“UN accuses Australia of embedded racism”

Source: 7pm TV News NSW
Published: Saturday, August 28, 2010 8:19 AEST
Expires: Friday, November 26, 2010 8:19 AEST

A United Nations committee on racial discrimination has criticised Australia’s policies on Indigenous issues.

ABC video report

Gathering to defend indigenous rights, Alice Springs July 6-9



JULY 6 – 9


The gathering will be an important opportunity for Aboriginal people to come together and join supporters including international Indigenous activists to talk about the government’s Intervention policies.

Contact: Richard Downs 0428 611 169,
Paddy Gibson 0415 800 586,
Lauren Mellor 0413 534 125

Check out the website:

“Passage of NTER Amendments a step in the right direction”

Australian Human Rights Commission

Commissioner Innes, and Commissioner Gooda, said passage of the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009 yesterday would go some way to lifting the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) and state and territory anti-discrimination laws in the Northern Territory.

Race Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes said the passage of the amendments will end much of the uncertainty, misinformation and conflict that communities have endured in relation to their rights.

“It is imperative that the government now provides clear and comprehensive information about these changes to the people in affected communities,” said Commissioner Innes. “People need information about their rights and protections – some of which were suspended during the course of the intervention – and they need to know what will be available to them again.”

Noting that the amendments do not completely reinstate the RDA, Commissioner Innes and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, emphasised that the passing of this legislation should only be seen as a first step in the restoration of full protections for the affected communities.

The Commissioners said they were particularly concerned about:

* continuation of the compulsory five-year lease arrangements and their exclusion from the protections against discrimination under the RDA;
* potential characterisation of some measures as ‘special measures’ under the RDA;
* the broad reach of some categories of the new income management measure, particularly where they could result in a disproportionate number of Aboriginal people being unnecessarily income-managed, and
* continuation of unnecessary and unreasonable business management areas powers.

Commissioner Gooda said the focus should now be on getting services delivered on the ground. “There is a continued need for services in these communities, particularly in relation to housing, health and education,” Commissioner Gooda said. “The government must engage with affected communities to ensure that funding is correctly targeted and that services are delivered and developed appropriately.”

The Commissioners said that long-term, sustainable success would now be dependant on ensuring the involvement of Indigenous people and affected communities to:

* develop community-driven processes to address issues like unhealthy drinking patterns and pornography; and
* develop the delegated instruments that are non-discriminatory and consistent with human rights obligations, on which much of the implementation of the Northern Territory Emergency Response will now be dependent.

Commissioner Innes said it was vital that the next steps for improvement to the Northern Territory Emergency Response include the gathering of relevant baseline data and development of monitoring and evaluation tools, followed by further steps to ensure the full reinstatement of the RDA.

NT – a better way – Action – ANTaR – Check out this link.

“Did you know that Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory are still subjected to discriminatory laws?” asks ANTaR.

Want to do something about it?

Check out http://www.antar.org.au/abetterway

Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance Statement

Posted in WGAR NEWSLETTER on 22/06/2009 – see http://www.wgar.info

Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance Statement

20 Jun 09: “We members of the Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance have made the following statement from our June 18-19 meeting in Darwin. Everybody else has their rights. Aboriginal people aren’t recognised. They don’t want to listen to us because they want our land. We are our own leaders, passed down through our families. We don’t need leaders in parliament to speak. We can use our own voice.

Stop the Intervention: Self Determination not Assimilation
* No takeover of Aboriginal town camps
* Full funding, housing and services for all communities
* No blanket welfare quarantines
* Reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act
* Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs

The government says they support the declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples but they haven’t made it legal. The government has to make it legal. All Aboriginal people are being treated as second class citizens. …

[Newsletter Ed. note: Northern Territory Aboriginal communities targeted by the Australian Federal Territory Intervention have united as PAPA, the Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance.]

Australian Aborigines publish a long catalogue of complaints about their treatment.
Continue reading “Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance Statement”

Two years after the start of the NT intervention. Time to get it right.

Australian Human Rights Commission

Let’s not wait another two years to get it right

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Open and genuine consultation driven by a desire for trusting, long-term relationships with Aboriginal people must be central to federal government consultations in the 73 prescribed communities affected by the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma said today, two years after the intervention was announced.

Commissioner Calma repeated his praise for the government’s moves to introduce legislation later this year to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in the affected communities but cautioned that any attempts to make compulsory income or alcohol management strategies special measures must be completely understood by the affected communities and must be demonstrably supported by them.

“We know that a consultation process was entirely absent in the introduction of NTER measures and that community views were not considered in the design or delivery of these measures,” Commissioner Calma said.

“Let’s not wait another two years to get it right.

Continue reading “Two years after the start of the NT intervention. Time to get it right.”

Stop the intervention statement – Alice Springs town camps

Statement Opposing the Commonwealth’s Proposal to Compulsorily Acquire the Alice Springs Town Camps

“We recognize the right of Tangentyere Council and town camp residents to self-determination. Town camp residents have called upon governments to address overcrowding and poverty in their communities over several years. More often than not, their demands have been ignored.

We support the recent decision by the Council to reject the Commonwealth’s proposal that would transfer control of housing and tenancy management to the Northern Territory Government. Representatives from all town camps voted to maintain community control. This is vital because of a long history of neglect and indifference to the needs of Aboriginal people by Northern Territory Housing. People rightly fear eviction and rent-increases that are beyond their capacity to pay. It is critical that Aboriginal people have the power to shape their own destinies.

We condemn Minister Macklin’s proposal for the Commonwealth to compulsorily acquire the town camps of Alice Springs. We call on the Commonwealth to respect the independence of the Tangentyere Council and to act in good faith in all of its negotiations with the Tangentyere Council.

We recognize the long struggle for land by both town camp residents and Aboriginal land holders throughout Australia. We condemn the Federal Government’s policy of withholding funding for desperately needed housing in Aboriginal communities, before Aboriginal people relinquish control of their land.

It is disgraceful that the party who championed the first land rights legislation in Australia is holding impoverished Aboriginal communities to ransom. This Government has lost its moral compass. We offer our full support to the Tangentyere Council in their struggle.

Endorsements are requested from individuals and organisations. Please circulate amongst your networks. Please reply to stoptheintervention@gmail.com before 5pm on Thursday 28th of May to indicate support.”