Two updates on Indigenous issues in the NT

Two things have recently come to my attention. First is posted on Matjjin-nehen: it concerns the non-spending of funds earmarked for Indigenous projects and the counting in “Indigenous” spending of items like fighting Native Title claims (hey, if the government stopped opposing all clams, that’s save a *heap*!)

Second is this letter regarding unauthorised searches (via BentleyJames):

Dear Kerry O’Brien and 7.30 researchers,

I have just returned from the Northern Territory.

I want John Howard to explain why house to house raids without warrants are being conducted by the AFP in all the Alice Springs town camps.

I also want to know why at least two of the senior women who toured major cities speaking out against a uranium waste dump on their traditional lands have been raided by the AFP on warrants issued by a Federal Magistrate in Canberra, their furniture slashed with knives, belongings damages, aptops and mobile phones seized, and phones tapped. I was told by one of the women that the warrant gave 12 hours access to her home, and that she was told that the measures were justified because of the security crackdown for APEC ministers.

One of those women is an elderly grandmother.I have also been told by town camp residents that the AFP has set up surveillance on all households in the town camps, and have photographed without consent, every Aboriginal child in those town camps.

In the 1990s the AFP were successfully taken to court for exactly the same violations in Redfern. Please report on this disgraceful conduct, and pursue a full explanation from the Howard Government.

regards,Jennifer Martiniello

Member, Advisory Board Australian Centre for Indigenous History
Australian National University

Jennifer Martiniello
e: kemarre at optusnet.com.au

(This gets filed under “ethics”, for obvious reasons.)

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2 responses to “Two updates on Indigenous issues in the NT

  1. Far out. I can’t believe that this government, given how savvy it is, and by extension, its departments, would blatantly engage in such unethical behaviour; they’re smarter than that.

    Clearly though, that’s not what’s wrong with this…

    Disillusioning.

  2. I was made aware of this disgraceful and shameful situation, when I too received the above email. I have forwarded it to all senators, and spent most of today forwarding it to as many people as I can. As a non-indigenous woman, I’m outraged and extremely sad. What a despicable and disgraceful situation. Sadly, I’m not surprised. The history of the Howard government clearly shows, that in the quest for power, anything goes. Mal Brough and Mick Keelty should be sacked immediately. Those members of the AFP who participated in these abuses should be brought to justice SOON! I can only pass on my solidarity to those women who suffered this abuse, and reassure them, that decent people will be outraged. I’m surprised that the media is still silent. Perhaps they’ve been threatened too! After Dr Haneef’s injustice, anything’s possible! I’m so sorry that this happened!

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