Apmer Aharreng Areny-kenh Aknganenty

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Alyawarr Ingkerr-wenh

angka mwerr-angker

Stronger futures - Alyawarr way

Ten years after the Northern Territory Emergency Response and its sequel, Stronger Futures, the Northern Territory and Federal Governments are still scratching their heads.

Alyawarr people continue to call upon governments to let us do things for ourselves within the life of the Federation. This newsletter provides a brief update on our quest to achieve this.

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Aharreng Communiqué

Aharreng leaders have issued a Communiqué to the Northern Territory and Federal governments.

Aharreng country is one of a number of countries across the Alyawarr region. It lies within Alyawarr heart-land and is where Ampilatwatja is situated.

A meeting of leaders was held on the 10th anniversary of the commencement of the NT Intervention, which provided a significant point of reflection for the group.

The Communiqué calls upon the Northern Territory and Federal governments to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with us, so that our society may once again operate at a highly functional level.

To view the Communiqué, click here


New Ampilatwatja clinic

The Commonwealth Department of Health has approved a grant of $3.85 million to the Ampilatwatja Health Centre Aboriginal Corporation for the development of a new clinic.

The new premises will take around ten months to construct. When finished, it will comprise a number of modern facilities, including several dialysis suites.

Ampilatwatja Health Centre is expected to retain ownership of the existing clinic premises and if it does, could provide a place from which the Alyawarr Ingkerr-wenh regional development project becomes based.

For more information, click here.


Ammaroo phosphate deposit

Verdant Minerals Ltd (formerly Rum Jungle Resources Limited) has an exploration licence regarding the phosphate deposit, just north of Ampilatwatja.

According to Verdent, there is 1.145 billion tonnes of phosphate ore in the deposit. It is proposed that around 2 million tonnes per annum of phosphate rock concentrate will be mined for export to Asian markets. The Ammaroo project is also expected to generate 500 construction jobs and include a 90km rail spur.

According to the NTG's recently published Mining Developments in the Northern Territory, environmental approvals are in progress (and mining are pending environmental approvals). Construction is due to commence in 2018, with production commencing in 2019. The life of the mine is estimated at between 25 – 100 years.

While the prospect of ongoing employment and becoming more self-sufficient is exciting, the potential impact upon water supplies and Alyawarr way of life is of concern. Negotiations are being sought with the Northern Territory and Federal governments to develop a comprehensive approach to the opportunity.


Decade of failed NT Intervention

The tenth anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention has not been a source of joy for anyone, including our politicians.

To his credit, Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Senator Nigel Scullion admitted that the NTER measure should have occurred only after proper consultation with the affected Aboriginal communities.

"I think it would have been far better to do some of the same things with the full compliance of the community, rather than the community having the sense that it was imposed on us, so yes of course we could have done it better," he told SBS.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect to the entire measure is that it was based on a lie; that there were rings of paedophiles in remote Aboriginal communities who were abusing children.

Alarmingly, it was rolled out in a blanket way across remote communities in the Northern Territory, with no regard for one of the key findings of the preceding Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle: “Little Children are Sacred” report; ie, where traditional Aboriginal law remained strong, communities functioned better and it guarded against the sexual abuse of children.


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