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Funding appeal for ARTV film on Northern Territory Intervention 2010

Aboriginal Communities in the Northern Territory are suffering under the impact of the Federal government’s 2007 Northern Territory Intervention Act brought in under Howard but has had no change under the Rudd ALP government. 

Richard Downs, the spokesperson for the Ampilatwatja walk-off — a protest by the Alywarr people in a remote Northern Territory community against recent government policies that discriminate against and disempower Aboriginal people in the NT — says that the intervention has meant the total disempowerment of the Indigenous people in NT, any consultation and partnership projects with indigenous people have been abandoned and Aboriginal people now have no right to engage with the government at any level and the government makes no attempt to consult or engage the Aboriginal organisations on any issue … this has taken Indigenous rights back 40 or 50 years.

The Ampilatwatja walk-off began on July 14, when the community decided to leave the boundaries of Ampilatwatja and set up a protest camp, outside the areas compulsorily acquired by the government. They left in response to the intervention’s harsh control measures and the crumbling infrastructure of their community, which had resulted in raw sewage running through their streets.

Why is the government taking this action and why doesn’t the Rudd government change the policy? The reason, it’s all about a land grab. The mineral resources in the NT are very rich with Uranium, Gold and Iron Ore.

Richard Downs says it’s about taking away land rights under the permit system giving both the federal & state governments’ free access to all the land and is much clearer when you look at the issuing of exploration licenses. In 2006 there were 180 exploration licences, in 2009 there were 400 licences.

The walk-off plans to build an alternative to the government’s intervention. It seeks to practise Aboriginal community control and develop infrastructure, such as housing, that was promised, but not delivered, by the intervention. The walk-off is part of a long history of Aboriginal resistance to dispossession and oppression — a history that began on January 26, 1788.

It sees its action as part of a broader campaign to reclaim Aboriginal rights and resist government racism.

Actively Radical TV is planning to make a documentary on the Northern Territory Intervention and document its impact on the local indigenous communities. We have an unique opportunity to visit the walk off community and others to make the film during early February when workers from NSW, Victoria and other states head to the community to construct buildings and other infrastructure work.   

We will be distributing the film around the country holding film screenings and launches using them as an opportunity for indigenous leaders to speak with audiences. We would also like to produce hundreds of DVDs to give away. It could also be put on Utube and other websites. 

Two people from ARTV have volunteered to go in early February to visit the NT. These two are Jill Hickson and Jola Jones. There will be costs involving the airfares, a vehicle hire to get to the community three hours out of Alice, petrol, film stock, food and water and so on is needed to get them there. 

We are calling on all our supporters to consider donating to this project.
You can make a donation to Actively Radical TV
Send a cheque to PO Box 3275 Marrickville Metro LPO NSW 2204
Or make a direct deposit to:
Actively Radical TV
Commonwealth Bank
BSA: 06 2193
Acct No: 1003 2805
and send an email to jill@artresistance.com.au

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