Measures designed to protect push Indigenous people further to the margins
[supplied by Amnesty Australia]
Lidia Thorpe. Image: supplied
In response to state and territory governments issuing on-the-spot fines for breaking social distancing and quarantine rules, Amnesty International Australia Indigenous Rights Lead, Lidia Thorpe, said:
“Governments are so committed to appearing as though they’re doing the right thing, it is completely blind to the fact that they are making things harder for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
“Indigenous people are already more likely to be locked up; now, our people are even more vulnerable to being fined and locked-up.
“We understand government has to act quickly in response to the threat of COVID-19, but it only underlines how marginalised and disadvantaged some Indigenous communities are when measures designed to protect push some of our people even further to the margins.
“To fine vulnerable people, would be to increase their risk of being incarcerated or even die as a result of coming in contact with the prison system.
“We have stimulus packages announced as a result of people having no work and no money, then we introduce $1600 fines, what if you don't have a job or a home, how do people pay fines? How do people, who don't have a home abide by these new rules?
“An example I had from the community this week was a funeral which was watched by police, stopping the mourners from grieving in their traditional way.
“Any response from government needs to be considered and balanced with the needs of all our citizens.”
NT food prices could prompt illegal border crossings amid coronavirus
[Henry Zwartz, Eleni Roussos and Samantha Jonscher, ABC]
The Central Land Council (CLC) said residents of remote communities would "defy" orders to isolate within their communities because of the high food prices, which in some cases are 10 times higher than elsewhere.
Vulnerable Indigenous communities work to mitigate consequences of coronavirus
[Lorena Allam, The Guardian]
Frontline doctors say they are “preparing for death and suffering” in Aboriginal and Islander communities, because they don’t have the resources to evacuate very ill people.
ICTV keeping the community learning
[by Mandy Taylor]
Indigenous Community Television (ICTV) is playing an expanded role in helping remote communities and audiences stay connected and informed during these unprecedented times of lockdown and isolation.