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NT Intervention

The ARC was established as a political advocacy body in response to the Australian government’s Northern Territory Intervention, which sent troops into 76 Aboriginal communities in 2007, supposedly in response to claims of child sexual abuse, however no charges were ever laid after investigations.  It was later found that a high level government officer had falsely claimed on a televised national investigative news program to be a community worker, who had alleged that there were high levels of child sexual abuse in communities.

It resulted in the government’s emergency response which:

·      Sent 600 troops into remote Aboriginal communities; 

·      It instilled government appointed Community Business Managers to take control over Aboriginal communities & took all organizational assets;

·      It established ‘Income Management’ for only Aboriginal people, where 50-100% of social security income was taken and provided as food vouchers that could only be used at set stores.  As it happened, the owner of the store chain had been on the Government’s Organising Committee; 

·      It enforced the leasing of lands, breaking communal title into individual plots;

·      It suspended the State and Federal Racial Discrimination Acts to allow racial targeting; 

·      It cut access to all social security where children were absent from school for more than three days in a term 

·      It cut the Community Development and Employment Program (CDEP) which provided employment and services to remote communities; and 

·      It marked a retreat from the government’s previous commitment to Self Determination, though never implemented, it return policies to the paternalistic approaches of the 1930’s.