NT 'emergency' – Aboriginal organisations put the alternative
This is not the time to let the feds off the hook over their shambolic 'emergency intervention' in the Northern Territory's Aboriginal communities. If anything, we need to keep attention on the issue.
A fundamental problem with the feds' intervention was that it attacks Indigenous self-determination. In direct contrast to this NT Aboriginal organisations, with the support of the wider community sector nationally, have put together an alternative plan to deal with violence, abuse and disadvantage in Aboriginal communities. They want the government to sign up to it – and implement it, of course.
We can help by supporting the Oxfam Australia campaign to pressure on the federal government to adopt their plan. Oxfam says:
"Revelations that there are deep social problems in many of our Indigenous communities are not new. Indigenous leaders have been warning for the past decade that a social crisis would emerge if federal, state and territory governments failed to provide Indigenous Australians with the opportunities and basic services other Australians take for granted: policing, primary health care, education, housing and real employment opportunities. We are now reaping what we have sown through the failure of successive governments to address the root causes of this crisis.The Oxfam site has the full plan and information on how you can write to Howard and Brough – and the Opposition – to get them to support the plan. The more noise we make in support, the better chance that Aboriginal organisations have of being heard.
Now that this issue is finally on the national political agenda, immediate action is required to protect communities – and children in particular – while also addressing the underlying factors contributing to the cycle of abuse.
The Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the Northern Territory (CAO) has come up with such a plan and we are asking the federal and Northern Territory governments to adopt this plan as a matter of urgency."