WGAR News: Protest blockade by Lake Tyers Aboriginal women continues

Newsletter date: 21 Mar 2011

* Protest blockade by Lake Tyers Aboriginal women continues
* Background to blockade by Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers
* Aboriginal workers and the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention & other related articles
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Interview with Kylie Sambo, Mark Lane and Dr. Jim Green about Muckaty nuclear waste dump
* Background to Muckaty Station nuclear waste dump
* SBS Highlight: Closing The Gap - Are We There Yet?


- Urgent Petition

Lake Tyers Petition download:

[Ed. note: I spoke to Leanne Edwards, spokesperson of Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust, and she said that the petitions need to be returned by this Friday the 25th of March, 2011.]

- Video

Blockade continues over Aboriginal land dispute
ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/03/17/3166993.htm?site=alicesprings
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX7J7-POBeM
17 Mar 11: "The Victorian Government has withdrawn some services from the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust community in the state's south-east after a protest by locals."

- Analysis / Opinion

ABC The Drum: Laying down the law in Lake Tyers
18 Mar 11: "It's an action which is quietly sending shudders through government circles: what to do about an extraordinary and unprecedented political protest in a tiny Indigenous community in Victoria's East Gippsland. Ten days ago, the community of Lake Tyers, which is not too far north east of Lakes Entrance but which might as well be a thousand miles away, decided to seize sovereignty of its own land in an act of peaceful non-cooperation." Jeff Waters

ABC Melbourne: Aboriginal community calls for return of democracy
18 Mar 11: "Ten days ago, the community of Lake Tyers, north east of Lakes Entrance, seized sovereignty of its own land in an act of peaceful non-cooperation. A picket was set-up to refuse entry to the Victorian government-appointed administrator, as well as to the second-most senior bureaucrat, the community manager. For the past six years, Lake Tyers has been run by an administrator, rather than an elected council. The administrator is a consultant hired from the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu company with wide-ranging powers and financial control." Jeff Waters

- News

ABC: Indigenous blockade continues over board sacking
16 Mar 11: "Protesters at the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust in East Gippsland are marking the second week of their blockade on the settlement's access road. The Indigenous shareholders are calling for the reinstatement of the community board that was sacked by the Government administrator earlier this year. The protesters have relaxed their blockade to allow service providers through but they are still barring the administrator and his staff. A spokeswoman, Leanne Edwards, says about 40 people attended a meeting this week calling for the community board to take back control of the trust."


WGAR News: Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers are staging a blockade (12 Mar 11)

WGAR News: More on the blockade by Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers (16 Mar 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/16/wgar-news-federal-court-challenge-ove...


- Media Releases

Stop the Intervention:
‘Scrap "failed" NT intervention'- demands Aboriginal rights demonstration
19 Mar 11: "STICS is touring John Leemans, a Gurindji man, and a councilor and community mentor for the Victoria Daly Shire. In October 2010, he led a strike against the intervention in his community at Wave Hill. John is in Sydney as part of the Jobs with Justice campaign, to tour worksites with the support of the construction and maritime unions.
"Our communities are crying out for help. Today what we the First Nations people are facing is more serious that ever before. Today under this discriminatory law we must fight to stay alive. We want to get on with rebuilding our communities and helping our families. We need support to stop this intervention which is preventing us from being self-sufficient, blocking our self-determination and removing our human rights." said John Leemans."

Rollback the Intervention - Media Releases:
More ‘Work for the Dole’
No Solution to Aboriginal Employment Crisis
17 Mar 11: "Unions NT and The Intervention Rollback Action Group today condemned the Federal and NT government’s announcement of a $1.2 million funding package to create 100 new CDEP or ‘work for the dole’ places in Alice Springs as entrenching discrimination and poverty for Aboriginal workers.
Unions NT Secretary Adam Lampe said “The Labor government committed to halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in a decade. But due to a continuation of Intervention policies Indigenous unemployment has drastically worsened from 13.8% in 2007 to 18.1% in 2009.” ...
Since 2008 Labor’s reforms to the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) have left the program gutted, with participants now compelled to work for Centrelink payments, half of which is quarantined on the BasicsCard. A recently released discussion paper by peak NT organisations including the Central and Northern Land Councils estimates that under these reforms between June and September 2011 nearly 5000 Aboriginal people will be moved off CDEP wages and onto Centrelink."

- Speeches

Stop the Intervention: Videos from the event
20 Mar 2011 Rally to Stop the Intervention - John Leemans

Stop the Intervention: John Leemans
Speech by John Leemans to NSW Nurses Delegates meeting on 15 March 2011
15 Mar 11: "The Government is talking about "Closing the Gap" but the intervention is making things much worse. They talk about millions pouring into the community because of the $1.2billion budget for the intervention. ...
This intervention law must be scrapped. Why? I'll tell you why. Because it is racist. Because it is going against human rights law. The churches are condemning it, the United Nations are condemning it, the Australian people are condemning it, and the world is certainly condemning it. Again why? Because it is wrong to treat another human being like this in this day and age."

- Coming up on Video

ABC Indigenous: TV & Video: Talking Stick: Housing
Wednesday March 30 2011, 2:30 AM: "Housing is central to the Government's attempt to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Billions have been slated to improve or build new houses, but the various programs have not been without criticism."

- Letter

Eureka Street: Jenny Macklin to Frank Brennan
16 Mar 11: "Dear Father Brennan,
I refer to your opinion piece 'Interminable Intervention' which was posted on the Eureka Street website on 13 February 2011. I acknowledge that the instigation of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) by the previous government was a major shock to many Aboriginal people and communities in the Northern Territory (NT) and was seen as a serious affront. There was no consultation before it was initiated and the nature of some of the measures and coercive tone utilised undoubtedly caused anger, fear, and distrust. It also needs to be acknowledged, however, ... " Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs


Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney): http://stoptheintervention.org/

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group): http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/

Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective: http://maicollective.blogspot.com/

ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) - NT intervention: http://www.antar.org.au/issues_and_campaigns/nt_intervention

'concerned Australians': http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/

Jobs with Justice: http://jobswithjustice.wordpress.com/

Defending Indigenous Rights: http://defendingindigenousrights.wordpress.com/

Intervention walk-off's Blog: http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights): http://wgar.info/


- Audio interview with Kylie Sambo, Mark Lane and Dr. Jim Green

3CR Community Radio 855 AM - Podcasts
Radioactive Show | 6 Mar 2011:
[file download] http://podcast.3cr.org.au/pod/3CRCast-2011-03-05-91451.mp3
6 Mar 11: "We focus on the National Nuclear Waste Dump that is proposed for the Muckaty Community in the Northern Territory. We speak to Kylie Sambo, Mark Lane and Dr. Jim Green."

- News mentioning NT nuclear dump

Australian: New convenstions floated to stop commonwealth override of territory laws
16 Mar 11: "ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has proposed a constitutional brake on the commonwealth's capacity to make laws for the territories. ... Earlier, Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson accused the Commonwealth of exploiting the constitutional weakness of the NT to open a radioactive waste dump there. Mr Henderson strongly backed Greens leader Bob Brown's bill to remove the government's executive veto over territory laws, claiming the current ministerial override was ''unconscionable''."

- Analysis / Opinion mentioning NT nuclear dump

HydroWorld.com: Plants are only politically unsafe
20 Mar 11: "Where better to hold radioactive waste than Australia? ... But at the moment Parliament is struggling over a Bill to enable land to be made available for a site to store Australia's own low-level radioactive waste, such as that from hospitals, industry and research facilities. The search for such a site began in 1988, when Hawke was in power. But it is such a vexed question that the Bill is only now before the Senate. If the Bill passes, there is another legal hurdle with the nominated site, Muckaty Station near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, facing a challenge in the Federal Court."


Beyond Nuclear Initiative’s weblog: http://beyondnuclearinitiative.wordpress.com/

Beyond Nuclear Initiative: Muckaty: http://beyondnuclearinitiative.wordpress.com/muckaty/

Proposed Radioactive Waste Dump at Muckaty, NT
Briefing Paper - February 2011
Jim Green B.Med.Sci.(Hons.), PhD
National nuclear campaigner - Friends of the Earth, Australia
Friends of the Earth: http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/nontdump/Dump%20briefing%20...

Nuclear Territory News: Waste Dump News: http://ntne.ws/articles/article.php?section=waste

WGAR News: Nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory (2 Mar 10)

WGAR News: Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (20 Mar 10)

WGAR News: Nuclear Waste Dump … (28 Mar 10)

WGAR News: Muckaty Radioactive Waste Dump … (4 Apr 10)

WGAR News: National day of action against Muckaty nuclear waste dump: 12th April!

WGAR News: Nuclear Waste Dump: Senate inquiry in Darwin; Nationwide protests (17 Apr 10)

WGAR News: … Update: Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (23 Apr 10)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2010/04/22/wgar-news-raw-sewage-dumped-in-ampila...

WGAR News: Update on Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (2 May 10)

WGAR News: "Muckaty Voices" film; Senate Report into nuclear waste dump plan (16 May 10)

WGAR News: Federal Court legal challenge over nuclear waste dump (13 Jun 10)

WGAR News: PM Gillard: No change on Muckaty nuclear waste dump (12 Jul 10)

WGAR News: Legislation passes enabling a nuclear waste dump to be built at Muckaty, NT (1 Mar 11)

WGAR News: Federal Court challenge over nuclear dump resumes in August (16 Mar 11)


- Audio

SBS Audio and Language: Aboriginal:
Closing The Gap - Are We There Yet?
15 Mar 11: "Five years on and the question's being asked - how far have we come to Closing The Gap?
How far have we come to 'Closing the Gap' on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy, ecucational and employment opportunities?
As any one of your children may say - are we there yet? Are we even close?
Co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign, Tom Calma of the Kungarakan people and Mick Gooda of the Gangulu nation marked the fifth anniversary of the Close the Gap Campaign with speeches at at the National Press Club in Canberra.
And it was five years ago in his capacity as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Dr Calma first called for a national effort to achieve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people." Michelle Lovegrove

SBS Audio and Language: Aboriginal:
Calls For Annual Checks on Closing The Gap
16 Mar 11: "The Road To Closing The Gap - How Far Are We?
Greater clarity, timely data collection and annual progress checks is the call from the Federal Opposition on the Close the Gap campaign.
Federal Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion says he was disturbed by a recent statement from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda, that it'll be another five years before there's any real improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Senator Scullion is speaking with Michelle Lovegrove."

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
WGAR Website: http://wgar.info/