Borderlands e-journal logo All issues all issues Guidelines rollover Guidelines for contributors
Debates rollover About rollover About borderlands e-journal
Reviews Reviews rollover Editorial team rollover Editorial team
HOWARD'S BATTLERS Arrow vol 8 no 1 contents
About borderlands VOLUME 8 NUMBER 1, 2009


Of course it wouldn’t be done in Dickson! Why Howard’s Battlers Disengaged from the Northern Territory Emergency Response

Nicole Watson
Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS


In the name of Aboriginal children, the Howard Government created the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) and thus began a form of apartheid affecting almost seventy per cent of the Northern Territory’s Aboriginal population. The NTER facilitated the quarantining of income support payments, the dismantling of protection against unlawful discrimination and the wholesale acquisition of Aboriginal lands. When announcing the NTER, John Howard denied that it was racially motivated, and suggested that had the same circumstances occurred in the middle class suburb of Dickson, similar action would have been taken. While it is outrageous to suggest that any government would ever seize the property interests of middle class families as a response to allegations of child abuse, the Prime Minister’s reference to Dickson was nonetheless instructive. This paper will argue that forces within the electorate, such as an obsession with home ownership and the criminalisation of poverty, provided the real impetus for the NTER, rather than genuine crises within Aboriginal communities.

This full article is available as a PDF document: click here.

© borderlands ejournal 2009



To top of page to top of page spacer
ISSN 1447-0810