Monday, 10 August 2009

BUILD ABORIGINAL HOUSING NOW: NO EXCUSES, NO POSTPONEMENT, NO STEALING OF ABORIGINAL LAND

!AUSTRALIANS BE ASHAMED!
WE ARE SHAMING OURSELVES,
WE HAVE TO HOLD ALL
POLITICIANS & BUREAUCRATS
ACCOUNTABLE.

Part of The Intervention (The Northern Territory Emergency Response) was to be the renewal and rebuilding of Aboriginal housing.

Overcrowding in existing Aboriginal housing and the general lack of sufficient and adequate housing contributes to so many problems in Aboriginal communities. Such housing that exists frequently accommodates multi-generations: grandparents, parents, children, other relatives.

This means that there is noise, hub-bub. In worst case circumstances, if drinking goes on the rest of the household does not sleep. If pornography is on the television, children wander through and see it.

Traditionally, housing of some sort (not always a house, sometimes it has been a 'silver bullet') has been provided for the white teachers coming into an Aboriginal community. In the meantime, Aboriginal teachers or teachers aides within the community are not provided with adequate housing and when work is taken home or classroom planning done at home - as is the case with people involved in education - Aboriginal people do not have the luxury of a quiet space to carry out their responsibilities.

But, hey, let's not worry about the blackfellas. Let's just make sure there is good quality housing so we can get white teachers into black communities. And hang the cost. Just take a look at this, if you please. Now housing in isolated areas does cost more to build. No argument.

Fair suck of the sauce bottle! Is there anyone in the NT riding shotgun on taxpayers money? Has anyone given consideration to what the black community might feel about this? Do you think Aboriginal people might take this as a clear indication that they are and will continue to be second-class citizens? Particularly since not one house has been built; not one house refurbished; not one hammer has hit one nail with regard to Aboriginal housing since The Intervention began over two years ago.


Former Minister for Housing and Member for Barkly in the on-short-skids Paul Henderson Labor Government, Elliot McAdam, has raised his voice here and here.

What I say is not unknown in the NT. Don't know how many southern bureaucrats that went North for the Labor government comprehend. I don't think Macklin has a clue and neither do her bureaucrats - or those that do are clearly being sat on.

But here is one man who does know all about it.....Warren Snowdon, who is the Minister for Indigenous Health...
...and these women know all about it too: Malarndirri McCarthy the new Minister for Indigenous Affairs in the NT and Senator Trish Crossin.
How about dropping an email to Wazza, Malarndirr, and Trish and asking them to put in their best efforts to overcoming the madness of failed public policy in Aboriginal Affairs overall and housing in particular.
Stop the rot!

Further reading:
The big read: Jenny's house (includes a timeline of the housing debacle)
MissEagle
racism-free
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