WGAR News: Book report launched: "NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations"

Newsletter date: 19 February 2012

* Book launched: "NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations"
* More on Government’s proposed Stronger Futures legislation
* More on Australia's first nuclear waste dump legislation
* ANTaR: Symbolic and practical actions must go hand in hand
* Other Northern Territory (NT) Intervention articles
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Other articles


- The Book Report

'concerned Australians': NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations
"Consultations took place in the NT between June and August 2011, at the request of government. Ten of these consultations were recorded and quotations from them are contained in this report.
Launch & Press Conf. on the Stronger Futures legislation with The Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC and The Hon. Frank Vincent AO QC
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 12:30pm in Melbourne (PDF)
"NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotation" Order Form (PDF)
Transcripts from the ten recorded consultations (PDF):
Alice Springs Public Meeting
Alice Springs Town Camps
Darwin Public Meeting

- Videos

ABC Lateline: Senior judges slam Closing the Gap plan
Updated 16 Feb 12: "Proposed legislation to extend the Northern Territory intervention has come under fire from two of Australia's most senior jurists. ... A key plank in the Government's closing the gap strategy is the Stronger Futures policy, which is a plan to extend the Northern Territory intervention in a modified form for 10 more years. But that policy is being attacked by two of the nation's most senior legal figures. Former Victorian Supreme and Appeals court judge, Frank Vincent, has told ABC1's Lateline that Stronger Futures contains "an element of racism"."

ABC Lateline: Intervention legislation 'racist and discriminatory'
15 Feb 12: "The Gillard Government says it's gradually closing the gap in some key areas of Indigenous disadvantage. But today a key plank in its strategy, proposed legislation to extend the Northern Territory Intervention, came under fire from two of Australia's most senior jurists. ...
ALASTAIR NICHOLSON: They're top-down laws that impose effectively government quite white solutions on Aboriginal communities without their involvement or approval. ...
FRANK VINCENT: At best it [the consultations] appears to have been superficial, and certainly not extended beyond the point of gaining broad approval for what might be described as motherhood statements."

- Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 17-02-2012
17 Feb 12: "The Gillard Labor Governments proposed Stronger Futures legislation for Northern Territory Aboriginal communities has come under renewed scrutiny after two of the country’s most distinguished legal minds labeled the legislation racist and discriminatory."

- News

Uniting Church of Australia: Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
Are you really listening?
[scroll down page] http://wr.victas.uca.org.au/
15 Feb 12: "The book report, entitled "NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations", was launched by prominent Australians including former Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria the Hon Frank Vincent AO QC, former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia the Hon Alastair Nicholson AO, RFD, QC, and journalist Jeff Mcmullen AM ... . "The proposed Stronger Futures legislation purports to reflect the wishes of Aboriginal peoples as expressed though the recent Northern Territory Stronger Futures consultations." Although no "official" recordings were taken of those consultations, the book report is based on recordings made under the auspices of 'concerned Australians' at 10 consultations from different parts of the Northern Territory."

newsTracker: Stronger Futures still discriminatory: Nicholson
15 Feb 12: "A second round intervention in the Northern Territory would racially discriminate against Aboriginal people and fail any potential High Court challenge, a former chief justice says. As the federal government prepares for a debate on its Stronger Futures legislation in the House of Representatives in Canberra on Thursday, a rights group has warned that its approach is flawed. ... Former Family Court chief justice Alastair Nicholson, from the group Concerned Australians, believes the proposed measures won't comply with the Racial Discrimination Act."

ABC Alice Springs: Indigenous consultations may face legal challenge
Updated 15 Feb 12: "A former chief justice of the Family Court of Australia, Alastair Nicholson, says transcripts of Federal Government consultations in Indigenous communities could be used to wage a High Court legal battle. The group Concerned Australians has released transcripts recorded in the Northern Territory as part of consultations about the Stronger Futures legislation, which will replace laws governing the Emergency Intervention in the Territory in August. Mr Nicholson is a member of the group. He says the transcripts could prove the Government breached the Racial Discrimination Act because consultations were not done properly."

Social Policy Connections: NT Intervention - New Book
6 Feb 12: "The Intervention in the NT is set to continue and to be expanded. The Minister says that this is what Aboriginal people asked for during the recent consultations. Read the "NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations" which is based on 10 consultations from different parts of the NT. Read what people really said. Click here for purchase order form"


- Media Releases

Greens: NT Intervention could widen the Gap
16 Feb 12: ""Unfortunately the Government’s rhetoric about their commitment to Closing the Gap is undermined by their actions. They are continuing with the Stronger Futures legislation, which will see the NT Intervention continue for up to 10 years. The measures being forced on the Northern Territory are not working and they cannot be justified through the inadequate consultation process." "The NT Intervention has the potential to widen the gap, not reduce it." [said Senator Siewert]"

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
Senate Committee Backs Concerns Over Northern Territory Bills
13 Feb 12: "Congress welcomed recent questions raised by a Senate Scrutiny Committee over unanswered issues contained in the Stronger Futures legislation introduced to continue the intervention in the Northern Territory.
The Senate’s Scrutiny of Bills Committee examines proposed laws for inappropriately applied power or infringing on rights and liberties.
In a digest released this week the Committee has asked the Government to explain and justify why some measures are appropriate."

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
New NT Legislation must comply with Human Rights Obligations
8 Feb 12: "The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) says the bills to continue the Intervention in the Northern Territory must be withdrawn and reintroduced so they will be subject to the same human rights scrutiny as other bills. The Congress Co-Chairs say the bills were originally tabled before the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act passed late last year and cannot be debated without being subject to those conditions."

- Audio Interview

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Barb Shaw speaks on Stronger Futures Legislation
9 Feb 12: "Central Australian Aboriginal leader and human rights campaigner Barbara Shaw speaks to Nerida Currey on Strong Voices… to share her views on the Government’s proposed Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bills…"

- Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 10-02-2012
10 Feb 12: "Plans are underway for a protest in Canberra later this month against the Stronger Futures legislation for the Northern Territory."

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 09-02-2012
9 Feb 12: "* Australia’s peak representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples says key provisions of the Bills currently before parliament to continue the Intervention in the Northern Territory may contravene the Federal Government’s human rights obligations.
* The Australian Lawyers Alliance has voiced similar opposition to the legislation and says it undermines legal rights across a range of areas of law that could amount to the maintenance of a separate standard of rights and interests, which would be in violation of international law."

- News

newsTracker: NT intervention hearings hit the road
17 Feb 12: "The Senate committee scrutinising the government’s Stronger Futures legislation will hold hearings in Ntaria (Hermannsburg), Alice Springs, Maningrida and Darwin. Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, a former film star who is now Barkly Shire Mayor, will address senators in Alice Springs on Tuesday. ... She said NT Aboriginal communities absolutely reject the legislation which was "punitive" and not in the best interests of people it affects directly."

National Indigenous Times: Withdraw Intervention Bill, demands Congress
16 Feb 12: "The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples has demanded the Federal Government withdraw the Bills it has put before Federal Parliament to extend the Northern Territory Intervention. The Congress told the Federal Government the Bills should only be considered before the Federal Parliament once they were subject to the same human rights scrutiny as other... "

National Indigenous Times: Reward students rather than punish them: Sarra
16 Feb 12: "Parents and their student children should be given rewards for school attendance rather than the "ineffective and dishonourable" threat of cutting off welfare payments, the highly respected Indigenous educator, Dr Chris Sarra has said. The former Queenslander of the Year has podcast a raft of strategies through Twitter on how to boost Indigenous student attendance, including rewarding parents with flowers or... "

newsTracker: A Stronger Future behind bars
13 Feb 12: "The federal government’s plans to toughen alcohol bans in the Northern Territory could lead to higher Indigenous incarceration rates, writes AMY MCQUIRE. Possession of one can of beer in a “prescribed” area could consign Aboriginal people to up to six months in prison under the Gillard government’s new Stronger Futures legislation."

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Stronger futures requires stronger consultation
13 Feb 12: "The Commission has told the Government that immediate steps should be taken to ensure that it has the capacity to engage properly with Aboriginal communities and in order to implement the Stronger Futures Bills in accordance with human rights standards. The Commission’s submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry into the Bills has identified a range of human rights concerns with the bills and called for a government wide cultural competency audit to ensure that they have the ability to implement the measures appropriately."

newsTracker: Stronger Futures won’t protect children: SNAICC
10 Feb 12: "A peak Aboriginal children rights body has called on a parliamentary committee to reject the Stronger Futures legislation, stating the NT intervention has failed to protect Aboriginal children. ... The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) is the peak body representing Aboriginal children and families. It has made a submission to the Stronger Futures inquiry, strongly urging it against the package of legislation."

Koori Mail: Stronger Futures bills under fire
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
9 Feb 12: "THE Federal Government's Stronger Futures legislation has come under renewed fire. The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples says the bills to continue the Northern Territory Intervention must be withdrawn and reintroduced so they'll be subject to the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act, passed after the NT legislation was tabled."

Lawyers Weekly: Bill akin to intervention
8 Feb 12: "The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has slammed the Federal Government’s proposed Stronger Futures legislation, saying it will erode Indigenous advancement and increase the Indigenous jail population. The ALA presented a 54-page submission to a Parliamentary Inquiry into the legislation, focusing on numerous aspects of the legislation that impose prison terms for minor crimes. ALA national president Greg Barns said many of the measures criminalising conduct in the proposed legislation are "regressive" and "smack of paternalism"."


WGAR News: Submissions received on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill (8 Feb 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/02/08/wgar-news-four-actions-to-help-stop-t...

WGAR News: More on the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill (9 Feb 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/02/09/wgar-news-tent-embassy-protest-interv...


- Debate

NT Greens: Debate on the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010
9 Feb 12: "Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (11:52): We are resuming the debate on the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010 after a period of a couple of months. I had mistakenly come to believe that the government had delayed debate on the bill-stopped listing it-towards the end of last year because they were waiting on the outcome of Federal Court proceedings, which are still afoot. I do not need to remind the government or the opposition that the very land which the government has offered up as a target for the country's first national radioactive waste dump is in dispute. ... "

- Media Release

The NT Greens call on flip-flopping Senator to come clean on the nuclear waste deal
9 Feb 12: "The NT Greens have called on Senator Nigel Scullion to come clean on a nuclear waste storage deal. The CLP Senator yesterday sealed a deal with the ALP for a $10 million fund in return for storing radioactive waste in the Northern Territory.
NT Greens spokesperson Lisa Hall said,
"The reality is that the best available science has clearly stated that the Northern Territory is not the best place for the planned nuclear dump. However, Labor and Liberals have come together to abuse a constitutional weakness to give the Northern Territory a raw deal.""

- Audio Interview

3CR Community Radio 855 AM: Podcasts
[scroll down page] http://www.3cr.org.au/podcast
Radioactive Show - 12 Feb 2012
[download this interview] http://pod.3cr.org.au/pod/3CRCast-2012-02-11-62197.mp3
12 Feb 12: "On the show this week we hear from Franklin Lopez, filmmaker and media activist from Canada, about his journey to Japan and his film about the anti-nuclear movement ‘Amateur Riot’. We also hear from Senator Scott Ludlam (Greens) and Nat Wasley (from the Beyond Nuclear Intiative) about senates discussion of the proposed nuclear waste dump for Muckaty in the N.T."

- Analysis / Opinion

New Matilda: Ferguson's Dumping Ground Fights Back
13 Feb 12: "The Gillard Government is pushing ahead with plans to host a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the NT, despite local opposition. Traditional Owners have vowed to fight on, writes Natalie Wasley ... Traditional Owners are angry that they continue to be sidelined. Muckaty Traditional Owner Penny Phillips, from the Wirntiku group, told New Matilda, "How dare the government debate this legislation while we’ve got them in court challenging the nomination? They don’t know the outcome of the court case yet, it shouldn’t go ahead."" Natalie Wasley

NT News Editorial: Make 'em pay to dump on us
10 Feb 12: "THERE seems little doubt that Australia's nuclear waste dump will be built in the Territory. Scientists say it should be in South Australia. But the SA Government wouldn't have a bar of it - and the dump is to be dumped on the NT, which does not have the constitutional right to resist Canberra."

Crikey: Indigenous community pleads with minister on NT nuclear dump
9 Feb 12: ""We want our land to stay in one position, we want our land to be safe so we can have a better place to live in and a better place to go and have a look around the beautiful land." They’re the words of protest from the traditional owners of Muckaty Station, a small NT homestead, 110 kilometres from Tenant Creek." Freya Cole

- Photos

Beyond Nuclear Intiative: Virtual march on Canberra- no Muckaty nuclear dump!
10 Feb 12: "The virtual march on Canberra has begun! Please keep sending photos to add to this slideshow. You can email them to natwasley(at)gmail.com or upload them to the Beyond Nuclear Initiative facebook wall."

- News

National Indigenous Times: Scullion does the deal for nuclear waste at Muckaty
16 Feb 12: "A nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory is a step closer to reality, after the ALP and the Federal Coalition parties revealed they had struck a deal on laws to allow a facility to be built. Despite calls from a local Aboriginal group at Muckaty Station and the Australian Greens for debate to be postponed, the Senate began debating the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill last... "

Tennant and District Times: $10m bribe to build nuke dump at Muckaty
10 Feb 12: "TERRITORY traitor, Senator Nigel Scullion, has accepted a $10 million palm greaser from the Federal Government which paves the way for a nuclear waste dump to proceed at Muckaty. While the deal between the Coalition and the Labor Government - signed this week on the eve of the Senate debate into the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill - does not mention Muckaty, the Territory is the target because it does not have the constitutional powers to enforce its own legislation banning the construction of a nuclear dump."

ABC: NT nuclear waste dump war of words heats up
9 Feb 12: "Northern Territory Labor Senator Trish Crossin says legislation paving the way for Australia's first radioactive waste dump must pass quickly. Court action by a group of Aboriginal traditional owners challenging the nomination of Muckaty Station in the Territory to host the dump is yet to be finalised. But Senator Crossin says the legislation is not dependant on the outcome of the court case."

Trading Room: Fed: Gov pushes ahead with NT waste dump
8 Feb 12: "The federal government is pushing ahead with plans to set up a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory despite a legal challenge by indigenous people who have laid claim to the land. The Australian Greens are trying to sink government legislation in the Senate. The minor party is concerned that transport routes carrying the waste through metropolitan suburbs and regional towns will be drawn up in secret before "mock public consultations" are carried out."


WGAR News: "Four actions to help stop the proposed NT nuclear dump" Beyond Nuclear Initiative (8 Feb 12)

WGAR News: More on the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill (9 Feb 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/02/09/wgar-news-tent-embassy-protest-interv...

YouTube: Muckaty Voices-Australia's nuclear waste dump story

Beyond Nuclear Initiative:

Nuclear Territory News: Waste Dump News

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...


- Media Release

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation:
Symbolic and practical actions must go hand in hand
15 Feb 12: "ANTaR has today welcomed the Prime Minister’s recognition that practical and symbolic actions to advance reconciliation are "inextricably linked" and welcomes the announcement of funding to continue building community support for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples."

- Related Media Release

Greens welcome Constitutional Recognition investment
15 Feb 12: "The commitment of $10 million for community conversations and engagement on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has been welcomed by the Australian Greens.
"As a member of the Expert Panel and with my own commitment to Constitutional Recognition, I feel very strongly about the importance of a strong discussion and the need to engage the community in progress towards the proposed changes to our Constitution," Senator Rachel Siewert said today."


- Audio Interviews

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CLC Director says Aboriginal people have to be involved in decision making!
15 Feb 12: "The head of a peak Aboriginal Land Council in the Northern Territory says all Governments have to come to terms with the fact that Aboriginal people must be involved in decision making processes that impact on their lives. Central Land Council Director David Ross says the majority of Aboriginal people have no say on what goes on in their communities…and because of the removal of the permit system …who comes or goes within their community."

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Lives of Aboriginal people now dominated by bureaucrats
15 Feb 12: "Yawuru Elder and Sydney Peace Prize winner Patrick Dodson has questioned the ongoning involvement of Federal government bureaucrats in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities and says that there has to be a rational approach…… without people having to suffer….. to prove that there is a way to improve and deliver public policy."

- News

ABC: Most new Alice Springs SIHIP homes need repair
17 Feb 12: "More than three-quarters of federally-funded new homes recently built in Alice Springs town camps will need to be repaired. The consortium of companies in charge of building new houses in Indigenous town camps at Alice Springs says 65 new homes have to be repaired after defects were discovered in some building materials. Territory Alliance says materials used in wall construction have started to buckle and crack."

National Indigenous Radio Service: NT Government defends itself on housing failures
17 Feb 12: "The Northern Territory Housing Minister says repairs to new Aboriginal housing in Alice Springs won't cost the taxpayer any extra money. More than three-quarters of the 85 new dwellings built in Alice Springs need repairs because building materials failed."

National Indigenous Times: Suicide horror
16 Feb 12: "Suicide rates among Aboriginal girls have jumped to unprecedented levels in the Northern Territory since the Northern Territory Intervention was introduced five years ago. The Northern Territory's Children's Commissioner, Dr Howard Bath, said girls now account for 40 per cent of all suicides of children in the Territory under the age of 17."

newsTracker: Girl suicide rates rose after intervention
13 Feb 12: "Suicide rates among Aboriginal girls have jumped since the Northern Territory intervention was introduced five years ago. The territory’s Children’s Commissioner, Howard Bath, said girls now account for 40 percent of all suicides of children under the age of 17, Fairfax Newspapers reported on the weekend. It is understood suicide rates among girls were much lower five years ago, when the Howard government launched the intervention, while in 1980 it was zero."


Creative Spirits:
Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER)
- "The Intervention":

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group):
Mparntwe - Alice Springs:

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney):

CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association)
- NT Intervention:

Treaty Republic - NT Intervention:

Crikey - NT Intervention:

The Greens: Rachel Siewert: Northern Territory Intervention:

New Matilda - northern territory intervention:

Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition:

'concerned Australians':
Without Justice there can be no Reconciliation:

Tracker - NT Intervention:

ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation)
- NT intervention:

MAIC (Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective):

The Conversation - After the Intervention:

Jobs with Justice:

Amnesty International Australia:
Looking back at the Northern Territory Intervention:

Students For Indigenous Rights - UQ:
The Northern Territory Intervention:

Defending Indigenous Rights:

Intervention walk-off's Blog:

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Northern Territory ‘Emergency Response' intervention:

FAIRA; Human Rights Law Resource Centre; NACLC:
Australia's compliance with CERD - Fact Sheet 2:
Northern Territory Intervention:

Green Left: Northern Territory intervention: myths and facts:

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights):


- Audio Interviews

SBS Living Black: WA Tent Embassy Protests Native Title Deal
16 Feb 12: "Nyoongar resistance to a proposed native title deal covering the Perth area, is continuing to grow. A new Tent Ambassy on Heirrison Island was set up to protest the touted one billion dollar deal. The government's package would put 500-million dollars into a trust fund and 500-million into an education fund - no cash. ... For elders like Uncle Richard Wilkes, surrending his custodianship of his land is unthinkable, and the proposed deal will not provide the benefits the government claims it will." Michelle Lovegrove

3CR Community Radio 855 AM: Podcasts
[scroll down page] http://www.3cr.org.au/podcast
Fire First - 16 Feb 2012
[download this interview] http://pod.3cr.org.au/pod/3CRCast-2012-02-15-90267.mp3
16 Feb 12: "A critical analysis of Aboriginal affairs and the political movement for land rights, treaty, sovereignty, and the cessation of genocide presented by Robbie Thorpe, Clare Land. This week we discuss Sovereignty and Treaty with Mark McMurtrie."

- Analysis / Opinion

agendaTracker: The Way Ahead: New goals for a new year
13 Feb 12: "JEFF MCMULLEN* believes we must all take part in the debates on constitutional reform. A New Year brings an historic opportunity. Forget wild optimism or deep pessimism and focus instead on the slender but realistic possibility that our nation is capable of a change of heart. Are we awake to the prospect that this might be a moment of political maturity in which Australia emerges from the division and denial of the past and sees the future through clear eyes? Every thinking man and woman should relish the opportunity to join in this year’s long and difficult referendum debate." Jeff McMullen

agendaTracker: Evidently: Advance Australia fair?
13 Feb 12: "The Expert Panel’s report makes sense, but there should be debate over the use of the word "advancement", writes PROF JON ALTMAN*. The extremely thorough report of the Expert Panel examining options to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian Constitution lays out an important project of constitutional modernisation." Jon Altman

agendaTracker: Little Black Duck: A long way from the light on the hill
13 Feb 12: "The Australian Labor Party’s membership is in decline, and so is its position on Aboriginal affairs, writes NICOLE WATSON*. ... But without a genuine engagement with Indigenous policy, the ALP will never retrieve its ticker, or its moral compass. Labor’s brains trust will no doubt continue to write about the party’s future, but without courage and integrity, nothing will save the ALP, because it will not deserve to be saved." Nicole Watson

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Dear All,

Please note that as of last Friday evening (17 Feb) the websites to obtain information about the Stronger Futures legislation extending key NT Intervention measures for another decade as well as to view the submissions, appear no longer to be at




Instead I have found this morning (20 Feb)that the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2011 and two related bills – Index site is now at


Direct link to view all uploaded submissions

Direct link to view all uploaded hearing info


on this site it states

Please note the audio of the public hearings will be streamed live.

However, when I clicked on the “streamed live” link this morning only “this page cannot be found” came up

And the link under “For more information, please call the Community Affairs secretariat on the numbers below or check the website: “ http://aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/clac_ctte/strong_future_nt_11/index.htm

seems to no longer be working, instead you may wish to check out the Senate Committees weblink


Transcripts from recorded consultations can be found at:



Sabine Kacha