Peter Robson

Marion Scrymgour — the highest ranking Aboriginal member of any government in Australia — quit the Northern Territory Labor Party over its Aboriginal policy on June 4. As an independent, she now holds the balance of power.
New policies announced by the federal ALP Aboriginal affairs minister, Jenny Macklin, turn back the clock on Aboriginal land rights more than 30 years.
Schools and clinics in many Aboriginal homelands and outstations are likely to close under proposed changes announced by the Northern Territory government on May 20.
In a new lease deal proposed by Aboriginal affairs minister Jenny Macklin in early May, Aboriginal people in Alice Springs town camps could lose control over their housing.
Domestic violence support centres in Alice Springs are in desperate need of funds to meet demand.
The Kimberley Land Council has made a controversial in-principle agreement with Woodside Petroleum and the federal and WA state governments to develop a liquefied natural gas project at James Price Point near Broome.
A medical professional from the Sunrise Health Service has attacked the Rudd government for continuing with the NT intervention policy. Instead of “closing the gap” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health outcomes, the intervention has made Aboriginal people less healthy, she says.

Labor governments at state and federal levels are persisting with two unpopular proposals for education in remote Aboriginal schools — the scrapping of bilingual education and the linking of welfare payments to school attendance — despite opposition from communities and educators.

On February 26, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gave his first “report card” on the progress made on ending Aboriginal disadvantage, meeting a delayed election promise to do so every year at the opening of parliament. Rudd’s report, however, has been meet with criticism from Aboriginal activists and supporters.
As the global economic crisis worsens, a February 17 Counterpunch.org opinion piece by Mike Whitney argued that as much as 40% of global wealth has been destroyed by the current global economic crisis. Governments in Eastern Europe have faced mass riots and demonstrations in the face of their attempts to foist the costs of the crisis onto the poor.

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