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Neil E Gillespie, CEO, ALRM 9-2-10

Neil E Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Inc - 9 February 2010

"I find the continuation of the racist NT Intervention by the Rudd Government disappointing. I remind everyone that the Intervention is about access to Aboriginal land by business interests (mining) and the location of a dump for uranium waste. SA, WA and Qld will not accept uranium waste so we are deluding ourselves the Intervention is anything but accessing Aboriginal land in the NT. It has NOTHING to do with children.

If it was about children, then the Intervention would have occurred elsewhere due to the undeniable fact that child abuse per capita is not as significant in the NT as it is in another State. NT is well down the pecking order.

My question is why not have an Intervention in that State rather than the NT? The answer is simple. The Federal Govt does not have the Constitutional power to invade a State like it has in the NT.

That said, why is Minister Jenny Macklin pursuing the same racist policies as her predecessor Minister Brough? The common denominator in all of this is the advisers and bureaucrats of the Brough years now supporting Minister Macklin and who continue to follow the ideology of Peter Shergold and Wayne Gibbons as reported in the Melbourne Press in late 2008. It is they that appear to control the agenda, not the Govt and certainly not Minister Macklin.

That said I know the howls and accusations that will flow through to me if this email is circulated. I have no problems in responding to any critic, including Ministers of the Crown who continue to deny Aboriginal people access to justice as reported on by the United Nations Human Rights Committee of April 2009.

Enough of the pussy footing around. Let us be open and honest. It is business that has caused the misery to Aboriginal people in the NT by influencing Govt and it is the Govt that is allowing it to happen. If business was ethical it would ensure appropriate compensation is paid through royalties which often is avoided.

I go back to the inappropriate behaviour of Minister Macklin and briefing by her Dept last year when dealing with the issue of consultation with Aboriginal people on housing. My recollection is the advice from the bureaucrats was that consultation may not achieve what the Minister wants so it is recommended that she not consult. Minister Macklin agreed.

So the crap about working in the interest of Aboriginal people by a non-Aboriginal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs appears seems to have substance. Maybe someone can correct me on any or all of the above!

No doubt if Ministers and bureaucrats read this commentary they will certainly be critical of me (as usual). My response is that if those in Aboriginal Affairs worked in the interest of Aboriginal people then I would not have to make statements like I have.

Credibility, trust and honesty are spoken widely in regard to the forthcoming SA Elections. I would like to see such values in all levels of Govt."

Neil E Gillespie
Chief Executive Officer
Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Inc
Tele 08 8113 3702
Fax 08 8231 0616
Justice without Prejudice

Reproduced with the kind permission of Neil E Gillespie.