Newsletter date: 25 October 2011
* Government 'consultation' report and plans for a new Intervention
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* GOVERNMENT 'CONSULTATION' REPORT AND PLANS FOR A NEW INTERVENTION:
- The Report
- Media Releases
Stop the Intervention: Stop the Intervention campaign blasts sham consultations
21 Oct 11: "The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney says the process of consultations with Aboriginal communities on the future of the NT Intervention has been a sham.
The comments come following the release of a report on the outcome of consultations around the government's Stronger Futures discussion paper on Tuesday. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin used the release of the report to flag her support for continuing key Intervention measures.
Minister Macklin also announced the expansion of a punitive trial linking welfare payments to school attendance.
Paddy Gibson from STICS was in touch with numerous representatives from ‘prescribed areas' across the NT throughout the consultations period.
Mr Gibson says the government took a predetermined agenda into the consultations and has failed to even slightly shift course, despite an outpouring of despair and protest across the NT:"
Rollback the Intervention: Macklin can't fix broken Intervention with a bigger stick
19 Oct 11: "The Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs has slammed Minister Jenny Macklin’s announcement that the federal government will continue with key aspects of the NT Intervention, and expand punitive welfare measures.
IRAG says these plans fly in the face of widespread condemnation of Intervention measures across NT communities during recent consultation meetings and mounting evidence of growing social crises arising from the Intervention.
IRAG and a delegation of Arrernte womn from Alice Springs were evicted from Minister Macklin’s private launch of the Stronger Futures consultations report yesterday.
Lauren Mellor from the Intervention Rollback Action Group stated: "These consultations were a farce from the beginning. The Stronger Futures discussion paper released in June outlines precisely the agenda announced by Minister Macklin yesterday. Consultation meetings I attended saw Government Business Managers aggressively promoting these measures despite widespread opposition."
Rachel Siewert: More punitive measures for Aboriginal communities won’t get results: Greens
18 Oct 11: "Collaboration and not punishment is the key to getting positive results when it comes to school attendance in the Northern Territory, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
Responding to the reported details of the Government’s Strong Futures Consultation report, Senator Siewert said she was deeply concerned about the expansion of top-down, punitive measures aimed at improving school attendance.
"The School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measure (SEAM) trial is a sanctions-based approach which causes further harm to families and doesn't address the underlying causes of alienation from the education system," Senator Siewert said.
"Minister Jenny Macklin would do better to commit to the principles outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, to guide a better approach to education. There needs to be significant reform to the education system to meet Aboriginal needs, including working with parents and ensuring a commitment to bi-lingual approach to education. "
Rachel Siewert: Greens: Punitive measures are not the solution for NT education
- Alternative Media Release
Crikey: Cox: The media release the minister should’ve written on the NT Intervention
19 Oct 11: "by Eva Cox. The following is a draft alternative media release for Jenny Macklin (and what she should have said as a response to the current consultation rather than harping on about truancy and grog!).
I want to again say sorry! Despite our 2008 apology, this government made more policy mistakes and added to the pain of indigenous people. The intervention we inherited had already failed to engage the local communities and unfortunately we have continued down this path. The latest consultations showed that we still have not really listened to the local communities as local groups told us clearly that we needed to change the way we do policy and programs, i.e. bottom up, culturally appropriate programs."
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 21-10-2011
21 Oct 11: "The Gillard Labor Governments plan for Northern Territory Aboriginal people after the intervention comes to an end next year fails to include their ideas and virtually mirrors the vision which government had proposed prior to a so called consultation process according to a leading Australian researcher and political commentator."
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 20-10-2011
20 Oct 11: "The Federal Government continues to come under fire for its announcement of plans to continue with key aspects of the NT intervention with Ngambri Elder Matilda House-Williams saying the new policies which continue to target only Aboriginal communities are racist and discriminatory."
Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let's Talk - Indigenous presented talkback:
20 Oct 11: "Today we’re catching up with Barbara Shaw – a town camp resident and vocal opponent of the Northern Territory Intervention since its introduction in 2007 by the Howard government ... "
Listen to this interview on-line:
[27 minutes into this interview Barbara talks about the government 'consultations'.]
The Wire: Intervention mark 2 fails to support alcohol 'floor price'
20 Oct 11: "The Northern Territory's alcohol problems are legendary and reducing alcohol consumption was one of the targets of the NT intervention. This week the government has announced that it will continue the intervention into indigenous communities, but has failed to support the call for a floor price, in spite of evidence that making alcohol more expensive means people drink less."
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 19-10-2011
19 Oct 11: "The Gillard Labor Government will press ahead with “Tough Love” legislation to ensure Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory attend school every day and strong controls on alcohol remain in place."
The Wire: NT intervention continues, welfare to be linked to school attendance
18 Oct 11: "The Federal Government has today proposed reforming the Northern Territory intervention welfare policy to link parents' welfare payments to their childrens' school attendance. Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs will try to pass the legislation through Parliament before Christmas despite existing policy measures that have increased school attendance in the NT. Jenny Macklin claims she is making these welfare reforms based on widespread support from the local communities involved, but Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR) believe the proposed reforms are draconian and do not express the wishes of the entire community. ...
Featured in story: Jacqueline Phillips - National Director of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR)"
ABC PM: Intervention report stokes debate
18 Oct 11: "BRENDAN TREMBATH: The Federal Government is trumpeting a new report that's found most Indigenous people in remote communities have accepted the emergency measures of the Northern Territory Intervention. Buoyed by that, the Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says the Government will expand a program that links welfare payments to school attendance. But there are questions about whether the report is an accurate reflection of what Indigenous people in the Territory really think."
ABC Lateline: Intervention to continue despite protests
18 Oct 11: "ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: When the Howard Government moved into remote Northern Territory indigenous communities back in 2007 it divided opinion. Some labelled it discriminatory, and many called for it to be scrapped; but the intervention looks set to continue, with Gillard Government saying it's what Aboriginal people want. ... TOM NIGHTINGALE: The Federal Government's already trialling a program in the Northern Territory and Queensland linking school attendance with welfare payments. That trial will now be extended, without knowing whether it works."
ABC: Opinion split on intervention report findings
18 Oct 11: "The Federal Government is trumpeting a new report that has found most Indigenous people in remote communities have accepted the emergency measures of the Northern Territory intervention. But there are questions about whether the report is an accurate reflection of what Indigenous people in the territory really think. ... Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda says there were flaws in the consultation process that produced the report. ... Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says some Indigenous people feel the consultations had a foregone conclusion."
- Analysis / Opinion
Australian Editorial: NT indigenous challenge demands long-term work
19 Oct 11: "THE Stronger Futures for the Northern Territory consultation report is a timely document that contains some distressing and encouraging insights. Given the importance of the task and the divided opinions on the implementation and impact of the NT intervention, it was important for authorities to undertake hundreds of meetings with a range of stakeholders and people living in almost 100 indigenous communities."
Age: NT welfare to be tied to school attendance
18 Oct 11: "WELFARE payments will be linked to school enrolment and attendance across the Northern Territory as part of a strategy to improve education outcomes when the emergency intervention imposed by John Howard expires next year. Strong support for introducing the ''tough love'' welfare reform in communities where attendance levels are below community standards was expressed during consultations that included almost 100 community meetings in recent weeks." Michael Gordon
newsTracker: Amnesty calls for solutions, not interventions
20 Oct 11: "NORTHERN TERRITORY: Amnesty International says disadvantaged Aboriginal communities need local solutions, not the "failed" intervention policy being pursued by the federal government. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin on Tuesday said the government would continue the interventionist policies brought in by the Howard government in remote Indigenous communities. Releasing a new report, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory, she also flagged a tougher approach to truancy and said parent’s welfare payments would be linked to children’s school attendance."
Australian: Labor lashed for intervention bias
20 Oct 11: "Feminist campaigner Eva Cox yesterday claimed the consultation report, released on Tuesday by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin, did not reflect the feelings of Aboriginal people living in intervention communities. The report said that there was chorus of indigenous people happy with the programs delivered by the intervention and there was strong backing for some policies, including the cancelling of welfare payments for parents of regular truants. "What they've got in the final report is pretty much what they decided to do before they started consulting," Ms Cox said."
Australian: From welfare to business an unrealistic ask, say elders
20 Oct 11: "THE federal government's bid to provide indigenous Australians with improved business opportunities as part of its fine-tuning of the Northern Territory intervention is out of step with reality, senior Aboriginal figures say. Launching the government's indigenous economic development strategy to 2018, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin yesterday identified business development, education and training and housing as the pillars of its policy to enable Aborigines to share in the nation's strong economy."
SBS World News Australia: Amnesty slams intervention 'extension'
19 Oct 11: "Amnesty International says disadvantaged indigenous people need local solutions, not the "failed" intervention policy being pursued by the federal government. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin on Tuesday said the government would continue the interventionist policies brought in by the Howard government in remote indigenous communities. Releasing a new report, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory, she also flagged a tougher approach to truancy and said parent's welfare payments would be linked to children's school attendance."
9 News: End 'failed' intervention policy: Amnesty
19 Oct 11: "The approach was criticised by indigenous elders and others living in so-called "town camps" where people live often in shocking poverty, sometimes without running water or reliable power supply. Amnesty on Wednesday called on the government to work in partnership with Aboriginal communities to find practical solutions. "I haven't seen anywhere in the world where quarantining people's money will help get children to school," said Rodney Dillon, an indigenous rights campaigner with Amnesty."
newsTracker: Govt under fire over intervention policies
19 Oct 11: "NORTHERN TERRITORY: The federal government has come under fire for vowing to tie welfare payments to school attendance in remote Aboriginal communities to ensure children get to class. ... Barbara Shaw, from the Intervention Rollback Action Group, attacked the policy, saying the Howard-era intervention had failed. ... An elder of the Ngambri nation, Matilda House-Williams, told AAP a policy that targeted Aboriginal communities but did not treat problems in poor white communities in the same way would be discriminatory."
Australian: Truant crackdown to test Aborigines
19 Oct 11: "THE widespread acceptance among indigenous communities of the Northern Territory intervention is being put to the test by the Gillard government's plan to cut welfare payments for the parents of truant children. ... Leading indigenous educator Chris Sarra said the intervention dehumanised Aboriginal people and was the latest in a history of government policies that "engineered the impoverishment" of indigenous communities."
ABC: Local opinion divided on truancy link to welfare
19 Oct 11: "A Northern Territory school principal says linking school attendance to welfare payments is flawed and a trial program has not worked at her college. Principal Kathryn Van Egmond says 40 per cent of the students at Xavier College on the Tiwi Islands often do not come to school. But, she says, their parents do not receive welfare payments so they are not penalised. She says there has been some success with the docking of welfare payments but many children are falling through the gaps."
Australian: Indigenous welfare stance isolates Greens
19 Oct 11: "THE Greens will seek to block federal Labor's extended intervention into Northern Territory indigenous communities, damning its tough-love policies as punitive and rejecting its claims of on-the-ground support. But the Coalition has offered in-principle support for Labor's plans, isolating the Greens and attacking the minor party's "inner-city intelligentsia" as having no understanding of disadvantage."
Age: Abbott backs enrolment, welfare link
19 Oct 11: "OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has declared his support for legislation to link welfare payments to school attendance in the Northern Territory but questioned the Gillard government's resolve. ... Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin dismissed criticisms that the move was discriminatory, insisting it would only apply in those parts of the territory where there were serious problems with children not going to school."
National Indigenous Times: A new Intervention planned
19 Oct 11: "The Federal Government’s Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin has claimed her much criticised series of meetings with Northern Territory communities revealed support for the Northern Territory Intervention and her findings from those meetings will now form the basis of the Labor Government’s new Intervention program next year. ... The community meetings subsequently organised by Ms Macklin’s department were strongly criticised by Indigenous leaders and community members with claims there was little meaningful consultation because little advance notice was provided when the meetings would be held; documentation setting out the Government’s plans were only made available shortly before meetings and thirdly, the documentation was only provided in English when most of the communities use English as their third language."
National Indigenous Radio Service: Greens slam intervention expansion
18 Oct 11: "The Australian Greens have criticised the Federal Government's announcement on the next phase of the Federal Intervention in the Northern Territory. ... Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says the consultation has been inadequate and she disagrees with the compulsory nature of the process. Rachel Siewert: ...continuation of more of the same punitive approach instead of actually re-looking and re-designing the intervention. So, instead of being a top-down, punitive, discriminatory approach, you're actually coming from a genuine approach of collaboration and working with people. Voice ends."
newsTracker: Labor launches Stronger Futures report
18 Oct 11: "NORTHERN TERRITORY: Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says the federal government will do whatever it takes to lift education standards and tackle alcohol abuse in remote Aboriginal communities. With the Howard government’s controversial intervention policy in the Northern Territory set to expire next year, the Labor government says it has been consulting with remote communities to decide what will come next. Ms Macklin released the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory report in Alice Springs today."
SBS World News Australia: Report calls for intervention expansion
18 Oct 11: "And the current government says the release of this report shows the intervention has the support of the community as well. That allegation has been hotly disputed, with both the Greens and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner saying the findings aren't representative of community opinion. "This is a very complicated process. It covers a whole lot of very in-depth, detailed issues, so it's the six-week timeframe we have a problem with," Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said."
Australian: Labor's new-look Northern Territory intervention
18 Oct 11: "PARENTS who allow their children to become truants will lose welfare payments under Labor's plan to toughen elements of the Northern Territory intervention after a report found widespread acceptance of the controversial program in Aboriginal communities. ... Speaking to The Australian in Alice Springs yesterday, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said she remained convinced grog bans, night patrols and welfare quarantine measures were protecting women and children across the Territory."
Australian: Abbott offers 'in-principle' support of NT welfare reforms
18 Oct 11: "TONY Abbott has offered ''in-principle'' support for an extension of welfare reforms in the Northern Territory but wants the government to get tougher on truancy. The Opposition leader today said the Coalition would work ''constructively'' with the government to introduce income management and truancy reform in the NT but would need to see more detail of the plan."
Australian: Howard minister Mal Brough backs crackdown on welfare payments to truants' parents
18 Oct 11: "THE architect of the Northern Territory intervention has backed a planned crackdown on welfare payments for the parents of truant children while urging the government to proceed with the second stage of his emergency response to tackling indigenous disadvantage."
* BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:
Creative Spirits: Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER) - "The Intervention": http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/politics/northern-terr...
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Northern Territory National Emergency Response: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention
CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) - NT Intervention: http://caama.com.au/?s=NT+Intervention
STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney): http://stoptheintervention.org/
Tracker - NT Intervention: http://tracker.org.au/tag/nt-intervention/
The Greens: Rachel Siewert: Northern Territory Intervention: http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/category/issues/indigenous-rights...
Crikey - NT Intervention: http://www.crikey.com.au/topic/nt-intervention/
Treaty Republic - NT Intervention: http://treatyrepublic.net/search/node/NT%20Intervention
IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group): Mparntwe - Alice Springs: http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/
'concerned Australians': Without Justice there can be no Reconciliation: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/
MAIC (Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective): http://maicollective.blogspot.com/
The Conversation - After the Intervention: http://theconversation.edu.au/pages/after-the-intervention
ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) - NT intervention: http://www.antar.org.au/issues_and_campaigns/nt_intervention
Jobs with Justice: http://jobswithjustice.wordpress.com/
New Matilda - northern territory intervention: http://newmatilda.com/tag/northern-territory-intervention
Amnesty International Australia: Looking back at the Northern Territory Intervention: http://www.amnesty.org.au/indigenous-rights/comments/24460/
Students For Indigenous Rights - UQ: The Northern Territory Intervention: http://uqsir.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/stir-uq-intervention-intro-fact...
Defending Indigenous Rights: http://defendingindigenousrights.wordpress.com/
Intervention walk-off's Blog: http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/
Australian Human Rights Commission: Northern Territory ‘Emergency Response' intervention: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/intervention/index.html
FAIRA; Human Rights Law Resource Centre; NACLC: Australia's compliance with CERD - Fact Sheet 2: Northern Territory Intervention: http://www.hrlrc.org.au/files/Fact-Sheet-2-NT-Intervention.pdf
Green Left: Northern Territory intervention: myths and facts: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/39732
WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights): http://wgar.wordpress.com/
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