The Aboriginal affairs battleground shows how far apart the two major parties are in the lead-up to the September 14 Federal elections, as Territory CLP Senator Nigel Scullion (at right) and Labor Member for Lingiari (at left) are slugging it out.
Alison Anderson has proved her political clout in her electorate, increasing her vote despite her switch of party and the negative campaign against her. Now she is setting out to prove it as a Minister in two important portfolios – Indigenous Advancement and Regional Development. She has showed her style early, suggesting that Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin is in "La La Land" if she thinks she's "closing the gap", but what will be the substance? The long-awaited report by NT Coordinator-General of Remote Services, Olga Havnen, has finally been released. Ms Anderson is not committing her government to implementing its recommendations as formulated because, although it has attracted a lot of publicity, she says the report is "nothing new". She is also not sure if she will maintain the position of Coordinator-General, which she created as Labor Minister, and her comments suggest she is moving away from the Working Future policy and its associated Growth Towns, again her creations while she was with the Labor Government. KIERAN FINNANE speaks with Ms Anderson in the wake of the Havnen Report.
Pictured: Ms Anderson with Judy Brumby (right) and Esmeralda, both from Areyonga, during her election campaign.
The Australian Government's Stronger Futures legislation – essentially a further Intervention – will "sunset" after 10 years, says Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin. When its measures achieve their objective, they will not continue. An independent review will commence after seven years, with its findings to be tabled in parliament.
Progress has been made, says Ms Macklin, but "across each of the Closing the Gap targets, the gap remains the greatest for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory" and in particular "some children are still not receiving proper care, and that is completely unacceptable".