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Media Release - 3rd December 2007

STOP INVASION, BEGIN DEVELOPMENT

We completely reject Marcia Langton's opinion that the corrupt invasion of remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory should continue. ['Stay with Intervention', The Australian, 29 November 2007]

The invasion must stop immediately and be replaced by a program of development assistance to these communities.

Problems in Aboriginal communities have to be addressed from within, not without.

The Aboriginal people are living on their lands and fighting for their cultural and physical survival but, because of who they are, they are denied the most basic levels of respect and services from government.

These are not bad communities; they are the victims of bad governments.

They deserve respect and their dignity.

Community leadership, organizations and social structures must be appreciated and be given capacity to identify and implement development programs.

There is absolutely no justification in the government terminating incomes and jobs; changing land tenures; removing permits or withholding housing and other services.

We demand the Rudd Government stop the invasion and sit down with Aboriginal leadership and communities.

We send a message to Marcia Langton and any other proponents of the invasion to defend their communities and Aboriginal rights, not white, racist government.

Signed: Les Malezer, Michael Mansell, Heather Sculthorpe, Larissa Behrendt, Terry O'Shane.