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Howard's new Tampa children overboard are our Aboriginal children.

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Below is the text of an article by Jennifer Martiniello which will be forwarded to major newspapers in Australia. Please pass on to your networks. Jennifer Martiniello is a writer and academic of Arrernte, Chinese and Anglo descent. She is a former Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, and a current member of the Advisory Board of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the ANU.
SOURCE: Whenua, Fenua, Enua, Vanua

Howard's new Tampa children overboard are our Aboriginal children.
The Little Children are Sacred report does not advocate physically and psychologically invasive examinations of Aboriginal children, which could only be carried out anally and vaginally. It does not recommend scrapping the permit system to enter Aboriginal lands, nor does it recommend taking over Aboriginal 'towns' by enforced leases. These latter two points in the Howard scheme hide the true reason for the Federal Government's use of the latest report for blatant political opportunism.

It has been an openly stated agenda that Howard wants to move Aboriginal people off their lands, and has made recent attempts to buy off Aboriginal people by offering them millions for agreeing to lease their lands to the Federal Government, e.g. Tiwi Islands and Tangentyere in Alice Springs. There was also the statement by the Federal Government that it could not continue (?!) to provide essential services to remote communities, which raised an uproar of responses in the press. The focus on the sexual abuse of children is guaranteed to evoke the most emotive responses, and therefore command attention, just like the manipulation of the Tampa situation. But while the attention of the media and the public is being emotionally coerced, what is being sneaked in under the covers?

Two issues specifically - mining companies have applied for more exploration permits in the Northern Territory, the Jabiluka uranium mining operations at Kakadu have already hit the media because of the mining company's applications to the Government to significantly expand its operations, including establishing new mines at Coronation Government has already mooted that nuclear waste should be dumped in the Northern Territory, on Aboriginal lands. Aboriginal traditional owners are absolutely opposed to this. We have a long history of deaths and illness from radiation, from the atomic tests at Woomera in the 1950s to the current high incidences of carcinomas in the community at Kakadu near the Jabiluka site. The main obstacle to the Federal Government's desired expansion of mining operations in the Northern Territory and nuclear waste dumping is, of course, the Aboriginal people who have occupancy of, and rights under the common law to, their traditional lands.

Following the stages of the Howard Government's usual modus operandi (defund, blame, eliminate), defunding of critical programs for remote Aboriginal community projects began in July 2004, with coerced changes to funding contracts, and monies for critically needed youth and health programs in remote areas being the first dollars to go. Take Mutitjulu for example, which was notoriously profiled by the ABC's Nightline program. I say notorious because one of Senator Mal Brough's personal staffers was the so-called ex-youth worker interviewed on that program, and the content of that interview was laden with myths and mistruths. The staffer in question failed to appear when summoned before a Senate inquiry to explain and the Senator's office is yet to issue a statement. When the community lodged a formal protest to Government, it was raided and their computers seized. But the program did show the effects of the Howard Government defunding of essential programs on that community, in particular the youth centre and health centre. The people at Mutitjulu also just happen to be the traditional owners of Uluru, one of this country's most lucrative tourist attractions. The Howard Government would not like us to ask who benefits by the people of Mutitjulu being forced off their community. Under the amendments to Native Title made by the Howard Government, once Aboriginal people have left their traditional lands, forcibly or otherwise, their rights under the common law that every other Australian enjoys over their land are significantly impaired.


Progressive defunding of Aboriginal art centres has also begun, with a range of community art centres not having their funding renewed by DCITA in July 2005 and 2006 in the Northern Territory, from communities in Arnhemland to mid and southern Territory communities. The art production facilitated by those Aboriginal art centres are the only means through which members of those communities can actually earn a living, as opposed to being on welfare. But then, dependent people are easier to control by means of that dependency. The Howard Government's failed Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs) have also been the catalyst for further blame shifting and progressive defunding, take Wadeye for example.

Our Aboriginal communities are being squeezed further into dysfunction and disenfranchisement by carefully targeted political engineering, the systemic and ruthless roll-out of a planned agenda. It is no accident that Howard's scheme to address what he calls the urgency of the Little Children are Sacred report's 97 recommendations was trotted out so very quickly, and addresses so very few of those recommendations. It is sheer political opportunism to advance an already in motion agenda, and to score points in an election year. After all, The Little Children are Sacred report is not the first of such reports, nor are its findings and recommendations new. The Federal Government has had the 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997 and 2002 reports gathering dust and deliberate inaction on its shelves. Perhaps Mr Howard has been saving them up for a rainy election year? And of course Mr Howard's scheme targets only Aboriginal communities, despite the fact that the findings specifically state that non- Aboriginal men, that is, white men, are a significant proportion of the offenders, who are black-marketeering in petrol and alcohol to gain access to Aboriginal children. What measures is the Howard Government going to take about non-Aboriginal sex offenders, pornographers, substance traffickers and the like? Nothing according to the measures announced, but then, they're not Aboriginal and they don't live on the Aboriginal communities where their victims live.

So who are the real victims here, the silenced victims of John Howard's scheme? Aboriginal children, of course, who will be subject to physically and psychologically invasive medical examinations, irrespective of their home and family circumstances, and who will deal with the mental and emotional fall-out from that? Aboriginal men, too, who become the silenced scapegoats, painted by default by John Howard as all being drunken, child-raping monsters.

Perhaps the fact that almost every picture shown of Aboriginal men in the media these days shows them drunk, with a slab, cask or bottle under their arms leads Mr Howard to expect that one to pass unchallenged, irrespective of the fact that statistics show that only 15% of Aboriginal people drink alcohol, socially or otherwise, compared to around 87% of non-Aboriginal Australians. The greater majority of Aboriginal men are good, decent people. Perhaps the media would like to rethink its portrayals of Aboriginal men? How about some photos of the other alcoholics, you know, the white ones. There's more of them.And what of our communities? The Howard Government also hasn't mentioned that the majority of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory are already dry communities, decided and enforced by those communities.


But then that would spoil the picture Mr Howard wants to paint of our Aboriginal communities. Other large communities, such as Daly River, have controlled the situation by only having alcohol available from the community's club and enforce a strict four can limit. Also forgotten in the current politically opportunistic furore is the fact that Aboriginal communities around Tennant Creek and Katherine have been lobbying Governments and town councils for decades to restrict the sale of alcohol on Thursdays, when Aboriginal community people come to town for supplies. So far their pleas have been rejected. Nothing in Mr Howard's plan to facilitate that, either. Or about the control of alcohol when those people, once forced off the communities into the towns, bring their problems with them, child abuse or alcoholism and all the rest. Of course that would make access to Aboriginal children a lot easier for white offenders, they won't have to go so far to find a victim.

One last word on focus of attention. In the famous Redfern Address, the then Prime Minister, Paul Keating asked perhaps the most important question for all Australians to consider. He said 'We failed to ask the most basic of questions. We failed to ask - What if this were done to us?' What if this were done to us - to Mr and Mrs Average Australian, to our schools, youth centres, health centres, access to medical care, communities, homes, children, grandchildren? After all, current national health reports from a wide range of health organisations name sexual abuse of non-Indigenous Australian children as a crisis area in need of urgent attention. And the numbers of victims are higher.

National reports into mainstream domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse also call for urgent action, again the issues are at crisis level, and the numbers of victims and abusers are far higher than in the Little Children are Sacred report. None of the recommendations in all of those hundreds of national health reports recommend compulsory sexual health tests for every Australian child under sixteen. Not one of them recommends that a viable solution is closing down youth and health programs, in fact they all advocate that more are needed. None recommend that the victims' or the offenders' communities and homes should be surrendered to the Federal Government and put under compulsory lease agreements, and none advocate processes which would lead to either the victims or the abusers losing their rights under common law to their property as measure to control or remedy the occurrence of abuse. Would the Howard Government even dare to contemplate such as that? I think not. It would be un-Australian, and the Government it would expect immediate legal repercussions on the grounds of impairment of human rights, extinguishment of rights under common law, discrimination, and a raft of other constitutional issues. Besides, Mr and Mrs Average Australian don't, for the most part, live on top of uranium and mineral deposits or future nuclear waste dumps.

But seriously, the most critical question for all Australians to ask themselves in the lead up to this year's Federal Election is just that - What if it were done to us? With full acknowledgment of what has already been done to workers, trade unions, student unions, public primary, secondary and tertiary education, elderly care, palliative care, medicare, crisis health care, nurses, teachers, multicultural affairs, migrant groups, women, child care, small businesses and artsworkers, among the many, through the exercise of policies of social engineering and fear, your answer at the polling booth may just determine whether it will be done to you, or continue to be done to you.

As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald 25th June, the Howard Government last week used the military to seize control of 60 Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, which are now under military occupation. This is not Israel and Palestine. The Northern Territory is not Gaza or the West Bank. This is Australia - but is it the Australia you thought you lived in? Walk in our shoes, Aboriginal Australia's, and ask yourselves, what would it be like to have this done to us? And then, walk with us.

Jennifer Martiniello

5 Com:

Dan Fitzpatrick | June 28, 2007

Some points need clarifying:
1. It is now (27/6/07) apparent that the Howard/Brough Plan does not extend to forced anal/vaginal examinations. The proposal is for consent to be sought from parents for children to have blood tests, and where STIs are identified, that permission for further investigation may be sought.
2. There has never been a proposal that the Feds gain leases over Tangentyere's camps.
3. Greg Andrews is not and never has been a member of Mal Brough's personal staff.
4. Mal Brough is not and never has been a Senator.
5. nether the Mutitjulu Clinic nor the Youth Centre were defunded.
6. Politicians have always been and will always be opportunists. We have to get used to it.
7. It is completely inaccurate to claim that only 15% of Aboriginal people drink. The percentage is closer to 50%.
8. Tennant Creek had no takeaway alcohol sales on Thursdays from 1995 to 2006.
9. Tennant Ck and Katherine both currently have other, but lesser, alcohol restrictions.
10. The degree of child sexual abuse in the non-Aboriginal population, whilst scandalous, is nowhere near as high as the level in the Aboriginal community.
11. No homes are to be surrendered under the hamfisted Howard/Brough emergency proposals in the NT.
12. No Aboriginal towns in the NT have been taken over by the military or are under military occupation.
13. You are right - it is not Israel, Palestine, Gaza or the West Bank.
Sincerely
Dan Fitzpatrick.

Jennifer Martiniello | June 28, 2007

LefClick received this note from Jennifer (and publish here here reply):

Hi Dave,
nice to hear from you. Some comments below on Dan Fitzpatrick's comments,
regards
Jennifer

-

1. It is now (27/6/07) apparent that the Howard/Brough Plan does not extend to forced anal/vaginal xaminations. The proposal is for
consent to be sought from parents for children to have blood tests, and where STIs are identified, that permission for further investigation may be sought.


Howard's plan as announced makes a specific point of compulsory sexual health tests for Aboriginal children under 16. So far Neither Howard nor
Brough have rescinded that statement. Brough has added to the statement that he would consult the AMA as how those health checks might be
carried out. The Little Children are Sacred Report does not advocate sexual health checks at all. In fact, according to last night's
interview on lateline with Rex Wilds, QC, co-author of the report, the Howard solution addresses NONE! of the 97 recommendations in the report.

2. There has never been a proposal that the Feds gain leases over Tangentyere's camps.

Last week the Tangentyere Council announced it had formally rejected the Howard Government's proposed $60m for them to sign over the land on
which 17 Town camps stand to becaome Federal Government controlled leases. Among their reasons were the fact that Aboriginal people would
lose all rights and control to their lands that are currently guaranteed to them under Australian Common law, that the redevelopment of those
lands as outlined by the Howard Government meant a wholesale eviction of Aboriginal people from their homes on those lands, it did not guarantee
housing for Aboriginal people as redevelopment housing rentals were proposed market value and beyond the income of the people living on
those lands, among others. The terms of Howard's proposal amounted to dispossession and displacement of Aboriginal people and a takeover of
their land. A similar proposal in June 2006 to Yirrkala and Nhulunbuy communities in NE Arnhemland proposed 99 year leases of Aboriginal lands
in return for a dubious redevelopment scheme purported to facilitate Aboriginal people owning their homes, despite that fact that the average
wage in those communities through CDEP is lower than the dole and precluded any possibility of Aboriginal people being able to pay a
mortgage at current market value rates (c. $1300 month).

3. Greg Andrews is not and never has been a member of Mal Brough's
personal staff.


Andrews was, and remains, a member of Mal Brough's staff. He eventually made an apology to the Senate, which was not the subject of a media
release, and no apology was made to the community of Mutitjulu. Neither had the Howard Government acknowledged that an AFP 3 week inwuiry,
including over 100 inteviews, at Mutitjulu last year concluded there was no evidence of the occurrence of child sexual abuse on that community.

4. Mal Brough is not and never has been a Senator.

A typo, have just mentioned the Senate Committee Inquiry. mal Brough is the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

5. nether the Mutitjulu Clinic nor the Youth Centre were defunded.

The youth centre and the health centre at at Mutitjulu were both defunded in July 2004, followed by a circus of adminstrators. Brough's
statements about the child care centre refer to the proposed childcare centre, very hastily in the last couple of months, and which remains
unstaffed and therefore unopened.

6. Politicians have always been and will always be opportunists.
We have to get used to it.


Not good enough. It is the esponsibility of all decent minded people to stand up for what is right and uphold the human rights of all Australians, including the politicians. The public are not helpless, we all have a voice and a vote. And politicians who engineer circumstances calculated to deprive people of the human rights and rights under common law are not opportunists, which infers that they take opportunities as they arise. The Howard Government, despite the many report on just these issues and their recommendations during all of its time in office, has implemented none of them, and has, in fact defunded Aboriginal health to
the tune of $400m over the last 3 years, effectively closing down successful programs on the communities and deliberately engineering the state of communities we have today. In other words, premeditated planning to create the place and time of military and police intervention (neither of which are in the 97 recommendations either).

7. It is completely inaccurate to claim that only 15% of Aboriginal people drink. The percentage is closer to 50%.

In 'Rebutting the Myths' these statistics are quoted as drawn from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and are correct. 'Rebutting the Myths' also explodes a range of other contemporary social mythologies about Aboriginal people which are derived from the Social Darwinism and Biological Determinist Theories of the past 200 years, and survive today in uneducated right populist opinion and have become insitutionalised.

8. Tennant Creek had no takeaway alcohol sales on Thursdays from
1995 to 2006.


I was in Tennant Creek in May 2006 , including a Thursday, and saw Indigenous and non-Indigenous people walking out of the grog shop with cans and casks. People at the ICC and other community health and education leaders there were complaining bitterly about the lack of responses to Indigenous proposed controls over alcohol.

9. Tennant Ck and Katherine both currently have other, but lesser,
alcohol restrictions.


That's not what those communities are saying, and they should knowm they live there.

10. The degree of child sexual abuse in the non-Aboriginal population, whilst scandalous, is nowhere near as high as the level in the Aboriginal community.

Sydney morning herald, June 27, Dorothy Scott, the Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia, and an expert adviser to the Northern Territory inquiry that produced the explosive report on child abuse, joined other experts in calling for a federal response to the plight of all children at risk because of parental alcohol and drug abuse. "This is not just an 'Aboriginal problem' - one in 10 Australian children are in this
situation," she said, "and what is needed is a ban on alcohol advertising and improved funding for treatment services."

Two leading child protection organisations yesterday released a 12-point plan urging the Federal Government to adopt to better protect all children.Joe Tucci, chief executive of the Australian Childhood Foundation, said that with 266,000 annual reports of child abuse and neglect, 50,000 of which were substantiated, "child abuse is a national emergency, but not only for children in indigenous communities".Professor Chris Goddard, of Monash University's National Research Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse, said: "A national emergency requires truly national solutions sustained over time."

11. No homes are to be surrendered under the hamfisted Howard/Brough emergency proposals in the NT.

Given the stunning lack of detail in the announced Howard solution, loss of Aboriginal homes cannot at this point be determined. However, given the persitency of the Howard Government's attempts to coerce Aboriginal people into giving over their lands into 99 year leases,and the Howard agenda to acquire control of Aboriginal lands for openly stated expanded Mining and nuclear waste dumping, it isn't far from Howard's mind. Part of the solution announced specifically states that it will be compulsory for communities to sign over their lands to 5 year leases to the federal Government. once Howard has control, he can do anything.

12. No Aboriginal towns in the NT have been taken over by the military or are under military occupation.

We have already seen the picutreed coming out of communities on Monday night of police rounding up people and throwing them into the backs of
paddywagons. Despite Brough;s contention that the army is yet to arrive in the communities, the miltary are already occupying 5 Alice Springs
town camps, Mutitjulu and several other first target communities.

13. You are right - it is not Israel, Palestine, Gaza or the West
Bank.


No, it isn't, so why should ordinary decent Australians allow Howard to behave as if it were, using extreme military and police intervention to converge on Aboriginal communities as if they were Palestinian settlements invaded by Israel? Let's put the record straight here -Northforce, the north Australia contingent of the Army, which includes Aboriginal soldiers, has been working COLLABORATIVELY and with full consultation WITH Aboriginal communities to build infrastructure in
indigenous communities and providing training for community people in skills and maintenance since the 1980s - 20 years no less. This was the
brainchild of our current overnor-General, Michael Jeffery, when he was Commander of Northforce. The Howard Government terminated these
programs, along with the provision of infratsructure, education and vocational programs that accompanied them.

Warning:
This email may contain creative spelling!

Jennifer Martiniello
e: kemarre@optusnet.com.au
m: 0423629470
w: http://www.kemarrearts.com.au

Dan Fitzpatrick | June 29, 2007

There must be two different planet earths then

Dan the Man | June 29, 2007

OK, challenge taken, here goes with he said/she said again:

1. I said: It is now (27/6/07) apparent that the Howard/Brough Plan does not extend to forced anal/vaginal examinations. The proposal is for
consent to be sought from parents for children to have blood tests, and where STIs are identified, that permission for further investigation may be sought.

She said: Howard's plan as announced makes a specific point of compulsory sexual health tests for Aboriginal children under 16. So far Neither Howard nor
Brough have rescinded that statement. Brough has added to the statement that he would consult the AMA as how those health checks might be
carried out. The Little Children are Sacred Report does not advocate sexual health checks at all. In fact, according to last night's
interview on lateline with Rex Wilds, QC, co-author of the report, the Howard solution addresses NONE! of the 97 recommendations in the report.

I say: Abbott has repeatedly said that there will be no compulsory invasive examinations,and Brough has confirmed this on ABC radio.

2. I said: There has never been a proposal that the Feds gain leases over Tangentyere's camps.

She said: Last week the Tangentyere Council announced it had formally rejected the Howard Government's proposed $60m for them to sign over the land on
which 17 Town camps stand to becaome Federal Government controlled leases. Among their reasons were the fact that Aboriginal people would
lose all rights and control to their lands that are currently guaranteed to them under Australian Common law, that the redevelopment of those
lands as outlined by the Howard Government meant a wholesale eviction of Aboriginal people from their homes on those lands, it did not guarantee
housing for Aboriginal people as redevelopment housing rentals were proposed market value and beyond the income of the people living on
those lands, among others. The terms of Howard's proposal amounted to dispossession and displacement of Aboriginal people and a takeover of
their land. A similar proposal in June 2006 to Yirrkala and Nhulunbuy communities in NE Arnhemland proposed 99 year leases of Aboriginal lands
in return for a dubious redevelopment scheme purported to facilitate Aboriginal people owning their homes, despite that fact that the average
wage in those communities through CDEP is lower than the dole and precluded any possibility of Aboriginal people being able to pay a
mortgage at current market value rates (c. $1300 month).

I say: Brough's demand was that Tangentyere should hand sub-lease the town camps to the NT Govt for 99 years (not to the Feds, as stated by Ms Martiniello).

3. I said: Greg Andrews is not and never has been a member of Mal Brough's
personal staff.

She said: Andrews was, and remains, a member of Mal Brough's staff. He eventually made an apology to the Senate, which was not the subject of a media
release, and no apology was made to the community of Mutitjulu. Neither had the Howard Government acknowledged that an AFP 3 week inwuiry,
including over 100 inteviews, at Mutitjulu last year concluded there was no evidence of the occurrence of child sexual abuse on that community.

I say: Greg (a longtime friend of mine) worked for AusAid, Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade, the NLC, the NT Local Govt Dept, and then in Jan 2006 changed to the Commonwealth Dept of Families and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. I repeat that he has never been on the personal staff of Mal Brough.

4. I said: Mal Brough is not and never has been a Senator.

She said: A typo, have just mentioned the Senate Committee Inquiry. mal Brough is the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

I say: No, not just a typo, but another in a considerable list of factual errors.

5. I said: neither the Mutitjulu Clinic nor the Youth Centre were defunded.

She said: The youth centre and the health centre at at Mutitjulu were both defunded in July 2004, followed by a circus of adminstrators. Brough's
statements about the child care centre refer to the proposed childcare centre, very hastily in the last couple of months, and which remains
unstaffed and therefore unopened.

I say: the Clinic was funded up until the Administrator was appointed in Nov. 2005. It never closed. I'm not sure what the child care centre has to do with this - some kind of red herring?

6. I said: Politicians have always been and will always be opportunists.
We have to get used to it.

She said: Not good enough. It is the esponsibility of all decent minded people to stand up for what is right and uphold the human rights of all Australians, including the politicians. The public are not helpless, we all have a voice and a vote. And politicians who engineer circumstances calculated to deprive people of the human rights and rights under common law are not opportunists, which infers that they take opportunities as they arise. The Howard Government, despite the many report on just these issues and their recommendations during all of its time in office, has implemented none of them, and has, in fact defunded Aboriginal health to
the tune of $400m over the last 3 years, effectively closing down successful programs on the communities and deliberately engineering the state of communities we have today. In other words, premeditated planning to create the place and time of military and police intervention (neither of which are in the 97 recommendations either).

I say: Ok, have it your way. Can't you even take a skerrick of ironic humour amonst all this angst?

7. I said: It is completely inaccurate to claim that only 15% of Aboriginal people drink. The percentage is closer to 50%.

She said: In 'Rebutting the Myths' these statistics are quoted as drawn from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and are correct. 'Rebutting the Myths' also explodes a range of other contemporary social mythologies about Aboriginal people which are derived from the Social Darwinism and Biological Determinist Theories of the past 200 years, and survive today in uneducated right populist opinion and have become insitutionalised.

I nsay: I would dearly like details of which edition and on which page of Beyond the Myths that this 'fact' is stated. For alternative views, go to the website of Curtin Uni's NCDR database.

8. I said: Tennant Creek had no takeaway alcohol sales on Thursdays from
1995 to 2006.

She said: I was in Tennant Creek in May 2006 , including a Thursday, and saw Indigenous and non-Indigenous people walking out of the grog shop with cans and casks. People at the ICC and other community health and education leaders there were complaining bitterly about the lack of responses to Indigenous proposed controls over alcohol.

I say: the Thursday ban was ceased by the NT Licensing Commission in March 2006. That is not to say that it didn't exist for the previous ten years. For proof, go to the website mentioned above and see the two evaluations of the ban - the first by Peter d'Abbs, in 1998, the second by Dennis Gray and others in 2000.

9. I said: Tennant Ck and Katherine both currently have other, but lesser,
alcohol restrictions.

She said: That's not what those communities are saying, and they should knowm they live there.

I say: well, I visit there too, and I study these things for a living. Go to the NT Licensing Commission's website for an outline of the current restrictions.

10. I said: The degree of child sexual abuse in the non-Aboriginal population, whilst scandalous, is nowhere near as high as the level in the Aboriginal community.

She said: Sydney morning herald, June 27, Dorothy Scott, the Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia, and an expert adviser to the Northern Territory inquiry that produced the explosive report on child abuse, joined other experts in calling for a federal response to the plight of all children at risk because of parental alcohol and drug abuse. "This is not just an 'Aboriginal problem' - one in 10 Australian children are in this
situation," she said, "and what is needed is a ban on alcohol advertising and improved funding for treatment services."

Two leading child protection organisations yesterday released a 12-point plan urging the Federal Government to adopt to better protect all children.Joe Tucci, chief executive of the Australian Childhood Foundation, said that with 266,000 annual reports of child abuse and neglect, 50,000 of which were substantiated, "child abuse is a national emergency, but not only for children in indigenous communities".Professor Chris Goddard, of Monash University's National Research Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse, said: "A national emergency requires truly national solutions sustained over time."

I say: you have not actually addressed my specific point. How unusual.

11. I said: No homes are to be surrendered under the hamfisted Howard/Brough emergency proposals in the NT.

She said: Given the stunning lack of detail in the announced Howard solution, loss of Aboriginal homes cannot at this point be determined. However, given the persitency of the Howard Government's attempts to coerce Aboriginal people into giving over their lands into 99 year leases,and the Howard agenda to acquire control of Aboriginal lands for openly stated expanded Mining and nuclear waste dumping, it isn't far from Howard's mind. Part of the solution announced specifically states that it will be compulsory for communities to sign over their lands to 5 year leases to the federal Government. once Howard has control, he can do anything.

I say: if Howard succeeds in gaining 5 year leases over town areas, he has to pay just compensation for any detriment caused to the owners. Howard's idea is not to chuck people out of these homes, but to repair them, charge market rents, then hand them back to the existing owners after 5 years. It is a rational way out of a longstanding impasse over how to addfdress these issues, where nthe development of the ALRA (NT) 1976 inadvertently delivered control over public housing on the old reserves to particular family groups, despite the fact that the majority of people living in them did not belong to those families.

12. I said: No Aboriginal towns in the NT have been taken over by the military or are under military occupation.

She said: We have already seen the picutreed coming out of communities on Monday night of police rounding up people and throwing them into the backs of
paddywagons. Despite Brough;s contention that the army is yet to arrive in the communities, the miltary are already occupying 5 Alice Springs
town camps, Mutitjulu and several other first target communities.

I say: I love this one. Ms Martiniello may be seriously deluded, or else extremely badly informed. Seeing that I live and work in the middle of all this, I am sure I would have noticed if anything like what she describes had actually happened. The troops are the local Norforce guys, who continuously assist Aboriginal communities in the NT with engineering of sewerage systems that have broken down, etc. They visited Mutitjulu for a few hours. They have not entered a single town camp.

13. I said: You are right - it is not Israel, Palestine, Gaza or the West
Bank.

She said: No, it isn't, so why should ordinary decent Australians allow Howard to behave as if it were, using extreme military and police intervention to converge on Aboriginal communities as if they were Palestinian settlements invaded by Israel? Let's put the record straight here -Northforce, the north Australia contingent of the Army, which includes Aboriginal soldiers, has been working COLLABORATIVELY and with full consultation WITH Aboriginal communities to build infrastructure in
indigenous communities and providing training for community people in skills and maintenance since the 1980s - 20 years no less. This was the
brainchild of our current overnor-General, Michael Jeffery, when he was Commander of Northforce. The Howard Government terminated these
programs, along with the provision of infratsructure, education and vocational programs that accompanied them.

I say: I am almost speechless. I can't wait for the next fabulous round.

Love, Dan.

David | July 10, 2007

Dear Dan,

Didn't your parents teach you anything about manners?

If you can't play nicely then you can't play at all.

You do yourself a disservice (or perhaps you simply show your true colours) by resorting to ridicule of Jennifer's responses. Your sarcasm and ironic 'humour' serve no purpose and both devalues the importance of these issues and undermines your own position.

As you are someone who studies 'these things for a living', I'd be curious to read what reports or writings you have contributed to. Are there any? Why haven't you used them as sources in your responses?

Also, being Greg Andrews friend may be causing you to overlook his role. It has been reported many times that he has been an adviser to Brough. But really, being a member of Brough's personal staff isn't the issue is it?

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