OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Labour wins elections and promises to revise government Aboriginal community policies

Monday, 26 November 2007

Canberra (Agenzia Fides) - During elections on 24 November after 11 years of Liberal government, Australians voted for the Labour party led by Kevin Rudd. The labour party obtained over 50% majority in parliament and in the Senate renewed only half, it will have a relative majority with the support of the Greens.
The new Labour government has already announced a revision of policies with regard to the country's Aboriginal minority, particularly the decision taken by former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Mal Brough, to cut social assistance and to abrogate land rights temporarily. The Northern Territory Emergency Response was passed in the Summer of 2007 in an attempt to “normalise”, with a massive deployment of police, Aboriginal communities which there exists widespread abuse of alcohol and drugs and also sexual abuse. However the measure was widely criticised for being unnecessarily harsh. The measure included that part of parent's unemployment money would be detracted to finance directly the needs of minors, according to schemas decided by the government and over which the Aboriginal communities had no control. The new Rudd government voiced the intention to reconsider the Aboriginal situation and revise the emergency plan, and social and economic investments for minorities. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 26/11/2007 righe 26 parole 265)