Archive for Racial Discrimination Act

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.


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)

UN ‘concerned’ over suspension of Racial Discrimination Act

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

Australian: 19 Mar 09:
“Committee for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination chairman Fatimata-Binta Victoire Dah has
written a two-page letter to the Government requesting a
progress report on Kevin Rudd’s promise to reinstate the
Racial Discrimination Act, which was suspended by the
Howard government.”,25197,25209009-5006790,00.html

Australia under scrutiny over racial discrimination

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

Australia Network News: 19 Mar 09:
“A United Nations committee says its concerned
about the Australian Government’s suspension of the Racial
Discrimination Act. … The UN Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination has responded to a request for
urgent action from the Prescribed Areas People’s Alliance.
A lawyer representing the aboriginal rights group, George
Newhouse, says the international scrutiny is welcome.”


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

United Nations to query Australia on possible human rights breaches

Posted in NEWS, Uncategorized with tags , , on 26/03/2009 by D

AGE: 13 Mar 09: “PARTS of Australia’s immigration and indigenous
policies have been named potential human rights violations
by the United Nations. … The listing of potential
international law breaches comes as the UN Human Rights
Committee prepares to hold a review into Australia’s human
rights record in New York over the next fortnight. The UN
panel has made particular note of the suspension of the
Racial Discrimination Act for the indigenous intervention
in the Northern Territory … ” Tom Arup, Canberra