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Reconciliation for Western Sydney

Reconciliation for Western Sydney - 25 October 2010


Media Release

Reconciliation for Western Sydney is concerned about the discriminatory measures of the Northern Territory Intervention.

In particular we are concerned about the effect of the closure of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP), local government reforms and the seizure of land and assets under the Intervention.

Northern Territory Gurindji leaders are saying that since 2007, Aboriginal employment projects have been wound back. Hundreds of Aboriginal workers have been forced onto income management and local services are struggling or have collapsed. Under the NT Intervention many people on local projects have been forced to work in harsh conditions for the BasicsCard (a form of income management which many NT Aboriginal residents have had imposed on them and which requires that they receive only half their pay while the remainder is paid into the BasicsCard). This card can only be used at specific stores often requiring very long drives to purchase the basic necessities of life.

In remote areas this means: no car - no food.

Protest spokesperson John Leemans says "Prior to the Intervention we had nearly 300 CDEP workers employed in municipal services, construction and maintenance roles. When the government took over and abolished the community council and CDEP everything came to a halt. We went two years without regular rubbish collection because the truck was seized. Houses and buildings are in desperate need of repair but there's no funding for workers or materials."

Mark Fordham, former CDEP co-ordinator for the Ampilatwatja community, and Greens MLC David Shoebridge will talk about the impact of this policy and the campaign against it on October 28 at Parramatta Town Hall.

The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm Thursday, October 28 in the Charles Byrne Room, Parramatta Town Hall. The meeting is organised by Reconciliation for Western Sydney and Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS). It is supported by Parramatta Greens.

Phil Bradley 0425 265 170 or
Lyn Leerson 9639 8384


Reproduced with the kind permission of Lyn Leerson.

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