WGAR News: Income Management to be extended to include Non-Aboriginal People (30 Nov 09)

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

WGAR website: http://wgar.info/

Income Management to be extended to include Non-Aboriginal People
Other NT Intervention Articles


- Media Releases

STICS - Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
New Intervention laws still breach RDA
26 Nov 09: "The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney will protest at FaHCSIA offices at 12:30pm today, against plans to expand compulsory welfare quarantining across the country and continue with discriminatory Northern Territory Intervention laws. STICS argues that Minister Jenny Macklin's claim that Income Management (IM) is benefitting NT communities is deceitful and that the new laws will continue to breach the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). "Income quarantining has been a disaster for 'prescribed communities'."

Greens condemn Rudd Government move to nation-wide welfare quarantining
25 Nov 09: " "This is the biggest negative shift in social policy from an ALP Government ever," said Greens community services spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert today. "I am shocked that a Labor Government would countenance such poor social policy without a shred of evidence of positive outcomes from this level of social control. This is a huge shift in values away from a culture of a 'fair go for all' and towards a paternalistic approach that restricts the choices of the disadvantaged 'for their own good'. It is unbelievable that the Rudd Government thinks that simply because some people are unemployed or single parents they cannot look after their children or manage their money," said Senator Siewert."

ANTaR: Concerns remain about the Northern Territory Emergency Response
25 Nov 09: "Extending income management to all welfare recipients in the Northern Territory will disproportionately and adversely affect Aboriginal people in Northern Territory. said ANTaR National President, Dr Janet Hunt. “It appears that the mooted idea that compulsory income management could be made a special measure under the Racial Discrimination Act, has been discarded by the Government as indefensible,” says ANTaR National President, Dr Janet Hunt. ANTaR has consistently opposed ideas that income quarantining could be seen as a special measure."

Hon Jenny Macklin MP: Strengthening the Northern Territory Emergency Response
25 Nov 09: "Moving the NTER to a sustainable development phase can not be achieved while the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) continues. The Government will introduce legislation into the Parliament to repeal all NTER laws that suspend the operation of the RDA. ... Income management will be re-designed as a non-discriminatory measure. The new scheme will commence across the NT - in urban, regional and remote areas - as a first step in a national roll out of income management in disadvantaged regions."

Hon Jenny Macklin MP: Major welfare reforms to protect children and strengthen families
25 Nov 09: "As part of major reforms to the welfare system, the Australian Government will introduce a new income management scheme to protect children and families and help disengaged individuals. The Government is committed to progressively reforming the welfare and family payment system to foster responsibility and to provide a platform for people to move up and out of welfare dependence. The reforms will help fight passive welfare and mean that more money goes to food, clothes, rent and less money goes to buying alcohol and gambling."

- Opinion

New Matilda: Macklin Announces Massive Changes To Welfare
26 Nov 09: "In order to keep the NT Intervention without appearing racist, the Government has moved to give itself income management powers for the whole country, writes Greens senator Rachel Siewert. Late on Tuesday in Canberra, while the eyes of the nation were focused on a climate split in the Coalition party room, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, quietly briefed a few selected journalists on controversial plans to roll out welfare quarantining nationwide. ... " Rachel Siewert

Crikey: Persecuting white and black isn’t racist
25 Nov 09: "How do you discriminate against Aboriginal families without being racist? You add in non Indigenous families and treat them equally badly. The reported bad experiences of income quarantined families do not suggest that these changes will bring much, if any benefits to the recipients. Yet Macklin is about to announce that those on certain benefits in the NT will share the distress and injustices on a non racist basis." Eva Cox

Croakey: What will income management mean for peoples’ health and wellbeing?
25 Nov 09: "Croakey has put this question to a range of people across the health sector, and will keep you posted as the responses come in. ... Two reports from 2008 highlighting the diversity of views on income management. Circa Report. The CIRCA report was commissioned by the independent NTER Review Board ... Central Land Council – NTER: Perspectives from Six Communities"

Australian: Tough love works best
25 Nov 09: "EXTENDING income management beyond Northern Territory indigenous communities to the rest of Australia should get bipartisan support. Why? Because it works and is supported by many of the biggest victims of welfare dysfunction: women and children." David Moore

- News

National Indigenous Times:
Widespread concerns over nationwide income management roll out
26 Nov 09: "The Rudd government's plan to rollout the income management scheme, a controversial plank of the NT intervention, into the whole of Australia has been met with criticism, with concerns most of the people affected will still be Aboriginal. ... But welfare groups and Aboriginal activists have criticised the plan. Former Family Court Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson, who just this week launched an independent report labelling the NT intervention consultations as "fundamentally flawed" told the ABC that most of the people affected would still be Aboriginal."

SMH: Welfare measure attacked
26 Nov 09: "EXPANDING income management across the country will demonise more people on flawed evidence that it benefits disadvantaged communities, social service, charity and church groups say. The controversial measure, introduced in 2007 as part of the Federal Government's intervention into the Northern Territory, was yesterday extended to low socio-economic groups across the country."

NT News: Outrage at income plan
26 Nov 09: "WELFARE recipients are outraged about the Federal Government's plan to expand income management across the whole of the Territory. The scheme will force them to spend half of their payments on food and other essentials. Federal Families Minister Jenny Macklin said it would reduce the amount of money spent on grog and gambling. But Gail Barnes, 39, who has been on the dole for several years, said the policy was disempowering."

Australian Council of Social Service - ACOSS News
Rollout of Blanket Income Management Unfair and Un-Australian
25 Nov 09: "ACOSS has raised concerns about the Federal Government’s plans to roll out income management across the country, saying it could further disadvantage low income Australians. “While the reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act is welcome step, it comes at a cost,” said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service. “These are major reforms to our welfare system and we are concerned there is no evidence to warrant an extension of income quarantining."

Australian: Compulsory income management worst Labor social policy ever, say Greens
25 Nov 09: "NATIONAL compulsory income management is the worst social policy of any Labor government, the Australian Greens say. The Rudd Government wants to force welfare recipients around the country to spend half of their payments on essentials like food and clothing."

Koori Mail: ACOSS slams welfare reform plan
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
25 Nov 09: "THE Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is concerned that rolling income management out across the country could further disadvantage low-income Australians. ACOSS chief executive officer Clare Martin says blanket income management is unfair, un-Australian and a blunt instrument which does not consider individual circumstances."

Koori Mail: Govt fails to listen to Aboriginal concerns: ANTaR
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
25 Nov 09: "A FEDERAL Government proposal to eventually extend welfare quarantining from just Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to communities throughout Australia is proof the Government failed to listen during recent consultations with Aboriginal people regarding NT Emergency Response measures, according to Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) president Janet Hunt."

ABC: Welfare changes like Big Brother: ex-chief justice
25 Nov 09: "A former chief justice says compulsory income management is like Big Brother and interferes with people's rights and liberties. ... Alistair Nicholson says the income management measures may allow the Government to reinstate the Act but the policy could still be considered discriminatory."

ABC AM: Welfare quarantining set to go national
25 Nov 09: "Welfare recipients are facing significant restrictions on the way they can spend their payments under major changes to the welfare system announced by the Federal Government. The measure of quarantining welfare so money can only be spent on essential items has been in place in Northern Territory Indigenous communities as part of the federal intervention. Now the Government plans to extend the scheme to non-Indigenous people in the Northern Territory."

ABC: Welfare plan to be tested on Territorians
25 Nov 09: "The Federal Government has taken the first step in rolling out compulsory income management in disadvantaged communities across the country. It is part of changes to the Northern Territory Intervention to make it comply with the Racial Discrimination Act. Until now, the scheme has been used only in Indigenous communities."

SMH: Welfare control goes country-wide
25 Nov 09: "COMPULSORY income management will be expanded to welfare recipients across the country to make the Government's control of Aboriginal welfare comply with racial discrimination laws. From July 1, the measure that forces people in remote indigenous communities to allocate half their welfare payments to food, rent and clothing, will apply to all severely disadvantaged people."

Australian: New law to quarantine all welfare payments
25 Nov 09: "WELFARE recipients across Australia face compulsory income-management under a Rudd government move to ensure their payments are not being wasted on alcohol, drugs or gambling. Under legislation to be introduced into the House of Representatives today, the government will have the power to require that 50 per cent of a welfare recipient's payments be quarantined for spending on food and the essentials of life."

Koori Mail: Income management to spread
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
25 Nov 09: "COMPULSORY income management will be extended to non-Aboriginal welfare recipients in the Northern Territory by the end of next year and eventually across the board in other disadvantaged regions of Australia. The moves form part of Federal Government attempts to make ‘non-discriminatory’ the NT Emergency Response (NTER) or Intervention, which suspended the operation of the Racial Discrimination Act in 73 NT Aboriginal communities."

ABC: Kids' plight forces Macklin's hand on income management
26 Nov 09: "Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin's radical move to extend income management to all welfare recipients in the Northern Territory is in part a recognition that child safety in the NT is far from satisfactory. A crucial decision in the Federal Court today has determined that the Federal Government can proceed to take over the Alice Springs town camps."

ABC: Income management to be extended
24 Nov 09: "The Federal Government is preparing to announce significant changes to welfare policy, with income management to be extended to include non-Indigenous people. People living in prescribed Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory have restrictions placed on the way they spend welfare payments as part of the emergency Intervention. The Federal Government is now moving to extend those measures throughout the Territory."

- Reports

FaHCSIA: Policy Statement: Landmark Reform to the Welfare System, Reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act, and Strengthening of the Northern Territory Emergency Response
Nov 2009: "The Government is moving to introduce landmark reforms to the welfare system which, over time, will see the national roll out of a non-discriminatory scheme to income manage welfare payments in disadvantaged regions across Australia."

FaHCSIA: Report On the NTER Redesign Engagement Strategy and Implementation
Nov 2009


- Background on the Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response


- Media Releases

STICS - Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
FaHCSIA's Whitewash 'consultation' report
25 Nov 09: "The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney (STICS) has labeled a FaHCSIA report on NT Intervention consultations a "shambolic whitewash", deliberately designed to mask deep community opposition to Intervention measures. STICS says that claims of community support for the Intervention rely on secret, unaccountable meetings with Intervention staff. The strong anti-Intervention sentiments expressed through public consultation meetings have been misrepresented or ignored. Contrary to Minister Jenny Macklin's statements, the report provides evidence that the Intervention is responsible for widespread abuses of human rights and the intensification of many social problems, particularly relating to alcohol."

ANTaR: Racial Discrimination Act changes crucial to re-engage Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory
25 Nov 09: " "Reports released on Monday on the Federal Government's consultation process for 'redesigning' the NTER indicate the urgent need for fundamental change in the government's approach to dealing with Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory", ANTaR President, Dr Janet Hunt said. ... The reports reveal a deeply disturbing picture of widespread community frustration and confusion regarding the measures introduced under the NTER. Communities have been struggling to cope with chaotic, uncoordinated and disempowering changes that have been imposed without their input. "The government's consultation process provides no basis for continuing aspects of the NTER, such as compulsory quarantining of income - either as so-called 'special measures' or if applied to all welfare recipients across the Territory to avoid racial discrimination", Dr Hunt said ... "

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Reinstating the RDA in the Northern Territory welcomed
25 Nov 09: "The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed today’s announcement by the Australian Government that it will reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in the Northern Territory in 2010. Race Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, said the proposal to progressively lift the suspension of the RDA and anti-discrimination laws in the Northern Territory and Queensland was essential for Australia to be able to comply with its human rights obligations and ensure that people were protected from discrimination on the basis of their race."

- Audio

Rollback the Intervention: Audio
November 26, 2009: Rally outside FaHCSIA, Sydney
[Under the theme: "Unconditionally restore the Racial Discrimination Act: Racism is not a special measure"]
"Uncle Dootch Kennedy- Sandon Point Tent Embassy ...
Larissa Behrendt-Director- Research Unit, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS ...
Eva Cox- Women for Wik ...
Paddy Gibson- Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney ...
Barb Shaw- Mount Nancy Town Camp and Intervention Rollback Action Group Alice Springs (via phone link) ...
Michael Brull_Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney"

ABC AM: Dodson: Racial Discrimination Act to force intervention changes
21 Nov 09: "Aboriginal leader Mick Dodson says the Federal Government will have to abandon compulsory management of welfare income in the Northern Territory if the Racial Discrimination Act is reinstated. The act was suspended back in 2007 with the Howard government's intervention. But next week, the Rudd Government will introduce legislation to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975. ... "
[includes interview with Mick Dodson]

- News

Koori Mail: Other Intervention measures here to stay
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
25 Nov 09: "THE Federal Government says it will modify but keep alcohol and pornography restrictions, five-year leases, expanded law enforcement powers and other key measures under the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER). Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin and Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon say the measures qualify as 'special measures' under the Racial Discrimination Act, which the Government says it will now seek to reinstate in affected communities."

Koori Mail: All eyes on Govt for reinstatement of RDA
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
24 Nov 09: "THE Australian Government is expected to reveal today how it intends to ensure that measures under the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) will comply with the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. Speculation is rife over whether such controversial intervention measures as compulsory income quarantining can continue in NT Aboriginal communities if the Act is reinstated there."

ABC Alice Springs: Racial Discrimination Act will change intervention: Dodson
22 Nov 09: "Indigenous leader Mick Dodson says a plan to re-instate the racial discrimination act in the Northern Territory is at odds with the intervention in Indigenous communities. ... Professor Dodson says the intervention itself is discriminatory and will have to be changed dramatically if the laws are reintroduced."

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)