WGAR News: Governments' review of Aboriginal housing scheme in the NT (3 Sep 09)

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

WGAR website: http://wgar.info/

Governments' review of Aboriginal housing scheme in the NT
Responses to the backlash against James Anaya's statement
Intervention Walk-Off
Still more media responses to proposed national Indigenous body


- Background

WGAR News:
Government failure over Northern Territory Aboriginal housing (24 July 09)

- Review of SIHIP

Australian Government / Northern Territory Government:
Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program – Review of Program Performance.
28 August 2009

- Media Release

Hon Jenny Macklin MP with Hon Paul Henderson MLA: Improving Indigenous housing in the NT
31 Aug 09: "The Australian and Northern Territory Governments today released the report of the review into improving the delivery of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) in the Northern Territory (NT). SIHIP represents the largest investment ever made in Indigenous housing in the NT. The Australian and NT Governments accept all the findings and recommendations of the review and urgent action is already underway to implement necessary program reforms."

- Radio

CAAMA Radio morning News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
1 Sep 09: "* N.T. Indigenous housing still behind schedule * $450,000 for the cost of a remote house"

ABC PM: Problems found with NT Aboriginal housing program
31 Aug 09: "The Federal Government's program to build houses for Aborigines in the Northern Territory was announced 18 months ago, but still hasn't resulted in one completed home. Yet a review found today that despite the cost blow-outs, governance problems and delays - the program is sound. The Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin has been under fire over the program."
[includes comments by Jenny Macklin, Jim Davidson and Nigel Scullion]

- News

ABC: Public wants Indigenous housing fix: Amnesty
2 Sep 09: "A new opinion poll shows 70 per cent of Australians believe improving the living conditions of Indigenous people should be a high or very high priority for the Federal Government. The Nielsen survey coincides with a review of the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, which has failed to build a single house since it was announced in April last year."

Australian: Call to axe Macklin over red-tape cost
2 Sep 09: "INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin should resign or be sacked over the federal government's management of a $672 million Aboriginal housing initiative, according to Aboriginal politician Alison Anderson."

ABC: Housing review forces renegotiations
2 Sep 09: "Indigenous communities that did not secure signed contracts for new houses will have to have more discussions with the Northern Territory Government because of forced changes to the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program."

ABC: Labor rejects housing 'incompetence' claim
2 Sep 09: "The Northern Territory's Housing Minister, Rob Knight, has rejected the Opposition's view that a $672 million Indigenous housing program has been so badly managed the Commonwealth is taking it over."

ABC: Housing blow-out: kingmaker backs Govt
2 Sep 09: "The Northern Territory Government is blaming the Commonwealth Government for massive overspending on the $672 million remote Indigenous housing project."

National Indigenous Times:
Labor underestimated lack of infrastructure: Housing minister
1 Sep 09: "Infrastructure has become the hot topic in the Northern Territory's Indigenous housing saga, after a government minister admitted Labor had little idea of the magnitude of the problem. NT Housing Minister Rob Knight said it was only after work had started in remote communities that the government realised the extent of the needs on the ground."

National Indigenous Times:
Intervention housing scheme wouldn’t have met targets, report finds
1 Sep 09: "A report into a remote Aboriginal housing scheme in the Northern Territory has found it was behind schedule and over budget. Outrage over the lack of progress of the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) prompted the NT and federal governments to review the scheme."

WA today: Heat on Macklin over indigenous housing
1 Sep 09: "Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has faced renewed calls to step down following the bungling of a $672 million indigenous housing scheme in the Northern Territory. Former NT government minister Alison Anderson, who quit the Labor party in protest over the troubled project last month, believes Ms Macklin should be held to account for its failure."

Koori Mail: CLC: Accountability a two-way street
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
1 Sep 09: "THE Central Land Council has called for greater accountability to be enshrined in any leases the Federal Government wants to take over Aboriginal communities. While welcoming a greater federal role in Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP), CLC Director David Ross said that, once attention moved elsewhere, governments often slackened off or diverted Indigenous funds elsewhere."

SMH: Review damns indigenous housing program
1 Sep 09: "THE Federal Government's $672 million indigenous housing program was running three months behind schedule and was overly optimistic in its plan to build 750 houses cheaply, a review says."

Australian: Some bitter, others sweet over housing
1 Sep 09: "IN the first three Northern Territory communities to receive new houses and refurbishments under the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, a mixture of gratitude and resentment greeted the release of yesterday's review into the program."

Australian: Macklin's intervention avoids wreck
1 Sep 09: "IF anyone needed further evidence of the Northern Territory government's ongoing failure in indigenous policy, here it is. Almost $50 million has already been spent, consultants have been well paid and Aborigines who are receiving a free house to live in have been given the comfort of choosing the colour of their loungeroom walls."

Australian: Jenny Macklin's housing ultimatum
1 Sep 09: "THE federal government has given the Northern Territory four months to lift its game on Aboriginal housing after confirming $45 million was spent on a housing program without a single house being built."

Koori Mail: Remote housing scheme struggling: report
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
31 Aug 09: "A REPORT into a $672 million scheme to build houses for Indigenous people in the Northern Territory has found it was behind schedule, over-administered and unlikely to produce the promised number of houses. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin released the review of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) today, saying improvements were already underway."

Australian: Macklin slashes red tape to rebuild Aboriginal housing scheme
31 Aug 09: "THE Rudd Government has stepped in to save its $672 million flagship Aboriginal housing program, slashing bureaucracy and taking a more hands-on role. Fears were expressed earlier this month that the cost of the program could blow out to more than $1 billion."

- Opinion

Australian: Editorial: Labor's character test
2 Sep 09: "THE Rudd government has entered a new phase where it is being judged by its own pledges, benchmarks and expectations: witness the documented defects in the Aboriginal remote housing program, a pledge that goes to the legitimacy of Kevin Rudd's February 2008 apology. ... Jenny Macklin now faces a documented crisis of governance in the Northern Territory over indigenous housing." Paul Kelly


- Audio recording of James Anaya's statement and press conference of 27 Aug 09

WGAR: UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya Speaks at National Library Australia 27/08/2009

- Text of James Anaya's statement of 27 Aug 09


- Media Release

Intervention walkoff's Blog: Statement - Press Release from Richard Downs
"Warren Mundine - On behalf of my people I am calling on you to heed the advice of the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous rights and support your people demanding an end to the NT Intervention. In your statement against the rapporteur you say the Intervention is protecting of women against sexual assault, physical assault. But this is not true – you need to focus on the big picture of what is happening to us. Your governments so called measures under the intervention go far beyond this to take away our dignity, our self esteem, and land control, disempowerment, human and indigenous rights."

- Discussion

Crikey Blog: From Ampilatwatja to Warren Mundine: focus on the big picture!
3 Sep 09: "Late last week Warren Mundine, billed as an “Aboriginal leader”, gave Samantha Hawley of the ABC Radio’s PM program his views of the report by UN’s Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Human Rights, Professor James Anaya and his findings that give a damning assessment of the Federal Government’s Intervention in the Northern Territory." Bob Gosford in the NT

- Radio

CAAMA Radio AM News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
2 Sep 09: "Warren Mundine has been told to wake up and represent Aboriginal people better by a Central Australian Aboriginal people better."

CAAMA Radio afternoon News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
1 Sep 09: "* A central Australian Aboriginal spokesman has told a former President of the Labour party to wake up and represent Aboriginal people better. * Growing support for the United Nations on criticism of the N.T. Intervention."

- News

National Indigenous Times:
Mundine slammed for dismissing UN expert's comments
2 Sep 09: "High profile Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine has been slammed for dismissing the findings of a UN expert and told to get out of his air-conditioned office and visit people on the ground. Richard Downs, spokesman for the Alyawarra Nation in central Australia, made the comments on Tuesday in response to Mr Mundine's criticism of the UN's special rapporteur James Anaya."

National Indigenous Times:
Church leaders call on Rudd govt to act on UN's findings
1 Sep 09: "Church leaders in the Northern Territory are calling on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to act on the damning criticisms of a UN expert on Indigenous rights. ... The professor's findings have prompted the Anglican Bishop of the Northern Territory, Greg Thompson, to call on the Rudd government to reform the controversial measures. ... Michelle Harris, a spokeswoman for the activist group Concerned Australians, said the commonwealth needed to act to save the nation's international reputation. "The world is watching," she said."

Koori Mail: Bishop joins UN criticisms of intervention
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
1 Sep 09: "THE Anglican Bishop of Darwin Greg Thompson has joined calls for the Federal Government to amend the Northern Territory intervention in response to criticisms by UN human rights envoy James Anaya. Mr Anaya described the intervention as overtly discriminatory and railed against the blanket application of measures such as welfare quarantining."

Islands Business [Pacific islands]: Australia can do more to improve situation of indigenous peoples – UN expert
28 Aug 09: "James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, said that during his 11-day visit to Australia, which wrapped up today, he was “impressed with demonstrations of strong and vibrant indigenous cultures.” "

ToTheCenter [US]: Aboriginal Policy in Australia: Human Rights v. Hum
28 Aug 09: "The government says that the intervention has created jobs and reduced violence. But Barbara Shaw, an Aboriginal leader who led a campaign to get the U.N. to examine the program, says that Aboriginal struggles have worsened since the intervention. Welfare restrictions have forced more people to beg in the streets and racism has increased, she said."

- Opinion

Australian: Dos and don'ts of discrimination
2 Sep 09: "Unfortunately, the UN's assumption that discrimination is always a dirty word enters more dangerous territory closer to home. Last week a UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights completed an 11-day fact-finding mission of the Australian government's intervention in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory." Janet Albrechtsen

- Background

WGAR News:
UN Expert visits Australia to report on Aboriginal Human Rights (18 Aug 09)

WGAR News:
UN Expert James Anaya to examine NT Intervention (19 Aug 09)

WGAR News:
UN Rapporteur visits Aboriginal communities (23 Aug 09)

WGAR News:
Visit by UN Expert, James Anaya (26 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2009/08/26/wgar-news-intervention-walk-off-commu...

WGAR News:
UN Expert calls NT Intervention "discriminatory" (29 Aug 09)

WGAR News:
More media responses to UN Expert, James Anaya (31 Aug 09)


- Background

Intervention walkoff’s Blog

WGAR News:
Intervention Walk-off community seeks UN support (26 Aug 09)

WGAR News:
Alyawarra people seek UN refugee status (29 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2009/08/29/wgar-news-un-expert-calls-nt-interven...

WGAR News:
Intervention Walk-off (31 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/310809-more-media-responses-to-un-expert-james-anaya/

- Interview

Crikey Blog: The Ampilatwatja Walkoff and the “wake-up call” for Alison Anderson - an interview with Richard North
31 Aug 09: "Richard has been a vocal spokesman for the Alyawarra people living at the township of Ampilatwatcha, 350km north-east of Alice Springs. ... I asked him if he had heard back from Jenny Macklin ... Richard and his people weren’t very impressed with the no-show of his local member, Alison Anderson, up until recently a Minister in the NT Government and now an independent MLA. But that has all changed since Anderson visited late last week ... I asked Richard what the group of himself, Roslaie Kunoth-Monks and Alison Anderson would be doing. ... " Bob Gosford in the NT

- Discussion

Crikey Blog: Alison Anderson HAS finally seen the light, gone bush and joined with the “anti-interventionistas”!!
28 Aug 09: "Update - Monday 31st August - I have now been able to establish that the media release considered below is in fact genuine. ... Yesterday - according to the Media Release attached below - Anderson joined the widely respected and outspoken Chairperson of the Barkly Shire Council, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks (who would be more familiar to many Australians as the female lead in the ’50’s film Jedda) and Richard Downs, a spokesperson for the hundred or so residents of Ampilatwatja that walked off from their township to a remote bush camp a months ago." Bob Gosford in the NT


- Background

WGAR News:
Proposed national Indigenous body (29 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2009/08/29/wgar-news-un-expert-calls-nt-interven...

WGAR News:
More media responses to proposed national Indigenous body (31 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/310809-more-media-responses-to-un-expert-james-anaya/

- News

ABC: Independence 'to save Indigenous body from ATSIC fate'
31 Aug 09: "A western New South Wales Aboriginal leader, Sam Jeffries, says a new national Indigenous representative body will be protected from the same fate as ATSIC, if it is independent of government."

ABC: Doubt cast over planned Indigenous body
31 Aug 09: "A Wiradjuri elder is cautioning against a new Aboriginal representative body being comprised of elected members. ... Narrandera elder Stan Grant Senior says elected members may only be concerned about their own area and it may be better to appoint the body."

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)