October 2010

Jobs with Justice rallies were held around Australia today. In Sydney speakers included a rep from the MUA, as well as Mark Fordham and Rosalie Kunoth Monks from the NT. The aim of the rally was to call for action on the lack of real jobs in the NT. The dismantling of CDEP without replacing it with real and properly paid jobs and paying people partly with the basic cards. Hourly rates are atrocious.

Mark Fordham told us that people are keen to work and want to work, but they are consistently being knocked down and are unsupported. He told us stories of people that are being paid low rates of pay and half the money is put onto their basics card. The working conditions are also woeful. One person he spoke about broke his arm but was still expected to turn up to work on a building site, otherwise his income payments would be stopped. Mark Fordham himself was sacked for trying to stand up for workers rights.

Other speakers said call it what it is – slave labour!

Rosalie Kunoth Monks said that the Government endgame is to destroy Aboriginal people and culture. She said that people are traumatised to such an extent they don’t know who to turn to. She also made the comment with regard to the comnpulsory acquisition of five year leases that her people “cannot afford to give away our land for bricks and mortar”.


http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/jobs_w_justice/“To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

The NT Intervention promised to deliver ‘real jobs’ for Aboriginal communities. Instead, thousands of waged jobs have been lost and Aboriginal organisations have been crippled as Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) close down. Under the new CDEP scheme designed by the federal Labor government, Aboriginal people no longer receive wages. They are being forced to work providing vital services such as rubbish collection, school bus runs, sewerage maintenance, construction and aged care in exchange for quarantined Centrelink payments. … ”


October 29 NDA rallies

The following cities are holding rallies to call for Jobs with Justice and an end to the NT intervention:

 §             Alice Springs:

Rally 12.30 Friday 29th October, Court House Lawns, Mparntwe, Alice Springs

Speakers include: Walter Shaw (Tangentyre Council), Miguel Ociones (LHMU), Monica Morgan (Amnesty International), Gurindji workers.


  • §             Brisbane

Speakout outside Centrelink, 21 Cordelia St, South Brisbane

12pm 29 October. Speakers include Sam Watson.

  • §             Melbourne:

Rally Friday, 29 October 2010 5.30pm, State Library of Victoria (cnr Swanston and Lt La Trobe Streets)


  • §             Sydney:

Protest at Sydney Town Hall on Friday, 29 October 2010 – Noon

Speakers include: Mark Fordham, Former CDEP co-ordinator Ampilatwatja community, Lee Rhiannon, Greens Senator-elect, Paul McAleer, MUA Sydney branch secretary


It’s a bit old now, but no less relevant than it was in February. The following links to an interview between Professor Larissa Behrendt and Bob Gosford (‘The Northern Myth’), on the NTER, published at ‘Crikey’ <crikey.com.au> on 18 February 2010. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2010/02/18/professor-larissa-behrendt-talks-postcards-the-ampilitwatja-walk-off-and-the-nt-intervention/#Scene_1

A report recently released by the Australian Health and Welfare Institute shows that less is spent on the primary health care of Indigenous Australians than other Australians.

Read an article about this at Crikey.com.au  http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/12/our-black-health-gap-less-spent-on-primary-aboriginal-health/

Read the report: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/11753


The COAG released their report on education reforms yesterday which showed that “closing the gap” in education for Indigenous students has improved in some limited areas, but in others there has been no improvement, particularly in high school.


Read the COAG report – http://www.coagreformcouncil.gov.au/reports/education.cfm

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