Archive for Intervention

“Enough is enough” NT Intervention two years on

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES with tags , on 17/06/2009 by D

MEDIA RELEASE for immediate release

June 16, 2009

NT Intervention two years on. Aboriginal people from across the NT travel to Darwin to say “enough is enough.”

Aboriginal people from town camps, communities and homelands right across the Territory leave today to travel to Darwin to meet on June 18-20 as the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance (PAPA). The gathering will mark two years of the Federal Intervention and aims to consolidate the Territory-wide opposition to the Rudd Government’s continued rollout of the measures.

The Alliance has already met twice in Alice Springs and statements developed at these meetings have been presented at several United Nations forums.

Barbara Shaw a mother from Mount Nancy town camp in Alice Springs says: “I’m travelling long way up to Darwin to join forces with other Aboriginal people, leaders, elders, men and women who against the Intervention. We support homelands and bilingual education and we want basic services without having to sign leases and our land away. We’re meeting to plan a way forward.”

Elaine Peckham Central and Western Arrente woman who is a great grandmother, grandmother and mother from Iteyepinpye homeland says: “we’re travelling to Darwin because we want to meet with Aboriginal people from all of the Northern Territory to talk about our human rights, how the Government’s not respecting us and what we can do about it. When is the Intervention going to end? I feel so strongly about the Intervention, it’s hurting our people young and old. We want to live on our country, our homelands, we’re stronger that way.”

Following the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance meeting, Unions NT is convening a meeting on June 19 for interstate Trade Unions representatives to talk with the PAPA delegates and NT Ministers have also been approached for meetings.

Dave Suttle from Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition says: “It’s great that so many unions want to meet with PAPA, hear their concerns and how they can support Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.”

There will be a public rally at Raintree Park at 11am on Saturday 20 June, followed by the Annual Rock Against Racism concert at Browns Mart in the evening.

The events are being organised by the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance (PAPA), Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition (DARC) and the Alice Springs Intervention Rollback Action Group (IRAG).


Barbara Shaw: 0401 291 166

Elaine Peckham: 0427 302 493

Dave Suttle: 0407 209 520

PLEASE NOTE: Barb and Elaine (members of PAPA) will have limited reception while traveling to Darwin on the bus June 16-17 but are available for comment. If they are unavailable please contact Dave Suttle in Darwin (DARC).

Timeline for Prescribed Area People’s Alliance (PAPA), press conference, union meeting and rally in Darwin

June 16: 9am Bus leaves Alice Springs

June 17: 6pm Bus arrives in Darwin

June 18-19: PAPA meeting in Darwin (Venue TBC)

June 19: 2:30 – 3:00pm PAPA Press conference outside Parliament House in Darwin

June 19: 4:00pm PAPA and Union NT meeting (Venue TBC)

June 20: 11 – 1pm Public rally at Raintree Park

8pm Rock against Racism at Browns Mart

– – – – – – – – – end media release – – – – – – – – –

Source of media release: IRAG <>

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group) Website:

This media release was posted by Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (WGAR) as a community service, with the kind permission of Dave Suttle. Please note, WGAR is not the author of this media release.

Northern Territory Intervention: Michael Anderson says “We should not be bludgeoned into giving up our identity”

Posted in Land Rights, MEDIA RELEASES, NEWS with tags , , on 27/05/2009 by D

Michael Anderson launches worldwide campaign against the Rudd government’s policy of genocide against Aboriginal Peoples.

Press Conference 9:30am

Tuesday 26 May 2009

at Aboriginal Embassy

opposite Old Parliament House, Canberra

Euahlayi leader and founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy, Michael Anderson, is in Canberra to launch a world wide campaign against the Rudd Labor government’s policy of genocide against Aboriginal Peoples.

Michael Anderson released the following statement today:

The UN Genocide Conventions defines crimes of genocide as including:

Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  Deliberately  inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical  destruction in whole or in part; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another  group.

Why haven’t governments learnt that their policies past and present fail Aboriginal people, or, is there a more sinister underbelly associated with government policies? We must remember that Aboriginal people have been subjected to the will of governors of the colony and, now, the Federal, State and Territory governments.

The political concern after federation was what to do with Aborigines. In 1937 the policy of assimilation was concluded between Commonwealth Ministers and State and Territory Protectors, with AO Neville, Chief Protector for West Australia having the final say:

An important aspect of the policy is the cost. The different States are creating institutions for the welfare of the native race and, as a result of this policy, the Native population is increasing. What is to be the limit? Are we going to have a population of 1 000 000 blacks in the Commonwealth, or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there ever were Aborigines in Australia?

Nothing has changed. The overwhelming success of the 1967 Referendum shocked the then Prime Minister, Harold Holt, and his Cabinet. In a confidential Cabinet Minute dated ‘Sydney 2nd July 1968 Decision 314’, the Cabinet referred to its first objective which Aboriginal policy it serves. The conclusion was:

‘… it declared firmly that the ultimate objective would continue to be assimilation – a  single Australian community. While recognizing that it will take generations for the  Aboriginals to become fully assimilated into the Australian community, the Cabinet’s position that it will hold patiently and purposefully to this aim.’

Prof CD Rowley was correct when he wrote thirty years ago in his book A Matter of Justice:

‘The policy of detaining persons for being Aboriginal required a complex set of special  laws which made the Aboriginal subject to the will of officials.’

Governments of all political persuasions have not deviated from this course and have wasted a lot of money in their efforts to totally assimilate Aboriginal people into a single Australian society. Governments constantly argue that the failure of their policies is the fault of Aboriginal Peoples. We must remember that Aboriginals themselves do not make government policies nor do they decide on prioritising the programs that governments fund. Always the governments’ catch cry is that what we are doing is in the best interest of the Aboriginal people. What rot!” Anderson exclaims.

We are at a time in Australia’s history when we should not look to locate blame. What is happening under the Rudd Labor Government policies is an absolute dictatorship.

The 1970s Homelands and Outstation movements were more successful and beneficial to Aboriginal people than the 1970s family resettlement program in New South Wales, where, despite their destitution, Aboriginal fringe dwelling and camp life were more intact and functional than anything we have today. The basis for dysfunctionalism in Aboriginal communities in southern Queensland and New South Wales is a direct result of the so-called ‘well intended’ policies of government. A major outcome of the 1970s Resettlement program is the breaking up of traditional family support structures in the fringe dwelling town camps. For the biggest majority of Aboriginal people who took up the offer to be resettled in centres such as Bathurst, Orange, Newcastle and Wagga, this ‘well intended’ government policy left the people destitute and isolated. When the economic climate declined in the late 1970s and early 1980s, people lost jobs, causing financial disasters that resulted in further family break up, abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction and the list goes on.

One would think that if this Rudd Labor government pursues its current policy, by forcefully removing people from their homelands and out stations to the proposed 20 town centres, all they will do is make the same mistakes yet again – another offense against Aboriginal people. The people who will be impacted by this current policy have nothing but a nightmare and extreme trauma to look forward to.

There are cries coming out of the Northern Territory where people such as Yananymul Mununggurr who, when speaking on behalf of the Laynhapuy Homelands Association, asserted in a press statement that ‘the Northern territory government has either refused, or is unable, to fully understand the cultural significance of Homeland.’ She added: ‘The Northern Territory government announced a policy that relegates our homelands to third world conditions, if not extinction. She also asked in her press statement of 21 May 2009, when questioning the NT government’s A Working Future Policy : ‘Where is the economic modeling, the data collection or cost/benefits analysis recommended by the NTG’s own consultant, Patrick Dodson, when establishing these town centres?’

Prof Jon Altman, Director at the ANU for the Centre of Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, criticises the proposed development of the 20 Aboriginal communities at the expense of the other 500 communities throughout the NT by saying: ‘It’s a terrible idea.’

We know from the past that governments have not be able to fulfill nor deliver in full their policy objectives of assimilation. The centralizing of Aboriginal people of different language groups, different skin groups, all of whom belong to different nations will have long term disastrous affects that will be felt for generations to come. We here in the south are a testament to the failures of this type of policy and strategy.

Dr Gawirrin Gumana AO, a Yolngu Elder, posed a challenge to the Australian government last Thursday, when he said: ‘Government, if you don’t help our Homelands, and try to starve me from my land, I tell you, you can kill me first. You will have to shoot me.’ He added: ‘I don’t want to move again like my father moved from Gangan to other places like Yirrkala or Groote. I don’t want my children to move. I don’t want my family to move. I will not lose my culture and my tribe to your games. Like a bird moving from place to place, looking for its camp or to sleep in other places, on other peoples’ land that is not our land.’ His final plea: ‘I do not want my people to move form here and die in other places, I don’t want this. We don’t want this. We want to stay on our own land. We have our culture, we have our Law, we have our land rights, we have our painting and carving, we have our stories from our old people.’ Dr Gawirrin Gumana last words to the government were: ‘I know you have got the money to help our homelands. But you also know there is money to be made form Aboriginal land.’

What this government is doing to Aboriginal people is genocide by nature and design. Even the Muslim people in this country have the right to exist as a free people with their schools, mosques and the right to gather and live in one suburb. The Italians and Greeks who escaped the atrocities of the WWII have the right to go home to their old countries and live on their homelands while being paid Australian pensions.”

Why is it that Aboriginal people cannot be free to decide their own future, live where they want to live while maintaining their culture and traditions.

Why can’t we teach our own culture, languages? Why don’t we have the right to retain our national identity in our own land?

We accept there is a lot wrong, but because government policies have failed we should not be bludgeoned into giving up our identity, our traditions, our religion, our culture for the sake of trying to be like a whiteman.

All we ask governments to do is: ‘Work with us, don’t dictate to us.’ Governments must overcome their paranoia of Aboriginals asserting our right to self-determination. We can enjoin and develop by way of treaties through informed consultations and negotiations. We seek to be free and have the right to make our own choices for our children’s future.

The current path under the Rudd government policies is designed to make us like the non-Aboriginal communities. We are and never will be suburbanites. We have our own Dreamings, the Story of creation. We don’t want to be part of a world where, in the name of the creator, wars are fought. Hate, mistrust and distrust pervades the society that you wish us to become part of. The path of assimilation ends in genocide and we will fight against it by any and every means possible, because the only possible outcome for this Rudd policy will be further ‘mental harm to members of the group’ and can only result in ‘conditions of life set to destroy the group in whole or in part’ both of which are definitions under the Genocide Convention.

In the 1930s, the Chief Protector of Aboriginal people in Queensland, J.W. Bleakley, argued that the public interest in Aboriginal affairs had grown to the point where definite measures needed to be developed for the protection of the remaining Aboriginal population because: ‘…it seems to be the generally accepted view that the extinction of the Australian Aborigine is inevitable.’

He questions: ‘Is it any use trying to preserve these people? Is not their extinction inevitable?’ Then Bleakley reaches the core of the issue by quoting Lord Glenelg, when Secretary for the Colonies: ‘ “Let us not cast upon Heaven a destruction which is our own and say the aborigines are doomed by Divine Providence when the guilt lies with ourselves?”’

Michael Anderson,

Aboriginal Embassy, Canberra

26 May 2009

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

Intervention is hurting health

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

Brisbane Times: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


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

Stop the Intervention: Racism and the NT Intervention – Forum
“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
“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)

Aboriginal women denied access to welfare payments

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

IRAG: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.”

Intervention protesters condemn UN Declaration hypocrisy

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

STICS: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.”


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

Human Rights Committee 95th Session (16 Mar – 3 Apr 09) New York
Includes NGO reports re Australia from:
* Amnesty International
* Conscience and Peace Tax International
* Human Rights Law Resource Centre
* ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
* International Human Rights Law Society of
Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis
* National Association of Community Legal Centres
* New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties
* Law Council of Australia

Amnesty reports to UN on Australia’s human rights failures
16 Mar 09: “Amnesty International has presented the United
Nations with a detailed report (pdf size: 377kb) setting
out its concerns about Australia’s failure to comply with
some of the country’s obligations under the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. … “Reinstating
protections against racial discrimination under the
Northern Territory Intervention is a crucial next step for
the Australian Government to take to improve its human
rights record,” Dr Seth-Purdie said. The organisation’s
report said that supporting the UN Declaration of the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples, and using its principles as a guide,
would assist the Government to close the gap and ensure
ICCPR rights are made fully available to Indigenous


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

The original complaint to the UN CERD:

Human Rights Law Resource Centre:
Indigenous Rights: Request for Urgent Action on
NT Intervention from UN CERD (Jan 2009)
Jan 09: “The Centre is acting for a group of 20 Indigenous
Australians affected by the Northern Territory Intervention
– introduced by the Howard Government and continued by the
Rudd Government – who have submitted a Request for Urgent
Action to the United Nations saying that Australia is in
breach of its obligations under the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial

Letter in response to the complaint:

Letter to Government of Australia from UN CERD:
[scroll down the page]
13 Mar 09: “The Committee’s attention has been drawn to
reports according to which measures being implemented to
achieve the objectives contained in the Northern Territory
Emergency Response (NTER) have allegedly led to serious
discrimination against Aboriginal persons in certain
communities of the Northern Territory. The Committee notes
with concern that the Racial Discrimination Act was
suspended as a necessity to enact the measures contained in
the NTER.” Fatimata-Binta Victoire Dah, Chairperson of the
Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Media Releases about the letter:

Australia promises to end racial discrimination
18 Mar 09: “FAIRA welcomes the news at the international
level that the Committee for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination have adjudged the Northern Territory
intervention laws to be a breach of international law.
[See Annex below] The Committee has called upon the
Government of Australia to report in four months time
[31 July 2009] on the progress it has made to reinstate the
Racial Discrimination Act and build a new relationship with
Aboriginal Australia. Apparently the Government has
promised to the Committee that the Racial Discrimination Act
will be reinstated in Australia in September 2009, thus
ensuring that there is no legal discrimination against the
Aboriginal people.” Les Malezer, Chairperson of the
Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA)

Greens: United Nations concern over NT Intervention
19 Mar 09: “The Australian Greens today welcomed reports
that the United Nations has written to the Australian
Government expressing concern over racist elements of the
Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER). “This is the
slap of realism that this Government desperately needs. The
international community are crying out against this
blatantly racist intervention, which is serving as a major
embarrassment for us on a global stage,” said Australian
Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues Senator Rachel


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.” “