Gillard can't face gruesome Intervention facts - Sydney protest planned 10-6-11
Stop the Intervention Collective Media Release 10/6/2011 for immediate release
Gillard can't face gruesome Intervention facts - Sydney protest planned
Closing off her recent trip to the Northern Territory, Prime Minister Julia Gillard cited "recent statistics" to support her claim that the Intervention is improving lives for Aboriginal people.
But statistics from the governments' latest ‘Closing the Gap in the NT Monitoring' contradict every one of her claims and demonstrate the increasingly desperate conditions in Aboriginal communities.
The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney (STICS) is planning a major protest on Saturday June 25, as part of a national week of action to mark four years of Intervention.
"On her trip to the NT, Prime Minister Gillard was confronted by Aboriginal people demanding an end to racist Intervention laws. Statistics from the government's own report show why they're so angry. After four years and over $1.5 billion there are intensifying social crises. This is the result of policies which are dislocating and disempowering Aboriginal people on a mass scale", said Paddy Gibson from STICS.
The latest Closing the Gap in the NT Monitoring report shows that:
- School attendance rates fell by 5.6 per cent from 2009-10.
- There were declines in enrolment figures for both pre-school and primary school.
- Rates of attempted suicide and self-harm are now almost double pre-Intervention levels.
- Four in every 1000 Indigenous children was hospitalised for malnutrition in 2008-9, the highest level in a decade.
- Prime Minister Gillard claims a decrease in assault convictions in the "prescribed communities" by 70 cases since 2009 is evidence of decreasing violence. But the number of convictions in NT urban areas increased by 104 cases over the same period and rates of assault are still higher than in 2007.
"The writing is on the wall. The intervention has been a failed experiment in assimilation and must be thrown into the dust-bin of history with the mission-system and the policy of child removal. We need a complete u-turn. Rights and self-determination must be pushed back onto the agenda", said Monique Wiseman from STICS.
The rally will also be hearing from Aboriginal representatives from Bankstown in Sydney's west, which will see the introduction of NT-style 'Income Management'.
"We are going to fight the introduction of Income Management into NSW every step of the way. For 4 years the BasicsCard has humiliated Aboriginal people in the NT and now they think they can impose it on the poor here too. This government's Income Management trial is over. The verdict? Expensive, demeaning and useless" continued Ms Wiseman.
The campaign against the NT Intervention will mark the 4 year anniversary by launching an alternative policy - 'Rebuilding from the Ground Up: An Alternative to the NT Intervention'.
‘Rebuilding from the Ground Up' was initiated by the Intervention Rollback Action Group (IRAG Alice Springs) and STICS. It has been endorsed by Aboriginal leaders from more than 15 communities, along with a range of organisations including the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA), ANTaR and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission, the statement calls for the government to immediately repeal NTER legislation.
The 11 point plan includes the re-establishment of Aboriginal community councils, abandonment of the 'hub towns' model and investment in all communities, an end to compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal land, the rescinding of all leases signed under the NTER and recognition of the importance of Aboriginal customary law.
For a full copy of the statement and a list of current endorsements see http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/alternative-to-the-intervention/
A website where you can explore background information, video and supporting research is now online at http://www.jumbunna.uts.edu.au/researchareas/alternatives.html
The Sydney launch of the 'Rebuilding from the Ground Up' Statement will take place at a demonstration: 1pm Saturday 25th June,Town Hall Square marching to Belmore Park.
Marie Ellis, Amoonguna NT
Lee Rhiannon, Greens NSW Senator Elect
Rebel Hanlon, CFMEU
Jack Johnson, Gandangara LALC (South-West Sydney)
Paddy Gibson, STICS
Nicole Watson, Jumbunna Research
For more information contact:
Monique Wiseman - 0415 410 558
Paddy Gibson -0415800586