Aboriginal living conditions 'fifth world'


A former government business manager says Aboriginal people in parts of Central Australia are still living in car bodies and humpies.

Business managers were placed in Aboriginal communities under the federal intervention in the Northern Territory to coordinate and manage the delivery of government services.

Alan Hudson has told 783 ABC Alice Springs he walked away from the job because he could no longer represent a Government that was so unresponsive to the concerns of people living in communities.

Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)


WGAR website: http://wgar.info/

NT government diverts $2 billion earmarked for Aboriginal  and other disadvantage
Alice Springs town camp residents decide against appeal Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs
Extension of Welfare Quarantining to Non-Aboriginal People
Council for Territory Co-operation
Will they be heard? report on "consultations"
NT Intervention Articles
Other Aboriginal Articles


- News

Australian: $2bn diverted from aid for Aborigines and welfare
28 Nov 09: "THE Northern Territory Labor government has for the past five years diverted $2 billion earmarked for indigenous disadvantage and other key services to mainstream spending in marginal Darwin seats. ... In services to indigenous communities alone, the Territory government has on average underspent by 54 per cent."

- Radio

CAAMA News Radio
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
30 Nov 09: "N.T. Government allegedly misspending Commonwealth Indigenous disadvantage money."


- Media Release

Residents decide against appeal on Alice Springs town camps
Statement on behalf of the Applicants
3 Dec 09: "Alice Springs town camp residents have this morning decided not to proceed with an appeal against the Federal Court’s decision last week to uphold the validity of the Federal Government’s 40-year leases over the town camps. The Court’s ruling will take effect at 10.30am EST this morning. The leases enable the Federal Government to take control of Aboriginal land for 40 years, during which time residents will be substantially alienated from participating in decision making about what happens in the town camps. The residents have been extremely concerned that the terms of the 40-year leases impact on their fundamental rights of self-determination and control over communal lands."

- News

Koori Mail: No appeal from town camp residents
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
3 Dec 09: "ALICE Springs town camp residents have this morning decided not to proceed with an appeal against the Federal Court’s decision last week to uphold the validity of the Federal Government’s 40-year leases over the town camps. The Court’s ruling will now take effect from today."

Brisbane Times: Residents won't appeal town camp ruling
3 Dec 09: "Alice Springs town camp residents will not appeal to a higher court over a Federal Court decision to allow the commonwealth to take over town camps. Mt Nancy town camp resident Barbara Shaw in August won an injunction to halt the execution of the leases of 16 Northern Territory indigenous housing associations. ... But last week, the Federal Court dismissed the appeal that followed the injunction, ... "

- Radio

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
4 Dec 09: "Residents decide against appeal on Tangentyere Alice Springs town camps."


- News

Tangentyere Council homepage:

Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs:
Tangentyere Welcomes Agreement
27 Nov 09: "Tangentyere Council today announced that the Alice Springs Town Camp Housing Associations had agreed to the terms and conditions for the sub-lease of their Special Purposes Leases offered by the Australian Government. The way is now clear to begin addressing the enormous accumulation of need built through years of neglect by government authorities. The main sticking point had always been the fate of people who might face eviction by Territory housing, when the government took over tenancy management in the Town camps."

Australian: Aboriginal council confirms town camps in Alice Springs will sign 40-year lease
30 Nov 09: "THE Aboriginal council in charge of Alice Springs' town camps has confirmed the camps' governing bodies will honour an agreement with the federal government to sign long-term leases. Tangentyere Council president Walter Shaw said the town camps' housing associations had agreed to the terms of the sub-leases being offered by the government."

Koori Mail: Work to begin in town camps
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
4 Dec 09: "With legal obstacles now removed, leases for the town camps in Alice Springs have been signed and transformation work is about to begin, according to the Federal and Northern Territory governments. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said a major clean up would begin next week, and housing and infrastructure work would begin in the new year."


- Background

WGAR News: Income Management to be extended to include Non-Aboriginal People (30 Nov 09)

- Opinion

On Line Opinion: Proving yourself to Centrelink
3 Dec 09: "How many of us could justify how we spend our money to a middle level officer from Centrelink? How do we prove we are engaged with our community and responsible in our spending? What about the utilities bill that we paid late or the bargain case of booze with Christmas coming up?"
Eva Cox

Solidarity: RDA still suspended, Macklin entrenches Intervention
Dec 09: " ... Macklin has used two strategies to get around the contradiction between racist Intervention laws and the RDA. Firstly, the system of compulsory welfare quarantining, currently applied only to “prescribed” Aboriginal communities, will be extended to a range of Centrelink recipients right across the NT. Secondly, all other Intervention powers that have been used to enforce the assimilationist agenda: compulsory 5-year leases; draconian police powers; Government Business Managers and bans on alcohol and pornography, will be declared “special measures” under the RDA." Paddy Gibson

Green Left: ‘First they came for the Aboriginal people…’ - new plan to extend ‘welfare quarantining’ to all
2 Dec 09: "On November 25, the federal Labor government tabled legislation in parliament to allow the extension of the policy of “welfare quarantining” to unemployed people and single parents throughout the country regardless of ethnic background." Tony Iltis NT News Editorial: Paternalistic? You bet it is http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/12/01/105461_ntnews.html
1 Dec 09: "PREDICTABLY, the Federal Government income management initiative has angered many liberals. Yes, it is paternalistic. And, yes, it is a bit Big Brother. But the scheme will be applauded by most Australians as a bold and imaginative step towards ending welfare dependency."

Australian: And income control for all http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/and-income-control-for-all/story-e6frg6zo-1225804731625
28 Nov 09: "WHEN Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin unveiled her sweeping revisions to the Northern Territory emergency response this week, not only did she neatly defuse the intervention's discriminatory aspects, she foreshadowed a transformation of welfare policies on a national scale." Nicolas Rothwell

National Indigenous Times:
RINGY'S RAMBLINGS: Challenging the incoming figures
26 Nov 09: "Whenever she visits a remote community in the NT, Minister Macklin is apparently besieged by excited fans of welfare quarantining. But GRAHAM RING* notes the continued absence of hard evidence."

- News

The Guardian - The Worker's Weekly
Dole changes: the stigmatising agenda
2 Dec 09: "A social security policy bombshell was dropped in Canberra last week but hardly anybody noticed. Overshadowed by the Liberals leadership turmoil was Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin’s announcement that welfare quarantining – imposed on remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities during Howard’s NT intervention in 2007 – would be applied to the rest of the Territory from next year and the whole country from 2011."

Koori Mail: Amnesty: Intervention changes fall short
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
1 Dec 09: "A LEADING human rights organisation has welcomed Federal Government moves to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act in Aboriginal communities affected by the NT Intervention but says it's unacceptable that race-based welfare quarantining will continue until 2011.
Amnesty International says the controversial measure will still affect Indigenous people disproportionately, even if extended to non-Indigenous welfare recipients."

Koori Mail:
Senate to inquire into Intervention, welfare proposals
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
1 Dec 09: "THERE'S to be a Senate Inquiry into Federal Government proposals to extend welfare quarantining beyond Northern Territory Aboriginal communities and reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act, which had been suspended under the NT Intervention. The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs will take public submissions on Government parliamentary bills on the changes until 1 February."


- IRAG Submission

Rollback the Intervention:
Submission to Council for Territory Co-operation
[scroll down page] http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/
23 Nov 09: "The Intervention Rollback Action Group (IRAG) has been working with Aboriginal people in communities and town camps in Central Australia, as well as homeless people since 2007, to record their experiences and support people to deal with the effects of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (Intervention). ... The Intervention Rollback Action Group submits that, considering the rapidly increasing growth in the Aboriginal population in the Northern Territory and the obvious disquiet, concern and stress felt at the increasing social upheaval and rapid change in Aboriginal people’s lives, the Northern Territory Government take time to reconsider the proposed SIHIP model of housing provision and to further consider community or social housing models which would involve Aboriginal people themselves in planning and decision-making for their future."

- Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
TERRITORY TALKIN': Council members not so co-operative
26 Nov 09: "It seems that the Territory Council for Co-operation may not operate in quite the warm and fuzzy manner envisaged by independent MLA Gerry Wood, who is for all intents and purposes the driver of this controversial conveyance. The new body sat for the first time in Darwin recently, cross-examining a number of bureaucrats about the sorry Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) saga."

Graham Ring, a fortnightly NIT columnist and writer

- Background

WGAR News: Will they be heard? - independent report on NT Intervention "consultations" (29 Nov 09)

- Opinion

The Stump - A Crikey Group Blog: Will they be heard?
24 Nov 09: "Will they be heard? Not when a consultation is a continuation of the problem rather than the possible solution like the federal government’s attempt to justify its NT Intervention. Three community consultations in detail versus 500 plus, well spun? Who to believe? Yesterday a group of well qualified commentators released a report called “Will they be heard?” ... " Eva Cox

RDA still suspended, Macklin entrenches Intervention
Dec 09: "From mid-July, the government launched an extensive “consultation” process, involving over 500 meetings in prescribed communities. They have used these to claim there is majority support for the Intervention, making the laws “special measures” under the RDA. But a report by the Jumbunna House of Learning and Alistair Nicholson, a former Chief Justice of the Family Court, closely analysed the consultation process and found it to
be a sham." Paddy Gibson

- News

National Indigenous Times:
Flaws undermine NT consultations: report
26 Nov 09: "An independent report has slammed the Rudd government's controversial community consultations, stating that it has failed in properly harnessing Aboriginal views on the NT intervention and does not provide evidence of consent for the special measures under the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). The Will They Be Heard? report, released on Monday, is based on independent footage of three consultations in Bagot, Utopia and Ampilatwatja. Its launch coincided with the Rudd government's own report into the consultations, but they are in stark contrast to one another." Amy McQuire


- Background on the Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response


- Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let's Talk - Indigenous presented talkback:
1 Dec 09: "Amy McQuire - Tiga Bayles spoke with Amy McQuire, acting Editor of The Nation Indigenous Times. They spoke about the election of Tony Abbott as the leader of the Liberal Party, Norther Territory Intervention, Aboriginal people living in makeshift humpies in a remote Central Australian Aboriginal community who have to pay $50 a week and Indigenous housing and infrastructure."
Listen to this interview on-line:

- Opinion

Solidarity: Govt figures prove ‘things are getting worse’
Dec 09: "The federal government’s “Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory” monitoring report, released quietly in October, provides damning evidence of the failure of the NT Intervention. It compares statistics pre and post Intervention. As Jon Altman, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the ANU summarised, “things have actually gotten worse.” " Lauren Mellor

Green Left: Human rights shame: Aboriginal people fighting back
9 Dec 09: "Rudd promised to “close the gap” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous education and health outcomes. The gap is indeed glaring: Aboriginal life expectancy is 17 years less than that of other Australians. However, Rudd’s policies have actually increased the gap. This is clear in the Northern Territory, where the Rudd government has continued the Coalition’s racist NT intervention, recently renamed “Closing the Gap NT”. The intervention’s policies aimed to attack Aboriginal self-determination." Tony Iltis

National Indigenous Times:
EDITORIAL: Rudd government hard of hearing
26 Nov 09: "This month yet another human rights expert came and went, criticising Australia for its NT intervention and failure to lift Indigenous disadvantage. This time it was Irene Khan - the Amnesty International Secretary General. She labelled the third world conditions in remote Aboriginal communities as "morally outrageous". While on her trip, she commented on the stark difference between Australia's urban centres and the communities she visited."
Amy McQuire, acting editor

National Indigenous Times:
AT LARGE: A sorry report on a sad state of affairs
26 Nov 09: "Self praise is no recommendation. But sometimes, things are so bad that even self-praise proves impossible. I am, of course, referring to the federal government's own report into the train wreck known as the Northern Territory intervention. You can tell how good (or bad) a government report is going to be before it's even launched by how many official leaks precede it, and how much fanfare greets it. This particular work of fiction was
released with trumpets, and to deathly silence. Not surprising when you consider the authors of the report are the architects of the policy - FaHCSIA." Chris Graham,
founding editor of the National Indigenous Times

National Indigenous Times:
THE BIG READ: Two Worlds: The price of civilisation
26 Nov 09: "The redevelopment of Darwin's Waterfront, cost the Territory taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, Aboriginal people in the Territory in grinding poverty and suffer amongst the worst life expectancy averages on earth. ... About a month ago, Nicolas Rothwell, a regular columnist for The Australian and Weekend Australian newspapers, unleashed on the Northern Territory government. The headline of the article was The Failed State. The term 'scathing' doesn't go far enough in describing the attack. ... " Chris Graham, former editor of the National Indigenous Times

- Video

ABC Unleashed: The Intervention
Dec 09: "Delivering the final Sydney PEN Lectures for 2009, Aboriginal lawyer, academic and activist Larissa Behrendt delivered a damning assessment of the last two years, and the ideological agenda that she believes underlies the intervention." 


Media Release

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
NT child health checks—many children benefit, some still need follow-up services
4 Dec 09: "Many children have benefited from health services following health checks in the Northern Territory, but not all children have received follow-up services for their health problems, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare."

- News

SMH: High staff turnover hampers intervention
2 Dec 09: "THE practice of flying city doctors and other health professionals into and out of remote indigenous communities under the Federal Government's intervention in the Northern Territory has been criticised by a parliamentary committee."

Green Left: Stop the NT intervention
2 Dec 09: "Fifty people gathered outside federal government offices on November 26 to protest the Northern Territory intervention against Aboriginal communities."

Croakey - the Crikey health blog:
Stop the attack on homelands and outstations: new report
1 Dec 09: "The Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT) has this week released a report, Health and Homelands: Good Value for Money?, calling for an immediate moratorium of funding cutbacks to homelands and outstations.
The report’s author, health economist Professor Gavin Mooney, writes below that governments should start taking note of their own rhetoric about evidence-based policy: ... "

Centralian Advocate: Camps win-win situation
1 Dec 09: "AN injection of $100 million for infrastructure in Alice Springs town camps will be a huge boost for the town's economy, especially if businesses work together on the contracts."

SMH: English policy will create more sniffers: charity
30 Nov 09: "THE Northern Territory Government's decision to force schools to teach in English for the first four hours of each day will create the next generation of petrol sniffers, says the head of an Aboriginal organisation in Arnhem Land. Richard Trudgen, who has worked in the Territory for 30 years and is head of the non-profit group Aboriginal Resources and Development Services, said ... "

ABC: 'Incompetence' hindering NT progress
28 Nov 09: "Reconciliation Australia has described the Federal Government's amendments to the Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation as "a step in the right direction". ... Reconciliation Australia says it does not support welfare quarantining as social policy but says it recognises anecdotal evidence some families - and children - have benefited from the measure."


- News

SMH: UN says Aboriginal health conditions worse than Third World
5 Dec 09: "ANOTHER United Nations official [Anand Grover, UN special rapporteur] has deplored the quality of life of indigenous Australians, saying Aboriginal health compares badly with indigenous communities in other developed countries and was even worse than in some Third World countries."

- Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
THE POINTED VIEW: Casting a shadow on the apology
26 Nov 09: "Last week, Kevin Rudd made another historic apology - this time to the Forgotten Generation. But Prof. LARISSA BEHRENDT* laments that the Stolen Generations are still crying out for justice." Larissa Behrendt, a Professor of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney

National Indigenous Times:
NIT FORUMS: CDEP: Closing the gap or creating a crisis?
26 Nov 09: "INGE KRAL with DAMIAN McLEAN and HARVEY MURRAY* delve into the dismantling of CDEP in the Ngaanyatjarra lands of Western Australia and what it means for the region. A few weeks ago two adults were killed in a car accident on a dusty back road in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in the central desert region of Western Australia. ... However these deaths can also be indirectly connected to the recent changes to CDEP in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands."

National Indigenous Times:
THIS LITTLE BLACK DUCK: Breaking down the bars
26 Nov 09: "In a month where we saw an Aboriginal boy charged for allegedly receiving a chocolate, NICOLE WATSON* urges Australia to get serious about reducing Indigenous incarceration."

- - -

Subscription to 'WGAR News' is free.

'WGAR News' monitors the media, including alternative media,
focusing on the Australian Federal government intervention
into Northern Territory (NT) Aboriginal communities along
with other Aboriginal rights issues.

The e-newsletters include media releases, opinion pieces
and news items. Subscribers can expect to receive about 2
e-newsletters each week.

To subscribe, email wgar.news@gmail.com and include the
words "subscribe WGAR News" in the message header.

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)