Archive for Jenny Macklin

Testimony proves NT Intervention consultations ‘farcical’

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

media release… media release… media release… media release… media release…

15/6/09 for immediate release

Testimony proves intervention consultations ‘farcical’.

Campaigners against the Northern Territory Intervention have criticised the ‘community consultation’ process initiated by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin as farcical.

As the consultations began today, testimonies of people living in ‘prescribed areas’ demonstrate a strong anger that compulsory Income Management will continue and that meetings are taking place without adequate notice.

Minister Macklin is relying on the consultations to help characterise Intervention powers as ‘special measures’ under the Racial Discrimination Act, which require the informed consent of affected people.

Imelda Palmer is a teacher and community leader in Santa Teresa, where consultations were held today. She says she received no notice for the meeting.

“Not many people know about this meeting. I only found out when the ABC journalists came to interview me. I walked up and there were maybe 12 or 17 people sitting around the table. That’s not good enough. It should have been a public meeting out in the open, for the whole community, not behind closed doors. It needs to be one voice out there in the open if this is proper consultation”.

Ms Palmer is angry that the government has already decided to continue with compulsory Income Management.

“Why did she send out a team from her government bodies with their discussion paper to talk about the Intervention? What’s that for when behind our back she’s on the media saying it’s going to keep being compulsory. That’s not fair. When the people write down that we don’t want that Basics Card, or anything like this Intervention, are they going to listen to them?”

“We are all Australians, we are all in one country. Why treat the indigenous people like that, with the Basics Card? It’s outright discrimination. The whole Intervention isn’t working in communities. The community has just been going down since they started. People are confused. We are suffering because the government is taking the power away”.

Barbara Shaw, from the Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs, will lead a large delegation from Central Australia to a meeting of the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance, beginning in Darwin on June 17 and culminating in a rally on June 20.

“The minister said nothing about these consultations when she came up here last Thursday to address Aboriginal leaders and elders. When it comes to consulting with Aboriginal people affected by the racist Intervention you need to talk to everybody in the communities and not just the ‘yes’ people and the hand-picked people. A lot of independent information has been given to the Minister but she has not respected or responded to any of it.”

Natalie Wasley, from the Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney, has just returned from Tennant Creek, another site of today’s consultations.

“I was in Tennant last weekend and met with many community leaders. People expressed their ongoing anger at the Intervention, but no one mentioned these consultations. After reading media reports this morning that FaHCSIA were in Tennant Creek, I called a worker at the local cultural centre and a young mother from Mulga town camp who despises Income Management. Neither had been told”.

“Support for people resisting Intervention measures is growing around the country. We will rally in Sydney on June 20 as part of national mobilisations for Aboriginal rights. The government needs to stop their farcical ‘consultations’ and act on the demands coming consistently from across the prescribed areas – end the Intervention now”.

For more information contact:
Imelda Palmer (Santa Teresa) 08 89560714
Barbara Shaw (Intervention Rollback Action Group) 0401 291 166
Natalie Wasley (Stop the Intervention Collective, Sydney) 0429 900 774

– – – – – – – – – 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 Natalie Wasley. Please note, WGAR is not the author of this media release.

Macklin delays town camps takeover

Posted in NEWS with tags , on 04/06/2009 by D


4 Jun 09: “The Federal Government has had to delay its plan to compulsorily acquire Aboriginal town camps in Alice Springs. … Ms Macklin has extended the deadline for written submissions on the proposal to July 28 after receiving legal advice. It means the earliest the Commonwealth could compulsorily acquire the camps is two months from today.”

Macklin extends town camps deadline

Posted in NEWS with tags , on 04/06/2009 by D

Koori Mail

4 Jun 09: “The Federal Government has had to delay its plan to compulsorily acquire Aboriginal town camps in Alice Springs. The Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, announced she would take control of the camps on July 6 if the Tangentyere Council, which currently manages the camps, did not agree to a 40-year lease deal worth $100 million. Ms Macklin has extended the deadline for written submissions on the proposal to July 28 after receiving legal advice.”

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Aboriginal assimilation: the Hub of the matter

Posted in OPINION with tags , , , , , on 31/05/2009 by D

Since anthropologist Donald Thompson visited Arnhemland in the
late 1930s and early 1940s missionaries and governments have not
been able to keep from interfering in the lives of Aboriginal
people in the Northern Territory. Perhaps the worst form of
intervention has been the forcing of Aboriginal clans to assemble
at one point for the convenience of white administrators. This in
the past led and continues to lead to internecine disputes
between rival clan and language groups.

At one level the suggestion is that white “saviours” intervene in
the lives of Aboriginal people to “protect” them from the ravages
of other whites. But it can’t have escaped the notice of such
“saviours” that removing Aboriginal people from their traditional
lands opens the way for other whites to lay claim to recently
vacated Aboriginal land.

When it comes to testing the bona fides of such “saviours” one
only has to look at the record of police and other protectors in
Queensland who, according to historian Dr Ros Kidd, stole the
present day equivalent of $500 million from their Aboriginal

Assimilation has been forced on Aboriginal people throughout
Australia, including the Northern Territory. The process is
allegedly employed to assist Indigenous people to accommodate to
the demands of White Australians and thereby ready themselves for
life in the mainstream. Even at its most benign level,
assimilation separates the Aboriginal person from their culture,
kin and belief systems – that is, assimilation separates
Aborigines from their Aboriginality and hence any specific claim
to separate treatment on account of their prior ownership of this
country. This further privileges the white power holders. No
serious commentator has ever suggested that the place Aboriginal
people were offered was mainstream.

The Howard government, led by then Minister Amanda Vanstone,
started the latest attack on the outstation movement by claiming
that any community of less than 1,000 people was not viable and
would be amalgamated with other communities or abolished. The NT
Labor Government then did not support such a frontal attack on
Aboriginal sovereignty. Now that the Rudd Government has handed
control of such matters to the Northern Territory Government, and
grossly underfunded the program, it has wedged the NT Henderson
Labor Government to set up a process of 20 hub communities which
will be funded to provide schools, hospitals and other services.
In their crazy white minds, this will justify denuding even the
larger of the outstations of resources such as schools.

All this comes on top of the Brough/Macklin Intervention into
Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory which
necessitated the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act so
as to force Indigenous people to comply with the quarantining of
half their Centrelink money. United Nations Committees have
condemned such action as racist.

Macklin will now be able to insist that parents who wish to
receive Centrelink payments must enrol their children in school,
even if there is no school in their community. Parents will have
to shift to hub communities or forego welfare payments that all
the nice white people in towns and cities all over the rest of
Australia get without such requirements. Alternatively, it will
involve sending their children away to school in hub communities,
leading to a new round of stolen generations.

The Rudd Government is in the process of destroying the Community
Development Employment Program (CDEP) before establishing an
employment program to replace it. The CDEP, first introduced by
the Fraser Liberal Government on the advice of Nugget Coombs, has
managed to employ 30,000 and to provide necessary community
services to hundreds of communities in the Northern Territory and
elsewhere in regional Australia. These services will not now be
provided in the Northern Territory outside the hub townships.
This will further increase pressure on Aboriginal people in
remote communities to drift into hub communities.

Much of the important cultural artifacts, the production of which
the CDEP has encouraged in recent years, has occurred on remote
outstations. Much of the Aboriginal spiritual revival has
occurred on these outstations. The health profile of people on
remote homelands is generally better than those living in larger
communities. This is not a mysterious phenomenon; it is because
people are more at one with their Aboriginal identity and more
bush tucker is consumed in such communities (Anthony 2009).

Perhaps it would not matter so much that people from remote
communities were pushed by economic factors to come into town if
there was any hope that the hub communities could accommodate
their needs. The absence of any proper plan to prepare for
transmigration is the real betrayal in the NT Government’s plan
to push Aboriginal people into these 20 hub communities. Vacant
houses are not available in the hub communities for the
new-comers to move into. There are no jobs awaiting the
newcomers. Community services and schools are already

Just in case anyone is foolish enough to think that hub
communities are a brand new idea then it is time to think again.
Wadeye, formally the Catholic Mission 400km southwest of Darwin,
is typical of hub communities. It is a town of 2,500 people and
has been the site of constant upheaval for the last decade. As
Mark Whittaker wrote in November 2007, youth gangs “are based
loosely on ancient divisions between the town’s twenty clans and
seven language groups, but also interwoven by marriage to make
them more complicated. They had kept the town in a perpetual
state of hostility as historic rivalries turned to modern

The whites in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy and
Alice have amply demonstrated their racist intolerance of iterant
Aboriginal families in their towns. Forcing people into hub
communities where life is going to offer them very little will
lead to many drifting to the white enclaves of the Territory
frontier and in turn to increased criminalisation and social
dislocation. Criminalisation and social dislocation combine and
eventually lead to premature death of those subjected to these
twin processes.

If younger families with children are forced by Macklin’s racist
intervention to move into overcrowded houses in hub communities
and young able-bodied people shift there in search of work, the
old and people with disabling conditions will be left to fend for
themselves on outstations without the kin support to make life
tolerable. Their health will deteriorate and they will die
earlier than they might have – so much for Rudd’s mealy-mouthed
slogan of “Closing the Gap.”

Rudd is just the last of the colonisers who have waged a
relentless race war for 220 years against the Indigenous owners
of this country. The Labor Party in Canberra and in Darwin won’t
stop foisting their ill-thought through plans on Aboriginal
people until the last Aboriginal person gives up their last claim
to land or separate identity.

By John Tomlinson

Takeover of Aboriginal Land marks Opening of Reconciliation Week

Posted in Land Rights, MEDIA RELEASES with tags , , on 25/05/2009 by D

Media Release

Intervention Rollback Action Group

Takeover of Aboriginal Land marks Opening of Reconciliation Week

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

The community housing model proposed by Tangentyere Council and the ability of residents to have input into housing management has been flatly rejected by the government. The community housing model was to be run by the Central Australian Affordable Housing Company, which Minister Macklin helped establish in March last year but has now been rejected in favour of a government takeover.

Residents represented by Tangentyere are opposed to Territory Housing management of the camps due to the high rate of evictions and predicted rent increases under government management. Many Aboriginal people who have been former residents of NT Housing, have already experienced evictions, with the most common reasons being for cooking kangaroo tail in the backyard or for having relatives from the bush visit. People are concerned they will have nowhere to go if evicted from town camps under Territory Housing, which already has a three year waiting list for new occupancy.

“This is an appalling decision by the federal government. It marks the start of a takeover for all Aboriginal communities who reject government leases. If the government were genuine about consultation with communities it would not be blackmailing people with long-term leases and the threat of compulsory acquisition” said Hilary Tyler from the Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs.

“You can’t take someone’s land without free, prior and informed consent. It is very hypocritical of the Government to endorse the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples when the Intervention contravenes at least 26 articles. By keeping the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) in place it goes to show the Government of Australia is in fact racist.” says Barbara Shaw from Mt Nancy town camp.

A rally of town camp residents targeting both the NT government and federal government over its announcement of outstation closures and the compulsory acquisition of Alice Springs towncamps will take place later this week in Alice Springs.

Contact: Barb Shaw on 0401 291 166, Hilary Tyler on 0419 244 012 or Lauren Mellor on 0413 534 125

Aboriginal leader wants minister to resign over “services dictatorship”

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES, OPINION with tags , on 24/04/2009 by D

Goodooga NSW.

April 24th, 2009.

Michael Anderson, co-founder of the Aboriginal Embassy and leader of the Eauhalyi Nation, wants Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, to resign. He explains why in the following statement:

“Jenny Macklin runs a very close second to a former Labor Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Clyde Holding, who under the Hawke government closed down the only nationally elected Aboriginal body, the National Aboriginal Conference, because they were too politically minded and very pro-active with their treaty negotiations, while the more conservative Federation of Aboriginal Land Councils were prepared to adopt a more moderate approach to Aboriginal advancement in this country which was more to the liking of Holding and his Labor people.

“Here today we have a repeat of Labor policy, using the advice of the conservative and moderate Aborigines to take away Aboriginal family welfare if they fail to comply with government strategies developed by the Warren Mundines and Noel Pearsons.

“Now the federal government is rolling out this absolute racist policy that if the Aboriginal communities fail to lease their lands to them, they will not provide any infrastructure and housing funding. Instead they threaten the communities with ‘oh well, we will give it to the state government bodies and they will acquire land on the open market and they through their respective departments can provide the service or housing’.

“Talk about contradiction! By doing this the federal government are themselves creating a greater welfare dependency approach to Aboriginal people.

“This smacks of totalitarianism, but I’m suspicious of the fact that the governments may be doing their sums and are realising that the Aboriginal community organisations are developing wealth and in the not so distant future the Aborigines, if they are clever, could use this wealth to become independent of government welfare need.

“I believe that what the federal government are doing is illegal and flies in the face of the recent announcement by Jenny Macklin that the federal government now endorses the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This announcement is as empty as the sorry statement.

“Moreover, if the Aboriginal people are signing over their lands for services then the contracts surely must be illegal, because the people are doing it under extreme coercion. This is just not right.

“How can our people sell their souls like this? I understand that pride doesn’t live with us any more, but this and our people are agreeing to it, you have to be kidding.

“Living in this 21st century is like living in a nightmare and no matter where I look we are like mats at the door, everyone is walking over us.

“We need our national organisations, if we have any, or state bodies to walk with us and organise against this – surely they can see the wrong being done? Stand up people, this is not right, surely this can be seen. Stand up for your rights and fight back against this dictatorship.”


Michael Anderson can be contacted at 02 68296355 landline, 04272 92 492 mobile, 02 68296375 fax,

Rudd government endorses UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Posted in NEWS with tags , , on 05/04/2009 by D

National Indigenous Times:3 Apr 09:
“The Rudd government has officially endorsed the
landmark United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples, reversing the position of the previous
government and fulfilling a key election promise. Minister
for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin delivered a statement
in support of the document at Parliament House this morning,
saying that the move was a step forward in “re-setting” the
relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous

Australian Government:
The Hon Jenny Macklin MP – Minister for Families, Housing,
Community Services and Indigenous Affairs:
Speech: Statement on the United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples
3 April 2009