Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Damning report on Aboriginal scheme

THE radical intervention into remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory has "fractured" the relationship between governments and indigenous people and led to an even greater sense of betrayal and misery among many people, an independent panel has found.

The board commissioned by the Federal Government to review the intervention after 12 months found it had not led to anyone being arrested for child sexual abuse - the grounds on which the previous government justified the intervention.

Measures to increase school attendance had also been unsuccessful, it said.

"There is intense hurt and anger at being isolated on the basis of race and subjected to collective measures that would never be applied to other Australians," said the report, made public yesterday.

The board called for the intervention's exemption from the Racial Discrimination Act to be removed and supported the reinstatement of the permit system for entry to lands.

The board was scathing of several of the intervention's good intentions, such as providing safe houses for victims of domestic violence.

Shelters consisted of ship containers grouped together, the board found, and people refused to use them because they were reminiscent of detention centres.

Pat Turner, of the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the Northern Territory, said she applauded its recommendations to compensate Aboriginal landowners on just terms for compulsory leases over their land and for its call for the intervention to be subject to the Racial Discrimination Act.

But Ms Turner, who has called the intervention a Trojan horse designed to seize Aboriginal land, opposed a recommendation for alcohol bans to remain, saying they should be replaced by a "massive campaign on living responsibly with alcohol, because it's not going to go away".


NT intervention blamed for man's suicide
The family of a Northern Territory man who killed himself two months ago has blamed the federal intervention for his death.

Indigenous rights complaint lodged with UN
The Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (ALRM) has now sent a formal complaint to the United Nations about treatment of Indigenous people.

NT intervention failing to curb abuse
The head of one of Australia's peak Aboriginal child protection agencies says the federal intervention has failed to achieve one of its key goals.

NT intervention increasing murders
The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) is blaming the federal intervention for an increase in the number of murder cases it is defending in the Northern Territory.

Aborigines want end to NT intervention
Thousands of Aborigines are petitioning to have the Northern Territory intervention abandoned.

New NT laws: 'more Aboriginal people jailed'
The Australian Council for Civil Liberties says more Aboriginal people will go to jail under proposed mandatory sentencing laws in the Northern Territory.

Intervention delivering 'empty shipping containers, no houses'
A member of the Maningrida community in the Northern Territory's Arnhem Land says he cannot see any infrastructure changes as a result of the emergency intervention, and wants to know where the money has been spent.

Abandon NT intervention: Commissioner
The Northern Territory's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Tony Fitzgerald says the Federal intervention into remote Aboriginal communities should be abandoned and the legislation underpinning it should be repealed.

Budget to roll out new welfare card
Welfare plan: The new card will be initially rolled out in NT Indigenous communities. The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) says the Rudd Government's proposed welfare debit card is not the best way to help struggling families.

Police cannot cope with backlash
Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, has warned the Federal Government that many indigenous people displaced by the emergency intervention are creating unrest and straining police capacity.

Discrimination Act should apply to intervention: Calma
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner wants the Racial Discrimination Act immediately reinstated in the Northern Territory's Indigenous communities.

Porn ban in Indigenous communities 'racist'
The Australian National Adult Retail Association (Eros) says the Federal Government's ban on X-rated pornography in Aboriginal communities is pointless, racist and should be revoked.

Retailers' warning on welfare card shop spies
EMPLOYEES across the country will be at risk of entrapment by government "spies", retailers have warned, under a Federal Government proposal to control fraudulent use of a new welfare debit card.

Aboriginal delegation heads to UN
The National Aboriginal Alliance is taking its concerns about the Northern Territory intervention to the United Nations

Indigenous welfare quarantine scheme gets go ahead
Parents in four Cape York Indigenous communities could soon have their welfare payments quarantined if they do not take care of their children and homes and do not stay out of trouble with the law.

No comments: