Rudd determined to "make a difference" in NT

“Kevin Rudd sticks to his guns on Territory intervention
The Australian
Patricia Karvelas | May 30, 2009

KEVIN Rudd has reaffirmed his commitment to the Northern Territory intervention, a week after the Government announced it could soften some aspects of its bid to stamp out abuse and alcoholism in remote indigenous communities.

Speaking in Darwin en route to Singapore, the Prime Minister said he remained “resolute” in the implementation of his policies to end Aboriginal disadvantage. “These will involve tough decisions, they will be sensitive in various communities,” Mr Rudd said.”

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“We are determined to have in place policies which materially close the gap in life expectancy, in infant mortality and in safety for Aboriginal communities, as well as improving the educational outcomes and the health outcomes for Aboriginal people.” Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin will introduce legislation into parliament in October to reactivate the Racial Discrimination Act, and take the intervention into its next phase.

The commonwealth has threatened to compulsorily acquire 15 town camps by July if the Tangentyere Council continues to refuse to lease the camps for 40 years to the Government.

Mr Rudd admitted it was not an ideal situation but said he could not sit back and watch the living conditions in the camps deteriorate further.

“Each of those will involve hard decisions,” he said.

“There’ll be reactions against some of them, I accept that. But we will not be deterred. We intend to make a difference.”