Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues
The Australian Greens acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s first peoples and recognise their strong cultural and spiritual connection with the land, and their rights and obligations as owners and custodians. We are committed to seeing these rights reflected in our laws and our society. All Australians, including those living in remote communities, have an equal right to essential government services such as health, education, training, housing, community infrastructure, employment support, and policing. We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be partners in the development and implementation of policies, programs and services that affect them.
The Greens are concerned that Governments continue to overlook the important international agreements that recognise the rights of indigenous peoples and do not invest enough in efforts to bridge the gaps in many areas of our society. We are committed to seeing an end to the Northern Territory Intervention and Stronger Futures Legislation, delivering Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, compensating the Stolen Generations and improving the Native Title system.
13 Sep 2007
The Greens representative on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Senator Rachel Siewert today called on the Government to reconsider its position on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
"Australia should be strongly supporting this declaration" said Senator Rachel Siewert.
12 Sep 2007
Senator Rachel Siewert, today called on the Government to ensure that the priceless cultural heritage of the Burrup peninsula was protected.
"We understand the WA EPA has given the go ahead for preparatory work on the Pluto Area B site on the Burrup, and that this work could start at anytime. We are very concerned that this may affect the cultural values of the area" said Senator Siewert.
11 Sep 2007
We are seeing here the first cracks in this legislation. Unfortunately, many of us predicted that this would occur when legislation is rushed through and when you do not adequately consult with the community or adequately subject it to the proper review processes of this place.
11 Sep 2007
"It didn't take long for the cracks to appeal in the NT Emergency Response legislation," said Senator Siewert today.
"The problems we're seeing with the Government's attempts to address alcohol abuse in the Territory are a direct result of rushing through legislation without proper consultation."
10 Sep 2007
The Greens also support this motion and note in today's paper Amnesty International's ad, which is addressed to the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, and to the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper. They ask the respective governments to support this declaration. The ad says:
27 Aug 2007
Prime Minister Howard's new citizenship test is an insult to Aboriginal Australians and to the hundreds of thousands of committed, hard-working Australians who do not claim British ancestry.
16 Aug 2007
Community organisations looking to help out in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory are likely to think twice once they learn that Mal Brough is giving himself the power to seize their assets and appoint spies to their governing boards.
In an extraordinary admission yesterday during the debate on the NT Intervention Bills, the Government confirmed it is giving itself the powers to direct any community service providers in prescribed areas and seize or give away their assets. These are astonishing powers for the government to wield. Caring organisations providing services in prescribed Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory will not want to risk their limited assets.
16 Aug 2007
"Community organisations looking to help out in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory are likely to think twice once they learn that Mal Brough is giving himself the power to seize their assets and appoint spies to their governing boards," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
14 Aug 2007
Indigenous Australians continue to be breached under Welfare to Work at unacceptably high levels. 1644 Indigenous Australians received 8 week non-payment periods for breaching the welfare to work laws in the year ending 30 June 2007. This is an increase of around 250% from last year.
These massive increases should be ringing alarm bells within Government. It is completely unacceptable to implement a regime which is having such a detrimental effect on such a vulnerable group in our community. These figures are even more disturbing when the NT Intervention measures are taken into account. There was considerable evidence before the Senate Inquiry into the NT Bills that the Government's abolition of CDEP in the Northern Territory and the movement of people onto Welfare to Work will see these figures soar.
14 Aug 2007
"Indigenous Australians continue to be breached under Welfare to Work at unacceptably high levels," said Senator Siewert.
"1644 Indigenous Australians received 8 week non-payment periods for breaching the welfare to work laws in the year ending 30 June 2007. This is an increase of around 250% from last year."