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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

“That old maluka” – Warren Snowdon on the passing of a great man

I have today received a message from the Gurindji: ‘Very sad we lost that old man, but good because now people all over Australia will be reminded of his great legacy and the great thing he did with our leader, Mr Lingiari. That old maluka’—old man—’understood our important role in land rights. We will meet today to plan how we will mourn him.’

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

Marion Scrymgour on Stronger Futures and Constitutional reform

And so to the here and now. In 2014 we again have a coalition government in Canberra. The self-proclaimed ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs’ has emphasised his commitment to fixing up the constitution so that Indigenous people have a proper place in it, and in the nation.
I’m not a constitutional lawyer, and there are aspects of the recent constitutional reform debate which have struck me as somewhat arcane.

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

Scrymgour on the NT Intervention – rivers of grog and acres of leases

The term ‘rivers of grog’ was seized upon by the media and Mr Brough. Unfortunately, the impression that seems to have taken hold down south was that the place where the rivers of grog were flowing was in remote Aboriginal communities.The intended outcome of the leasing program was the more-or-less permanent Commonwealth takeover of Aboriginal community land.

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

Strange Fruit. The Dingo trees of Western Queensland

The “War on the Dingo” approach to population ‘management’ is a punitive, uncoordinated, expensive and devastatingly ineffective folly. There are better ways of managing Dingoes in the landscape. We just haven’t worked out what they are and how to apply them yet.

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

Marion Scrymgour: The NT Intervention disinformation campaign – from allegations of child sexual abuse to moral panic

Child sex abuse is only one aspect of child protection. General child neglect and associated social dysfunction was the underlying problem which could have, and should have been focussed on by Mr Howard and Mr Brough. By using paedophilia as the emotive hook for their PR campaign, they indiscriminately and irresponsibly labelled the male population in remote Territory communities as predators of the worst kind. That was the second, again almost immediate, negative impact of the Intervention declaration.

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

Marion Scrymgour. From Elliott, Robinson River, the Tiwi Islands and beyond: “Recognise” that blackfellas have survived.

Despite poverty and marginalisation, there was a spirit of defiance and pride amongst the Elliott mob. The slogan from the previous year’s anti-bicentennial – ‘we have survived’ – had continuing resonance. There was respect for the endurance and fortitude of the many former stockmen who lived in the town. Through their skill and discipline they had earned a limited degree of autonomy, despite working for white bosses, and they had managed to maintain culture and ceremony under difficult conditions.

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

Tri-state bickering: The politics of dialysis resource allocation

All four governments appear unwilling to sit down together and work out an equitable solution: the Commonwealth in particular appears reluctant to knock a few heads together and get the results needed.

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

“Speaking with one voice” – WA’s changes to Aboriginal Heritage law rejected at bush meetings

Be careful what you pray for. By proposing to strip away protection for Aboriginal people’s heritage across the board, and throughout the State, the Barnett Government appears to have unwittingly conjured up a strong, united and angry Aboriginal coalition which is now mobilising against the AHA amendments.

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

Adam Giles appoints “Deputy Dawg.” “Tired” Tollner to “have a rest” but tipped to return

Giles: Dave [Tollner] chose to abstain from the meeting. He’s gonna to take some time off.
Journalist: When you say he is going to “take some time off” has he quit?
Giles: No, no. Dave’s gonna take some time off. I think we all know that the life and the role as a public figure and in a political environment, particularly holding some of the portfolios that Dave did. You do get tired after a while and quite clearly Dave wants a rest and he’s gonna have a rest.

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NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT |

All change (again) in the NT?

Chief Minister Adam Giles looks increasingly rattled by the chaos that surrounds him and it may well be that tonight his long-suffering party will call it quits on his leadership.

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