« "And I for one welcome our new * overlords." - David Nash | Blog home | Feast of indigenous song - Darwin »

business learning training articles new learning business training opportunities finance learning training deposit money learning making training art loan learning training deposits make learning your training home good income learning outcome training issue medicine learning training drugs market learning money training trends self learning roof training repairing market learning training online secure skin learning training tools wedding learning training jewellery newspaper learning for training magazine geo learning training places business learning training design Car learning and training Jips production learning training business ladies learning cosmetics training sector sport learning and training fat burn vat learning insurance training price fitness learning training program furniture learning at training home which learning insurance training firms new learning devoloping training technology healthy learning training nutrition dress learning training up company learning training income insurance learning and training life dream learning training home create learning new training business individual learning loan training form cooking learning training ingredients which learning firms training is good choosing learning most training efficient business comment learning on training goods technology learning training business secret learning of training business company learning training redirects credits learning in training business guide learning for training business cheap learning insurance training tips selling learning training abroad protein learning training diets improve learning your training home security learning training importance

Update: "unjustified, racist and obscene:" see end for explanation
Update 2 I missed the 140 extra DEWR people to manage the CDEP changes, and a few others.. up to 725 thanks Bob!

The National Emergency Response is about job creation - 350 new Centrelink workers and 150 new FACSIA staff. Just 66 additional police. Fewer than one per targeted community. That eats up most of the $500 million. No money for the housing shortfall, sexual abuse counsellors, new classrooms.....

The Senate votes on Tuesday 14 August on whether to pass the NT National Emergency Legislation. If you want them to delay or modify it, write to your senators now. Individually, or GetUp has a campaign.

Heaps more material has appeared on the site of the Senate Inquiry into the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 & Related Bills

- 80 or so extra submissions since when I looked. I checked every 10th - all opposed.
- extra material tabled
- the transcript of Friday's hearing
- answers to questions asked by committee members

[Update: you can now download the Senate Inquiry report which includes the transcript. Further comments on the report at the end:]

Perhaps the most fascinating material are FACSIA's answers, e.g. Additional Information 6 Further Answers to Questions on Notice received from Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) on where the money's going:

Human Services
Centrelink will have approximately 350 additional staff of whom 300 will be based in the Northern Territory. The Department will have 5 additional staff based in Canberra and Medicare Australia will have an additional 2 Northern Territory based staff.

Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
There will be approximately 150 new staff positions with about 75% of these staff based in the Northern Territory. These positions include Government Business Managers, support to the Emergency Response Taskforce and Operations Centre personnel.

Health and Ageing
There will be approximately 42 new positions in the Department. 15 of these positions are expected to be in the Northern Territory.

A few other snippets

On permits
Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA)
tabled a one-page document [.pdf], which says the permit system prevented public access to Aboriginal communities, and so people didn't know how bad the situation is. So how come there have been dozens of reports over the last 10 years saying how bad things are on Indigenous communities? How come the report writers were able to get permits? How come the journos didn't read the reports and investigate? How come the government took no notice of the reports?

On how to spend quarantined money
FACSIA say it is easiest to tie payments to a community store. So Aboriginal people will find it hard to leave their community because half their welfare payments will be tied to the local store.

On why rights are being set aside
Because it's an emergency. That's why people aren't allowed normal appeal procedures over welfare cuts. That's why they can't afford to let bureaucrats be sued for discriminatory acts under the Racial Discrimination Act. And that's why they have to allow the 'Henry VIIIth clauses' which allow the Minister to amend legislation without reference to Parliament - which upset the Law Council.

How will this help abused children?

The report
The majority Government opinion, unsurprisingly, places much greater weight on the handful of submissions and speakers who support the bill. Glaringly, in their attempt to justify the permit system they failed to mention the submission by the Police Federation that removing permits will make it harder to police grog-runners. But even the majority Government members find the lack of public consultation and public information hard to take, and recommend something be done about that. They also recommend scrutiny - but nothing legislative... And of course they do want to help Woollies understand the pure alcohol thing.

The ALP make lots of good recommendations - but still support the bill.

The Democrats and the Greens have good dissenting reports. The Greens' report covers more ground. I conclude with some of their concerns on quarantining income:

The Government clearly determined that it was too difficult to target individuals in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and deal with their known mobility, and so have developed this extraordinary provision that places people onto income support if they spend a single night in a designated area. A person may have no problems managing their finances, may not spend any money on grog, and may look after their children in an exemplary fashion ... and yet simply because they live in a designated area they will be subject to having 50% of any income support or family tax benefit they receive being quarantined.

It is easy to imagine circumstances under which a person who lives somewhere else and goes to visit a family member in a designated area and be caught in this regime. A tourist on a pension might visit a designated community overnight and conceivably become to subject to income management.

The ability to receive an exemption is not sufficient. The Government has this around the wrong way. Individuals should not have to be exempted from this kind of regime, but rather the regime should only apply to individuals based on specific relevant criteria. Furthermore, the denial of appeal rights for those who spend a night in a designated area in the Northern Territory mean that these exemption provisions are fundamentally flawed.

The denial of appeal rights in circumstances of such arbitrariness is unjustified, racist and obscene.

Which, I now think, sums up the legislation as a whole.

The Authors

About the Blog

The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.

Recently commented on


Papua New Guinea FAQs from Eva Lindstrom Papua New Guinea (New Ireland): Eva Lindstrom's tips for fieldworkers

Australian Languages Answers to some frequently asked questions about Australian languages

Papua Web Information network on Papua, Indonesia (formerly Irian Jaya)

Hibernating blogs

Indigenous Language SPEAK

Langguj gel Australian linguistics and fieldwork blog

Interesting Blogs

Omniglot Writing systems and languages of the world

LingFormant Linguistics news

Language hat Linguistics news and commentary

Jabal al-Lughat Linguistics news and commentary on a range of languages

Living languages Blog with news items and discussion of endangered languages

OzPapersOnline Notices of recent work on the Indigenous languages of Australia

That Munanga linguist Community linguist blog

Anggarrgoon Claire Bowern's linguistics and fieldwork blog

Savage Minds A group blog on Anthropology

Fully (sic)

Language on the Move Intercultural communication and multilingualism

Talking Alaska: Reflections on the native languages of Alaska

Culture matters: applying anthropology Australian anthropology blog: postgraduates and staff

Long Road ethnography and anthropology blog - including about Australia

matjjin-nehen Blog on Australian linguistics, fieldwork, politics and the environment.

Language Log Group blog on language and linguistics


E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

Tema Modersmål Website in Swedish with links to sites on and in many languages

Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources a worldwide network of organizations, academics, activists, indigenous groups, and others representing indigenous and tribal peoples

Technorati Profile

Technology-enhanced language revitalization Include ILAT (Indigenous Languages and Technology) discussion list.

Endangered languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia

Koryak Net Information on the people of Kamchatka

Linguistic fieldwork preparation: a guide for field linguists syllabi, funding, technology, ethics, readings, bibliography

On-line resources for endangered languages

Papua New Guinea Language Resources Phonologies, grammars, dictionaries, literacy, language maps for many PNG languages

Resource network for linguistic diversity Networking practitioners working to record,retrieve & reintroduce endangered languages


ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

DELAMAN The Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network

PARADISEC The Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

PFED The Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

Ethno EResearch Exploring methods and technology for streaming media and interlinear text