Welcome to our 52nd Quarterly Newsletter and our second one for 2017!
This newsletter focuses on what the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker Project of Uniting Communities has been up to since 1st April 2017. We give an update on the key areas that we have been advocating and lobbying about, and provide links to all the recent Anangu Lands Paper Tracker radio shows that have been broadcast since our last newsletter at the end of March.
News about the APY Executive Board elections and supplementary elections
The elections for the APY Executive Board were held on 5th April 2017. These elections followed the changes made to the APY Land Rights Act in 2016, many of which affected the eligibility criteria and process for conducting the APY elections.
APY 2017 EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
|Communities||Women Board Members||Men Board Members|
|1. Pipalyatjara/ Kalka||Sally Scales||Richard Kanari|
|2. Kanyi, Nyapari, Angatja and Watarru||Marita Baker||Anton Baker|
|3. Amata and Tjurma||Tjutjana Susan Burton||Frank Young|
|4. Kaltjiti, Irintata and Watinuma||Nyukana Norris||Murray George|
|5. Mimili||Vacant Position||Willy Martin|
|6. Iwantja, Amaruna, Railway Bore, Witjintitja and Wallatina||Vacant Position||Bernard Singer|
|7. Pukatja, Yunyarinyi, Anilalya and Turkey Bore||Lois Fraser||Donald Fraser|
Supplementary elections are being held in the two electorates of Mimili and of Iwantja/Amuruna/Railway Bore/Witjintitja/Wallatinna because no women candidates nominated in those electorates. Rolls closed for these supplementary elections on 14 June; nominations opened on 23 June and closed on 30 June. Nominations were declared on 12 July and the voting will be held on 2 August.
Key developments in advocacy and lobbying
The Anangu Lands Paper Tracker has been advocating and lobbying about a number of issues and government policies, programs and services that affect Anangu communities. In particular, we have focused on:
- The amendments to the APY Land Rights Act
On the 10th May 2017, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister Kyam Maher, introduced a bill into Parliament to amend the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act 1981. The bill was called the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights (Suspension of Executive Board) Amendment Bill 2017, and focused on section 13 of the Act which looks at the powers of the Minister to suspend the APY Executive Board.
The amendments to the APY Land Rights Act were accepted by both houses of Parliament. These amendments grant the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs the power to dismiss the APY Executive Board for whatever reason he/she thinks fit.
You can read the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker media release about the changes to the Act here. You can read our website posts here, here and here and can visit our Facebook page for additional posts and updates.
It is understood that there is currently a High Court challenge regarding the amendments to the Act and the Minister’s powers to dismiss the APY Executive Board.
- The Community Development Program (CDP)
There’s currently a Senate Inquiry into the CDP and how it’s affecting communities.
The Anangu Lands Paper Tracker has written a submission which you can read here.
- Review of Medicare Benefits Schedule and possible inclusion of a ‘very remote dialysis item’
There is currently a Review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). The Report from the Renal Clinical Committee to the Review Taskforce, includes a recommendation that a new item is included on the MBS – this is the ‘Very Remote Dialysis Item’.
If this recommendation is adopted, it could mean that Medicare will fund the provision of dialysis in very remote areas, including nurse supervision. This would help to fund the ongoing costs of providing dialysis in very remote areas. You can read more about the Review and the recommendations of the Renal Clinical Committee here.
The Anangu Lands Paper Tracker has made a submission to this Review, supporting the introduction of the ‘Very remote dialysis item’ on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. You can read our submission here.
- Review of Mintabie lease
The State and Federal Ministers for Aboriginal Affairs have announced a Review of the Mintabie lease. According to a news release on 1 June 2017 from Minister Kyam Maher, the review follows the Federal Court’s findings in November 2016 that the store operator of Nobby’s Mintabie General Store had been engaging in credit activity (‘book-up’) which contravened the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth).
If you’d like to know more about the Review of the Mintabie Township Lease and licencing policy, visit the Paper Tracker’s website and this post.
- SA 2017 Budget for Aboriginal Communities
The SA Government announced its Budget for 2017/18 on 22nd June.
Here are some of the key allocations that could affect Aboriginal communities:
- South Australian Aboriginal interpreter service:
The budget papers state: “This initiative provides $553 000 per annum (indexed) ongoing for the establishment of an Aboriginal languages interpreting service in South Australia, using joint resources with the Northern Territory. The establishment of the new office in South Australia aims to build and support the provision of Aboriginal interpreter services across the state and includes staff based in Adelaide and Port Augusta. The initiative will increase the pool of interpreters available to the government and other service providers, thereby improving service delivery to Aboriginal South Australians.”
- Justice reinvestment: $270 000 in 2017/18 to improve justice, safety and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal people.
- 2016/17: an allocation of $730,000 for APY Lands new ambulances.
If you would like to read the budget allocations for Aboriginal Affairs, check out the Agency Statement for DSD-AAR here.
The Paper Tracker is pleased to see that the 2017 State Budget has allocated money for a South Australian Aboriginal interpreting service, and has written to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation to ask him about the service delivery model that is envisaged for the establishment of an Interpreting Service in SA.
- South Australian Aboriginal interpreter service:
Paper Tracker Radio Shows
Since our last e-newsletter at the end of March, the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker has broadcast twelve radio shows. If you’d like to listen to any of these programs, you can click on the links below.
Program 271: Greg Wilson on languages and interpreting
In this program, we talk with Greg Wilson about Aboriginal languages, the importance of keeping languages alive, and why it’s so important that people have access to a language interpreter if they need one.
Program 272: Indigenous Advisory Council
In this program, we talk about the Prime Minister’s new Indigenous Advisory Council. We talk with Andrea Mason about her involvement on the Council and how she understands its role and focus.
Program 273: Prof Hugh Taylor talks about Trachoma
In this program, we talk about eye health and ways to keep our eyes healthy and strong. To tell us more about eye health and about preventing Trachoma, we talk with Professor Hugh Taylor from Indigenous Eye Health at Melbourne University.
Program 274: April Lawrie on Language Framework
In this program, we find out about the importance of language and about learning languages and how this fits into the school curriculum. We talk with April Lawrie, the Director of Aboriginal Education in the South Australia Department of Education and Child Development.
Program 275: Eva Cox on Cashless Debit Card
This radio show focuses on the Cashless Debit Card that is being trialled in communities in the West Coast of South Australia and in the communities of Kununurra and Wyndham in Western Australia. We talk with Eva Cox about her views on the evaluation of the Trial and its impact.
Program 276: Treaty Discussions for South Australia
This program is about treaties. To find out about the treaty discussions in South Australia, we talk with Dr Kumanara Thomas, the Treaty Commissioner for South Australia.
Program 277: Kelly Vincent on Cashless Card, Disability Pension and NDIS
This program focuses on the Cashless Debit Card, the recent Federal Budget announcements and how these affect people on the Disability Support Pension and on Newstart, and we find out about changes to the funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (the NDIS) and how the Scheme is being rolled-out on the APY Lands. We talk with Dignity Party MLC, Kelly Vincent.
Program 278: Update from Minister for Police, Corrections and Emergency Services
In this program we find out about a number of important services that affect people living in remote communities – police services, correctional services, and emergency services. We talk with Minister Malinauskas who is the Minister for these important services.
Program 279: Senator McCarthy talks about CDP
In this program, we focus on the Community Development Program (CDP) and how it’s affecting people living in remote communities. We talk with Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, Senator for Northern Territory, Australian Labor Party.
Program 280: Senator Dodson on CDP, Native Title and Uluru
We interview Senator Patrick Dodson, Senator for Western Australia with the Australia Labor Party. We focus on the Community Development Program (CDP), the proposed changes to the Native Title Act, and the First Nations National Constitutional Convention and the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’.
Program 281: Update from Aboriginal Community Connect
In this program we find out about the work of Aboriginal Community Connect. To find out more, we talk with Tangi Ngateina, who is the Co-ordinator of Kurlana Tampawardli (New Houses on the Plains) at Aboriginal Community Connect.
Program 282: Alinytjara Wilurara and Healthy Country Planning
In this Radio Show, we talk about caring for country and the different ways of doing this. We talk with Ben Daly from Natural Resources Alinytjara Wilurara.
If you’d like to listen to previous radio shows, you can visit the Paper Tracker website at http://www.papertracker.com.au/category/radio-programs/, and then click on the program or interview you’d like to listen to.
Facebook and website
Our Facebook page is gaining more support and people’s interest every week! We currently have 1,635 ‘friends’ and our reach per week ranges from 3,000 to 15,000!
Please ask your friends to ‘like’ our page and keep posting your comments – we love hearing from you!
Since our last e-newsletter at the end of March, the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker website has been visited by 2,100 individual users and included 2,700 sessions.