Rudd's 'report card' based on deceit and hypocrisy
27/2/09 for immediate release by Paddy Gibson, STICS
The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney (STICS) has today condemned Kevin Rudd's report card on the government's progress in Indigenous affairs as being based on deceit and hypocrisy.
STICS is calling for immediate reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) and an end to the Intervention.
"Kevin Rudd is lying about Income Management in the NT. His government has refused to acknowledge the countless reports from women in communities struggling to buy food and look after children under this failing system", said Monique Wiseman from STICS.
"Thousands of people previously employed on Community Employment Development Projects (CDEP) are still out of work. Recent reports from the Sunrise Health Service in Katherine show increasing rates of anaemia, a clear sign of greater poverty".
"How can Rudd talk about the 'blight of homelessness', when they are enforcing policies aimed at removing thousands of people from their homes in remote areas deemed "unviable". This is already exacerbating crisis of homelessness in major centres throughout the NT and beyond."
"How can he justify a call for 'mutual respect between Aboriginal Australia and the government' when they continue with forcible acquisition of Aboriginal Land under the NT Intervention and the ongoing suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA)."
"Far from the 'death of ideology', we have seen a rebirth of assimilation policies. Most Aboriginal people thought there would be a change from the Howard and Brough years, but we have only got the continuation of horrendous injustices being inflicted on our people".
"With respect Mr. Rudd, go and visit each individual community and listen to people affected. Why are you continuing with this racist policy? Who are your advisers? You are widening the gap", concluded Ms. Wiseman.
"The comments by Kevin Rudd that the NT Intervention has resulted in eighty new houses being built are disgracefully deceitful", said Paddy Gibson from STICS.
"Many new houses have been built for government officials, but none for local Aboriginal people. As Rudd himself acknowledged, community housing is being made conditional on the "aggressive land tenure reforms" being pushed by government".
"Despite shocking overcrowding in all areas, only 16 of the 73 communities 'prescribed' under the Intervention are being offered any new housing. And these places are being threatened that the offer will be withdrawn unless they sign their hard won land over to government under long term leases."
"Rudd's comments celebrating Aboriginal culture are deeply hypocritical. Currently he is supporting the NT government in dismantling bilingual education programs in the Northern Territory, which will compound disadvantage in education and seriously threaten the future of languages".
"The racist approach of the NT Intervention must end immediately".
For more information contact:
Monique Wiseman 0415410558
Paddy Gibson 0415800586
Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney will host a major forum, "Racism and the NT Intervention" on Sunday March 22 at the University of Technology Sydney, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Speakers include Irene Fisher, CEO of Sunrise Health Service in Katherine and Clare Martin, CEO of ACOSS and former NT Chief Minister.
See www.stoptheintervention.org for more information.
For further articles on Closing the Gap Report Card including the PM's speech, please see the
Newsletter from WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
Contents: Media Releases, News, Opinion, PM's Closing the Gap Speech