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The Intervention: Mere Arltyewele (Settle Down Country) – Bear the Gap to Close the Gap

The Intervention: Mere Arltyewele (Settle Down Country) – Bear the Gap to Close the Gap ABSTRACT In 2007 the Northern Territory report on child abuse Little Children Are Sacred, Akelyernernane Meke Mekarle (Aranda) (In our law children are sacred because they carry the two spring wells of water from our country within them) was released. In July–August 2007 the Federal Government enacted the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill, in the name of protecting children from abuse, giving the Federal Government wide control over Aboriginal lands, families, and community services; and the Indigenous Affairs Minister total control over Indigenous community governance. More widely known as the Northern Territory Intervention, this dramatic move began with the Howard Government in 2007 and has been largely continued under the Rudd Government. Taking control of a large number of Aboriginal settlements, the Government instituted the following measures: supply of additional police to affected communities; mass health checks for Aboriginal children, initially mandatory but changed to voluntary; new restrictions on alcohol, kava and pornography; the compulsory acquisition of townships with five‐year leases; Commonwealth funding for community services; removal of customary law from bail applications and sentencing in criminal cases; suspension of the system by which visitors to Aboriginal settlements were required to have a permit; quarantining of a portion of welfare benefits to all recipients in designated communities; and the abolition of Community Development Education Projects (CDEP), which had paid unemployed people to work locally. Mal Brough was the Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs when the Intervention commenced and he led it with a passion. The army, albeit unarmed, were directed to accompany the new army of people employed to service the Intervention. Intervention measures were exempted from the Racial Discrimination Act, breaching two treaties to which Australia is a signatory – the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Labour Government has essentially upheld the measures of the Intervention. Prime Minister Rudd at Yirrkala on 24 July 2008 spoke about the policy of closing the gap, in terms of life expectancy of adults and children under five, infant mortality, the Year 12 completion rate, and literacy and numeracy achievements, and of closing the gap in a practicable and measurable way. Some changes and modifications have been introduced. The CDEP has been partially re‐introduced, permits re‐introduced and 99‐year leases established. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies Wiley

The Intervention: Mere Arltyewele (Settle Down Country) – Bear the Gap to Close the Gap

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
1742-3341
eISSN
1556-9187
DOI
10.1002/aps.1314
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT In 2007 the Northern Territory report on child abuse Little Children Are Sacred, Akelyernernane Meke Mekarle (Aranda) (In our law children are sacred because they carry the two spring wells of water from our country within them) was released. In July–August 2007 the Federal Government enacted the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill, in the name of protecting children from abuse, giving the Federal Government wide control over Aboriginal lands, families, and community services; and the Indigenous Affairs Minister total control over Indigenous community governance. More widely known as the Northern Territory Intervention, this dramatic move began with the Howard Government in 2007 and has been largely continued under the Rudd Government. Taking control of a large number of Aboriginal settlements, the Government instituted the following measures: supply of additional police to affected communities; mass health checks for Aboriginal children, initially mandatory but changed to voluntary; new restrictions on alcohol, kava and pornography; the compulsory acquisition of townships with five‐year leases; Commonwealth funding for community services; removal of customary law from bail applications and sentencing in criminal cases; suspension of the system by which visitors to Aboriginal settlements were required to have a permit; quarantining of a portion of welfare benefits to all recipients in designated communities; and the abolition of Community Development Education Projects (CDEP), which had paid unemployed people to work locally. Mal Brough was the Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs when the Intervention commenced and he led it with a passion. The army, albeit unarmed, were directed to accompany the new army of people employed to service the Intervention. Intervention measures were exempted from the Racial Discrimination Act, breaching two treaties to which Australia is a signatory – the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Labour Government has essentially upheld the measures of the Intervention. Prime Minister Rudd at Yirrkala on 24 July 2008 spoke about the policy of closing the gap, in terms of life expectancy of adults and children under five, infant mortality, the Year 12 completion rate, and literacy and numeracy achievements, and of closing the gap in a practicable and measurable way. Some changes and modifications have been introduced. The CDEP has been partially re‐introduced, permits re‐introduced and 99‐year leases established. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic StudiesWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2013

References