Recorded over eight months in the Northern Territory of Australia, this film shows the impact of the government’s so-called ‘intervention’ policy on the aboriginal communities it was designed to ‘stabilise’.
Bev Manton the Chairwoman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council today personally handed to Oprah Winfrey a DVD showing the bits of Australia she won’t see on her tour down under.
The part of Australia Oprah won’t see is the living conditions of her “brothers and sisters” living in the Northern Territory in third world conditions as experienced by Bev on a recent fact finding mission.
Here is a 7 minute short of the 15 minute video that was given tom Oprah. The full 15 minutes will be available from December 20.
This video was recorded in July 2009 a month before the compulsory acquisition of homes in the town camps was supposed to begin.
This video was produced in defence of Tangentyere Council who was forced to relinquish the homes. It would be interesting to go back and interview these women again about whether benefits have actually been seen, and if so if it was what was promised.
The Intervention (or as it became to be known – Northern Territory Emergency Response) was brought in to improve the lives of remote Indigenous Australians within the Northern Territory. No where else as the Federal Government could not take over State’s rights, only the Territory. The first move was to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act.
So many things were to be changed. Improved housing, more jobs, more kids at school, even eating more vegetables.
And none of them were. New housing took forever to commence, repairs have been downgraded, school attendance is worse than ever and the government’s claim that more fresh food was sold in remote stores was disproven.
Which brings me to Income Management and the Basics card where a proportion of your wage is quarantined and can only be spent in certain places for essentials. You have or rather had no choice. To bring this law in the Racial Discrimination Act was altered. The government to show they are good world citizens has to reinstate the act and bring in Income Management for everyone in the NT. Just it seems if you are not aboriginal you can’t or won’t be let out of it.
Even those who work for CDEP “wages” have their income “managed” and this has been causing some disquiet with rallies in several places around Australia. Let’s put that sentence in simpler terms. Aboriginal people in remote communities who have to work for their welfare benefits are not allowed to obtain all their benefit. This has led to claims of being treated like slaves and the Intervention enslaves whole communities.
The government claims that over 2000 new jobs have been created. However remote Indigenous Australians disbelieve their claims.
Here is what the population of Ti Tree think of the Intervention, employment prospects and Income Management