Centrelink will make no further comment on an Alice Springs News Onlinereport raising questions about the suspension or cancellation of welfare payments to people receiving mining royalties. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Do people receiving mining royalties, whose distribution are high points in the lives of local used car salesmen, have their Centrelink payments canceled or suspended? The Department of Human Services, doesn't keep records of that, ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: A "powder monkey's" rig underground in the Granites mine north-west of Alice Springs, source of millions in mining royalties.
The Australian Government today announced improvements to the delivery of income management in the Northern Territory, in response to findings from an interim evaluation report. The interim report by the Australian National University, Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Walesfound that among Indigenous people on income management in the Northern Territory, there was a statistically significant perception of an improvement in their ability to afford food.
Source: Media release by Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin
At recent meetings in Alice Springs, the NT Police Commissioner met with NT government departments, but not with Federal departments or non-government, community-based organisations.
The key Federal departments that he failed to involve are those controlling Centrelink and the new Remote Jobs and Community Programs (RJCP) which replaces CDEP from July, 2013.
These departments are critical to solving alcohol-related, anti-social behavior, by re-evaluating welfare entitlement and creating employment opportunities. RUSSELL GUY comments.
Meanwhile, Federal Member Warren Snowdon (pictured at left) has not responded to a request for an interview with the Alice Springs News Online, exploring to what extent a multi billion dollar program for indigenous people in the Territory will be fostering self-help.
PHOTO AT TOP: Aboriginal dingo trapper in the 1960s. Was he self-taught or had he participated in the kind of program Mr Snowdon has announced? "$19.1 million to create 50 extra Aboriginal Working on Country ranger positions in remote Northern Territory communities over the next four years."
MacDonnell Shire Council reinstated its leadership duo at the first meeting of the new council yesterday, returning Sid Anderson to the presidency, with Roxanne Kenny as his deputy.
Councillor Irene Nangala nominated Cr Anderson, seconded by Cr Lance Abbott. Both are from Luritja Pintubi Ward in the north-west of the shire, as is Cr Anderson. But Cr Richard Doolan from Rodinga Ward, at the eastern end, and Cr Barry Abbott from Ljirapinta Ward in the middle, both raised their hands to back his nomination. There was no dissent.
Taking his seat to chair the meeting, Cr Anderson thanked the councillors for "having confidence" in him, adding simply, "We'll work together."
It was a quiet victory for the shire leader (pictured at left in his habitual cap) who in his first term had to weather protracted media controversy over his past as well as an outcry over a proposed contract out-sourcing a shire function to a firm in India.
Discussion during the meeting showed councillors to be thinking beyond their own patch. In deciding on where to hold their meetings over the coming 12 months (yesterday's was in Alice Springs), Cr Barry Abbott said this should be discussed with the communities. Cr Anderson supported him as did Cr Kenny, saying she was keen to see council go to places "that might need us out there to talk to the people".
Cr Braydon Williams (Ljirapinta Ward) suggested Areyonga (also known as Utju), as they are experiencing "big problems". Everyone agreed, so the June meeting will be held there. A later meeting may be held at Imanpa where improvements are expected following the appointment of Joe Rawson, formerly a councillor, as shire services coordinator for the community.
Councillors also supported CEO Diane Hood's proposed shire-wide leadership program for young women aged 18 to 25 – "the hardest to engage" but the group representing "the greatest opportunity to close the gap". KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: The new MacDonnell Shire Council in the shire meeting room yesterday, from left, Marlene Abbott, Selina Kulitja, Irene Nangala, Greg Sharman, Roxanne Kenny (deputy president), Barry Abbott, Sid Anderson (president), Braydon Williams, Richard Doolan, Lance Abbott, Jacob Hoosan. The council still has one vacancy in the Rodinga Ward.