WGAR News: New NT Intervention laws that extend welfare quarantining (12 Feb 10)

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

WGAR website: http://wgar.info/

Contents: New NT Intervention laws that extend welfare quarantining [only item]


- Special feature

Stop the Intervention:
Racial Discrimination Act - New Legislation
[Includes Comments by:
* Les Malezer
* Greens Senator Rachel Siewert
* Eva Cox, Women for Wik
* Marlene Hodder, IRAG
* Alexis Wright
* Michele Madigan
* Michael Anderson
* Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
* Neil E Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, ALRM
* Richard Downs, spokesperson for the Alyawarr walk-off camp
* Professor Alastair Nicholson, former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
* The Aboriginal Support Group - Manly Warringah Pittwater
Also includes Links to:
* Government info on the new RDA Legislation
* Information about the Consultations
* Info on Inquiry into Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009 etc
* Submissions to the Senate Inquiry]

- Media Release

Stop the Intervention:
Aboriginal rights advocates support Greens move to vote against new NT Intervention laws
9 Feb 10: "Prominent Aboriginal rights supporters including Jumbunna House of Learning UTS, The Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (SA), the CFMEU (Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union), ‘concerned Australians', The Working Group for Aboriginal Rights, Eva Cox and Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney are giving their full support to the Greens Senators' plans to vote against new NT Intervention legislation that extends welfare quarantine."

- News

SMH: NT's welfare powers could extend to all
7 Feb 10: "PLANS to extend aspects of the Northern Territory intervention in indigenous communities to all welfare recipients – first in the territory, then countrywide – could become the federal government's next battle in the Senate."

SMH: Call to stop compulsory income quarantining
8 Feb 10: "THE government's plan to roll out compulsory income management across Australia for long-term welfare recipients, including sole parents and young people, is based on flimsy and contradictory evidence from the Northern Territory intervention and should be stopped, the nation's peak welfare organisation [Australian Council of Social Service] says."

SMH: Income program a cloak for racism: professor
10 Feb 10: "THE federal government's plan to extend income management of welfare payments beyond the Northern Territory is a ''clumsily disguised and cynical attempt'' to perpetuate racial discrimination against indigenous Australians, a former chief justice of the Family Court of Australia [Alastair Nicholson] said yesterday."

Australian: Coalition to block `watered down' welfare reform
10 Feb 10: "THE opposition has threatened to block government welfare reform plans over concerns that key aspects of the Northern Territory intervention will be watered down. Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin released proposals last November to extend income management across the Territory from July 1 and later expand it nationally."

See: http://www.liberal.org.au/news.php?Id=4717

- Comments about the new RDA Legislation

Stop the Intervention: Les Malezer
4 Feb 10: " ... The legislation introduced by the government is unfortunately not primarily intended to reinstate the RDA, it is intended to find another way to discriminate against the rights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to continue the hostile approach to our rights to self-determination. Now is not the time to debate this point but the government has made clear its intention to not change policy in the NT or elsewhere. In fact the government is making an attempt to extend non-democratic principles, paternal decision-making and impacts upon our peoples around the entire country. ..."

Stop the Intervention: Greens Senator Rachel Siewert
5 Feb 10: "... the Greens objected strongly to the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act under the NTER. We were the only party to vote against it being suspended - the ALP in opposition voted to suspend it. ... These laws are introducing the most major changes ever seen in Australia to our welfare system. The Introduction of national income quarantining attacks the basic tenet and fundamental underlying philosophy of the inalienability of social security entitlements. On this basis alone there is a compelling argument that such wide-sweeping changes require proper parliamentary scrutiny. ... "

Eva Cox
Pushing bad policy against the evidence
Crikey Blog: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/02/05/pushing-bad-policy-agains...
Stop the Intervention: http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/eva-cox-women-for-wik...
5 Feb 10: "Sole parents and the unemployed beware! Jenny Macklin is trying to take half your income away. From July in the NT, and 2011 for the rest of the country, she wants to implement the most drastic change to our social security system ever. And almost nobody knows about it. She is expecting support from the very conservative Opposition front bench to have the legislation passed quickly so she can impose these new measures as soon as possible despite almost universal opposition from a wide range of groups."

Stop the Intervention: Marlene Hodder, Intervention Rollback Action Group
An appeal to the public regarding the proposed Social Security legislation
5 Feb 10: "I have just witnessed FaHCSIA staff present their case to the Senate Inquiry into the proposed Social Security amendment legislation in Canberra. I am shocked that obviously high up bureaucrats can speak with such expertness on the justification for imposing such measures initially on all people (mainly Aboriginal) in the Northern Territory and possibly eventually on other 'disadvantaged' areas around the country, as the minister deems fit. ... I am appealing to all people to write to their local newspaper or contact their local Federal member and/or Senator to express their concern at this drastic change in social security in this country."

Stop the Intervention: Alexis Wright, Author
Your help on the Racial Discrimination Act so we don't stand still
4 Feb 10: "I am writing to you to back the letter sent to you today from Les Malezer. I received advice of your email earlier today and I could not believe that this Government could be so blind and deaf to how most Indigenous people think about the NTER, to expect us to back the suggestions in your email."

Stop the Intervention: Michele Madigan
5 Feb 10: "Please don't allow this legislation to pass in its present form. ... I have to point out that simply nullifying the Racial Discrimination Act- for example by extending blanket Income Management to non Indigenous people as the Bill intends, is not a justification for then being able to reinstate such an Act. It seems surely that discrimination is merely extended to become also class discrimination ... "

Michael Anderson
Welfare changes will cause survival crime and more child removals
Stop the Intervention: http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/michael-anderson-7-2-10
Indymedia Australia: http://indymedia.org.au/2010/02/07/welfare-changes-will-cause-survival-c...
7 Feb 10: "These amendments will cause some very rude shocks to Australia's poor. Firstly, they will permit the minister to identify any particular location in Australia and impose welfare quarantining there. ... It should also be known that based on the $150 million administration costs of the quarantining program across the Northern Territory, covering about 10,000 people, it costs around $15,000 per person to administer."

Stop the Intervention:
Neil E Gillespie, CEO, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Inc
9 Feb 10: "I find the continuation of the racist NT Intervention by the Rudd Government disappointing. I remind everyone that the Intervention is about access to Aboriginal land by business interests (mining) and the location of a dump for uranium waste. SA, WA and Qld will not accept uranium waste so we are deluding ourselves the Intervention is anything but accessing Aboriginal land in the NT. It has NOTHING to do with children."

Stop the Intervention:
Richard Downs, spokesperson for the Alyawarr walk-off camp
Open letter to Jenny Macklin from Alyawarr protest camp
9 Feb 10: "Dear Minister Macklin. Stop making excuses. We have read a recent email from your department appealing for support for your new Intervention legislation. It pretends your proposed laws will end discrimination. We know that this is a lie. If you really cared you could act now. Using Ministerial powers granted by the Intervention laws you could immediately de-prescribe communities, grant mass exemptions from Income Management and declare that the NT Anti-Discrimination Act applies to Intervention legislation."

Stop the Intervention:
Professor Alastair Nicholson, former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
9 Feb 10: "What is clear is that this is little more than a ruse to overcome the provisions of the RDA and that the real targets of the income management scheme are likely to be Aboriginal people including Aboriginal people living beyond the NT. It is little more than a clumsily disguised and cynical attempt to perpetuate racial discrimination. This in itself involves a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act as it is clearly indirect discrimination"."

Stop the Intervention:
Aboriginal Support Group - Manly Warringah Pittwater
10 Feb 10: "There are worrying reports of impending Federal Legislation which may shortly extended "income management" to the entire country. We encourage our members and all those concerned about human rights to attend the Rally against the NT Intervention this Saturday, 13th Feb - the 2nd anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations when Kevin Rudd said"... this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again."

- Radio

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
11 Feb 10: "A former chief justice of the Family Court of Australia says a Rudd Labour Government plan to extend income management of welfare payment beyond the Northern Territory is a “sloppy, cheap and unfair solution” that reflects lazy politics."

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
10 Feb 10: "NTCOSS has called on the Federal Government to stop forced welfare quarantining."

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
9 Feb 10: "Rudd Government predicted to roll out income managment to populated Aboriginal towns and communities across the country."

- - -

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.

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

- - -

You can also subscribe to our second list 'Contact WGAR' which focuses on activities and events and provides a point of contact.

To subscribe, email contactwgar@gmail.com and include the words "subscribe WGAR Contact" in the message header.

- - -

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)