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UN Special Rapporteur vindicates Greens opposition to NTER

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 28 Aug 2009

The Australian Greens were not surprised by comments from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous rights condemning the discriminatory and paternalistic elements of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), claiming they affirmed the Greens strong opposition to the introduction of these measures.

"I met with Professor Anaya during his visit to Australia and was impressed by the thoughtful way he engaged with issues concerning the rights of indigenous Australians. I am not the least bit surprised by his comments and findings," said Australian Greens indigenous spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

"It is good to see an independent outside voice that brings a wealth of international experience of Indigenous development airing such strong criticisms of where this ill-thought-out top-down intervention has gone wrong. This may ultimately result in the Government listening."

"The Minister for Indigenous Affairs and both major parties need to sit up and listen carefully," said Senator Siewert.

"Following the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur and restoring the application of the Racial Discrimination Act to the NTER is a simple process. The Greens moved amendments last year that would have done exactly that - which were voted down by the major parties in the Senate."

"It is time to put the much-needed resources of the NTER to better use - by consulting properly with Aboriginal communities and backing community-based programs with a proven track record," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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