Protest May 5

Protest: Stop the NT Intervention – Jobs with Justice now!

Petition launch and rally 12pm Thurs May 5
70 Phillip st – Sydney CBD
walk south from Circular Quay station see map here

Speakers:
Barb Shaw (Intervention Rollback Action Group Alice Springs) *just announced*
Senator Rachel Siewert (Australian Greens)
CFMEU representative
Dootch Kennedy (Illawarra Land Council)

Recent weeks have seen a renewed offensive against Aboriginal communities in the NT. Opposition leader Tony Abbott visited Alice Springs to call for a ‘second Intervention’. Minister Jenny Macklin has indicated that draconian Intervention powers could be extended well beyond their ‘sunset clause’ in 2012.

On Thursday, town camp leader Barbara Shaw will join a protest in Sydney to tell the real story of the Intervention – racism, mass job losses and the break up of communities.

The rally will launch a petition sponsored Unions NT and the CFMEU demanding backpay at award rates for Aboriginal people working for Centrelink payments, half quarantined on a ‘BasicsCard’, as part of the reformed Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) introduced alongside the NT Intervention.

Thousands of NT Aboriginal workers have been made unemployed by reforms to CDEP and many others are suffering under the exploitative conditions of the new program.

The petition has a particular focus on the use of ‘BasicsCard’ workers by the $672 million Intervention housing program (SIHIP). While contractors like Leighton’s Holdings have made millions from SIHIP, Aboriginal people working on housing renovations have been paid as little as $6 per hour.

You can sign the petition online here http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43996.html

Most remote communities have been deemed “economically unviable” by the NT Intervention and stripped of resources and employment in an attempt to force Aboriginal people into the “mainstream”.

Living conditions are deteriorating in the these communities and enormous pressure is being put on urban centres like Alice Springs as people migrate to town.

But the government is refusing to change course. In response to the mounting social crisis in Alice Springs, an extra 100 CDEP positions have been created to complete jobs such as installing post boxes, cleaning graffiti and landscaping. This is continuing the gross discrimination against Aboriginal workers – people will only by paid Centrelink and the BasicsCard for what should be proper municipal work!

Say no to a “second Intervention”.  Join the fight for an end to arrangements forcing people to work for the BasicsCard. Demand investment in community based employment programs across all Aboriginal communities that pay proper wages and include the right to join unions.

Join the lunchtime rally and petition launch on May 5 at the offices of Indigenous employment Minister Mark Arbib

Organised by: Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS)
contact Jean 0449646593

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