona Mona advocate Glenis Groghan said the
hairs on the back of her neck rose when she heard Mr
Wettenhall’s promise. “We are overjoyed but wary, we want
something in concrete not words,” she said.”

Australian: Kimberley leaders demand action to cut disadvantage,25197,25150673-5013871,00.html
7 Mar 09: “ABORIGINES in the Kimberley have accused the
Rudd Government of doing nothing in their region to close
the disadvantage gap between black and white Australia.
They say the situation in the remote north of Western
Australia is as bad as anything in the Northern Territory,
which receives much of the focus because of the federal
government intervention. … [Kimberley Land Council chief
executive Wayne Bergmann said] “The ANU [Australian
National University] report highlights Aboriginal people in
the Kimberley are in the same, if not worse, position than
communities in the Territory. They’ve just spent millions
of dollars on the intervention; we believe we can do it in
a more pro-active way, by engaging with people, without an
intervention.” “