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

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

WGAR website: http://wgar.info/

UN Expert James Anaya to examine NT Intervention
Aboriginal Housing in the NT
Other Aboriginal articles


- Background

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

- UN Rapporteur's itinerary: Alice Springs

Rollback the Intervention:
The United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples is visiting Alice Springs
[scroll down page] http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/
"An open community meeting is being held this Thursday 20th August, for anyone to come and listen, and have an opportunity to speak. ... 3.15 - 4.15 pm. Centre for Appropriate Technology, Priest St"

- Radio

The Wire: UN investigates Northern Territory Intervention
[scroll down page] http://www.thewire.org.au/daydetail.aspx?SearchDay=2009-08-17
17 Aug 09: "The United Nations will visit Indigenous communities over the next two weeks to review the Northern Territory Intervention. "Special Measures" such as alcohol restrictions and income management will be examined to determine whether they are a violation of human rights. Aboriginal groups have also requested that the negotiation process between the government and Indigenous communities be reviewed as they feel the current processes are exclusive and descriminatory in nature. - Featured in Story - David Cooper - National Spokesman for Australians Native Title and Reconciliation - Irene Fisher, CEO of the Sunrise Health Service in Katherine"

See media release from Irene Fisher, David Cooper & Michele Harris: http://www.antar.org.au/media/un-official-to-report

- Speech

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP:
Welcome to UN Special Rapporteur, Professor James Anaya
17 Aug 09: "It is a pleasure and privilege to welcome Professor Anaya to Australia. In March last year, the Human Rights Council appointed Professor James Anaya as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous people. Professor Anaya is recognised as one of the world's leading human rights advocates and legal scholars."

- News

Indonesian Language:

ABC Radio Australia: Pelapor PBB kritik inisiatif pemerintah Australia untuk bumiputra
Agustus 18, 2009: "Pelapor khusus PBB mengenai masalah-masalah kaum bumi putra, yang saat ini berada di Australia, mengatakan, program intervensi di Wilayah Utara Australia bersifat mendiskriminasi. ... Pelapor khusus PBB, Profesor James Anaya, akan berada di Australia selama 12 hari untuk menginvestigasi kinerja HAM Australia."

Italian Language:

Italian Media: Indagine delle Nazioni Unite sui diritti umani degli aborigeni
18 Agosto 2009: "Un inviato speciale dell’Onu per i diritti umani degli indigeni ha iniziato ieri un tour di due settimane nelle comunità remote aborigene per condurre un’inchiesta sulle condizioni di vita delle popolazioni indigene. ... Al professore [James Anaya] saranno consegnate più di 3.000 lettere di protesta nelle quali si sostiene che l’operazione di Canberra è discriminatoria sotto il profilo razziale."

NZ Herald: Aborigines call in UN rights expert
18 Aug 09: "A United Nations representative is visiting Australia to investigate complaints that a government crackdown on child abuse in Outback settlements is violating Aborigines' human rights. ... One of the coalition groups, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, or Antar, said it wanted Anaya to insist that human rights principles as set out in the UN Convention Against Racial Discrimination be applied."

Third Sector: Assessing indigenous human rights in Australia
18 Aug 09: "The Australian Human Rights Commission has made a submission on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples Organisation (IPO) Network to Professor S. James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, ahead of his upcoming visit. The brief compiled by the IPO Network also includes information supplied by the National Indigenous Youth Movement of Australia."

See IPO submission: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/publications/srip_2009/index.html

ABC Australia Network News: UN visitor inspects Australian 'discrimination'
18 Aug 09: "The United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous people says parts of Australian effort to improve the wellbeing of residents of remote communities are discriminatory. ... Professor Anaya says he is concerned by the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act."

The Network: Visit to Australia: United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur Professor James Anaya
18 Aug 09: "Set out below is some of the coverage of the visit of Professor James Anaya on his arrival in Australia. ... Clearly, there is a great deal of interest in Professor Anaya's visit. Could we substitute the word hope, do you think? It seems to me, dear Networkers, that a great deal of hope is attached to Professor Anaya's visit - hope that some sort of sense, compassion, consultation will capture and tame this beast commonly known as The Intervention."

SMH: Grim reminders of lives cut short
18 Aug 09: "Yesterday she [Mary O'Reeri] told Professor James Anaya, the United Nations special delegate on indigenous human rights, that she wanted indigenous Australians to wrest control over the future, beginning with a respect for family and the rejection of ''slow suicide'' by grog, drugs and child abuse."

National Indigenous Times:
Housing problem really a crisis of 'homes': traditional owner
18 Aug 09: "Indigenous people contribute to the problem of overcrowded housing in remote communities by allowing troublesome relatives to stay, a traditional owner from Western Australia says. Mary O'Reeri, from the remote community of Billard Burr on the Dampier Peninsula, says she believes poor housing is a significant suicide risk for Indigenous people."

Australian: Leader dismisses overcrowding 'excuse'
18 Aug 09: "Mary O'Reeri has taken her people to task over the "excuse" that overcrowding in communities is an acceptable, normal part of indigenous culture. Her comments came as a visiting UN official, James Anaya, said the decision to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act as part of the 2007 intervention into 73 Northern Territory indigenous communities was, on the face of it, discriminatory."

Age: UN delegate to assess NT intervention's legality
18 Aug 09: "THE federal intervention in the Northern Territory is discriminatory, but may be justifiably so, the United Nations' special delegate on indigenous human rights says. Professor James Anaya is in Australia for two weeks investigating the Howard government's suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act in its rush to tackle indigenous disadvantage."

SBS World News: UN envoy to examine indigenous human rights
17 Aug 09: "A special investigator from the United Nations will today begin a two-week examination of remote Aboriginal communities. ... More than 3,000 letters from Indigenous people and community groups will be presented to Professor Anaya, detailing concerns the intervention is racially discriminatory."

Koori Mail: UN advocate begins tour
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
17 Aug 09: "UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya has conceded some discriminatory aspects of the Northern Territory intervention but says he intends to gather more facts on the policy before commenting further. In Australia at the Federal Government's invitation, the human rights advocate will tour communities for two weeks before giving a preliminary report on his human rights' findings."

9 News: UN to examine indigenous human rights
17 Aug 09: "He [James Anaya] will hear a special address from Mary Victor O'Reeri, organiser of last month's Blank Page Summit on Suicide in Western Australia which involved representatives of the West Australian government, the commonwealth and indigenous communities discussing ways to stop Aboriginal people killing themselves."


- Background

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

- Speech

Greens Spokesperson Rachel Siewert: Indigenous Housing
13 Aug 09: "I rise to make a contribution to this discussion over whether the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program has actually begun delivering. I am hearing a bit of hypocrisy from both sides of this chamber at this time. Federal and territory governments of both persuasions have failed over many years to deliver housing to Aboriginal communities throughout Australia - particularly the federal and Northern Territory governments in the Northern Territory."

- Video

ABC 7.30 Report: Indigenous housing boss removed
18 Aug 09: "The director [Jim Davidson] of the most expensive indigenous housing program ever has been removed from his position today. Controversy surrounding the implementation of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program has already brought the Territory Labor Government to the brink of defeat and new information suggests that the project is going to blow its budget."

- News

Australian: Aboriginal housing consultant Jim Davidson axed after criticism of federal program
19 Aug 09: "THE consultant who warned that Aboriginal housing delivery under the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program was seriously off-track has been sidelined by the NT government. Jim Davidson, who was employed by the joint program managers of the SIHIP, Parsons Brinckerhoff, confirmed that he was removed from his position on Monday morning."

ABC: Macklin blamed for Indigenous housing wrangle
19 Aug 09: "The axed director of a controversial $672 million Aboriginal housing program has spoken publicly for the first time, saying only 300 of the 750 promised houses will be built under current funding arrangements. Jim Davidson, the project manager of the Strategic Indigenous Housing Infrastructure Program, was dumped from his role yesterday."

ABC: Indigenous housing bill to 'blow out to $1b'
19 Aug 09: "The ABC's 7.30 Report has been told that the budget for a controversial $672 million Aboriginal housing program is likely to blow out to well over $1 billion. The ABC learned yesterday that the director of the Strategic Indigenous Housing Infrastructure Program [SIHIP], Jim Davidson, has been removed from his position."

National Indigenous Times:
Henderson refuses to reveal SIHIP pay for Labor mates
18 Aug 09: "The Northern Territory government has refused to reveal how much Labor mates are being paid for working on a remote Aboriginal housing scheme that has not produced a single new home."

SMH: Some NT homes 'lacking water for months'
18 Aug 09: "Some houses in a Northern Territory town have been without water for more than six months, a coalition senator says. Country Liberal Party senator Nigel Scullion grilled the government on water supplies to Corella Creek, which he said was in the prescribed intervention area of the NT."

ABC: Head rolls over Indigenous housing wrangle
18 Aug 09: "The man [Jim Davidson] overseeing the controversial $672 million Indigenous housing program has been removed from his position today. The Federal and Territory Governments have been under pressure over the Strategic Indigenous Housing Infrastructure Program [SIHIP], which has yet to deliver a single house almost 18 months after it was announced."

ABC: More anti-intervention walkouts planned
17 Aug 09: "A spokesman for Ampilatwatja in Central Australia says other communities in the region are preparing to join a campaign against the Northern Territory Emergency Response. ... Ampilatwatja spokesman Richard Downs says he wants the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, to visit."

ABC: Calma warns against Indigenous consultation cuts
17 Aug 09: "The Social Justice Commissioner [Tom Calma] says consultation with Aboriginal communities over remote housing should not be sidelined to cut costs. ... He says consultation has been neglected in the past and people need to be properly engaged to advance social outcomes."


- Petition

Federal Pettition against Aboriginal Deaths in Custody - 19 Aug 09
[scroll down page] http://antarvictoria.org.au/
"WA Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Watch Committee is calling on the public to sign the attached petition to the House of Representatives in relation to the death in custody of Mr. Ward who died of heatstroke in inhumane and avoidable circumstances in January 2008 in Western Australia."

- Media Release

Greens: Two reports together show the way forward on Aboriginal health
18 Aug 09: "The Australian Greens have responded to the release of The Overburden Report on the complex and unusual manner in which Aboriginal primary health care is funded by calling for immediate reform to directly fund the provision of primary care. "There is absolutely no reason why the Commonwealth Government does not simply provide one stream of funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services for the provision of primary care," said Senator Siewert today."

- News

National Indigenous Times:
Stolen wages victim takes claim to court for a lifetime of unpaid work
19 Aug 09: "Legal action will begin in Queensland's District Court today to recover the wages of Indigenous workers who were underpaid for decades. The court action on behalf of Yarrabah man Uncle Conrad Yeatman has the support of the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU)."

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)