WGAR News: Laws extending income management to come before the Senate (18 Jun 10)

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

WGAR Website: http://wgar.info/


- Background

Submissions to the Senate Inquiry

Stop the Intervention:
Forum: Welfare Quarantining and the RDA

Stop the Intervention:
Racial Discrimination Act - New Legislation

- Urgent Action

The Greens: Income Management
"The Rudd Government's new laws give them the power to extend Income Management across Australia to people on many kinds of Centrelink payments. These laws could affect your family. The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009 is listed to go through the Senate this week so it’s the last chance to voice our opposition and express our specific concerns about it. Call your Senators now at Parliament House (phone numbers are available here) or email them senator.(senator’s surname)@aph.gov.au and ask them questions, such as: ... "

- Media Releases

Stop the Intervention:
Racial discrimination entrenched in new NT Intervention laws
17 Jun 10: "The Alice Springs Based Intervention Rollback Action group (IRAG) and STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney) have condemned the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill, expected to pass through the Senate this week. IRAG and STICS say many aspects of the new laws entrench racial discrimination and continue the hardships being felt under the NT Intervention. “... The Australian Human Rights Commission and other legal experts have been clear that Jenny Macklin’s new laws will continue to deny the full protections of the Racial Discrimination Act to Aboriginal people. All draconian controls initiated by Howard in the NT will continue”, said Peter Robson from STICS."

Stop the Intervention:
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Bishop cautions on income management
15 Jun 10: "Bishop Christopher Saunders, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, has urged politicians to remember the dignity and rights of Indigenous people as Senators vote this week on a Bill related to income management under the Northern Territory Emergency Response. ... ‘Compulsory income management alone will not address the underlying causes of poverty and disadvantage. A rigid focus on compliance or a policy that implies that "we know what is best" or "it is all for their own good" risks adopting the kind of attitude that gave rise to policies behind the Stolen Generations. ... ' Bishop Saunders said."

- Rally

Stop the Intervention:
Rally Sunday 20th June: 3 Years of racist shame - Stop the NT Intervention
This Sunday June 20th, 12pm at Town Hall Square [Sydney]
"Three years of federal intervention into Aboriginal communities in the NT has created a mounting pile of reports damning it as racist and destructive. But to the despair of those living with the policies, Labor’s new legislation entrenches and extend the intervention – which explains why they have the support of the Tony Abbott’s Liberals."

- News

SMH: NT welfare recipients to lose control of payments
17 Jun 10: "COMMUNITY organisations say 20,000 people in the Northern Territory will be shocked when they lose control of half their Centrelink payments from July 1 in a trial of the biggest shake-up of the welfare system in decades. Under new legislation, the federal government will extend welfare quarantining ... "

Koori Mail: Greens won’t move on income management
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
17 Jun 10: "THE Australian Greens say they’ll stand firm on their opposition to the Federal Government’s proposed welfare reform legislation, which would extend income management across Australia. Senator Rachel Siewert says the legislation is discriminatory, and growing public disapproval of the ‘punitive’ measures is obviously causing the Government concern."

Canadian Press: Australia plans to change 'racist' policy that restricts how Outback Aborigines spend welfare
16 Jun 10: "The government wants to extend the spending restrictions to everyone ... The changes will depend on legislation proposed next week to the Senate ... Amnesty International Australia said in a statement that while the new regime would not be directly racially discriminatory, concerns remain that it would disproportionately effect Aborigines."

ABC: Senate debates welfare quarantine extension in NT
16 Jun 10: "Legislation to extend welfare quarantining across the Northern Territory is set to be debated in the Senate this afternoon. ... Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says welfare quarantining will not apply to aged and disability pensioners, unless there are special circumstances."

Koori Mail: PM warns against 'stuffing around' on welfare reform
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
16 Jun 10: "PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has appealed to the Senate to 'get on with it' and pass the Government's welfare reform Bill this week. If passed, the legislation would extend contentious income quarantining beyond NT Intervention communities to most welfare recipients in the Territory from 1 July and throughout the country within two years. ... "

SMH: Indigenous welfare policy wrong: bishops
15 Jun 10: "Extending income management to more indigenous communities returns the paternalistic attitudes that gave rise to the Stolen Generations, Catholic bishops say. The federal government quarantines the welfare payments of some indigenous groups and the Senate will this week vote on extending the scheme to other disadvantaged areas of the Northern Territory and, eventually, throughout Australia."

Koori Mail: Bishop urges income management caution
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
15 Jun 10: "WITH the Senate expected to vote this week on proposals to extend income management beyond the Northern Territory and reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act there, a high-ranking cleric has urged politicians to remember the dignity and rights of Indigenous people. Catholic Bishop Christopher Saunders says income management will impact most heavily on Indigenous people and won't by itself address poverty and disadvantage."

Australian: Macklin begs Greens' support
12 Jun 10: "JENNY Macklin has written to Greens leader Bob Brown urging him to back the government's bill making welfare quarantining apply to all Australians -- to remove discrimination against Aborigines."

- Interview

Prime Minister - Transcript of joint press conference - Canberra - 16 June 2010
16 Jun 10: "MACKLIN: What we've had made clear is at the end of 2011, after the end of 2011, we will do a very extensive evaluation of the impact of the introduction of income management across the Northern Territory before we extend it to other parts of Australia. But certainly from the evidence we have so far in the Northern Territory, income management is a very useful tool for making sure that food is put on the table, making sure that welfare money is spent in the interests of children and not on alcohol and drugs."

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)