MELBOURNE — About 200 people marched against the NT intervention and for equal pay and jobs with justice for Aboriginal workers on March 4.
The rally was organised by the Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective. It demanded an end to the exploitation of Aboriginal workers in the Northern Territory.
The intervention, which quarantines the welfare payments of targeted people,
has meant that Aboriginal people are in effect working for rations cards while living in extreme poverty.
The government has also denied basic services to remote communities in the NT in a bid to force people to move into so-called hub towns.
Jenna Tipuamantumivvi comes from the Tiwi Islands, but has been subject to welfare quarantining despite having moved to Melbourne.
“They are forcing our community to sign a 99-year lease,” Tipuamantumivvi told the rally. “They only signed a five-year lease, so the government says they won't build anything. They want our land, this is what it's all about."
Geelong Trades Hall Secretary Tim Gooden said: “Workers will not be able to rest until all workers are equal."
Indigenous activist Robbie Thorpe told the crowd that the intervention made “Australia a crime scene".
For more info on the campaign, visit www.maicollective.blogspot.com