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The Network is a blog of progressive political and social comment --- with an occasional spice of spirituality thrown in for flavour.

The Network comes from the life experiences of Miss Eagle - otherwise known as Brigid O'Carroll Walsh. Brigid has a wide range of experience in politics, trade unions, corporates, and government. Her environmental interests are in water, land, food and waste. She wishes she knew more about soil, birds, and plants.

Brigid lives on the land of the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation. The Creator Spirit of the Kulin peoples is Bunjil, the Wedgetail Eagle. Brigid wishes to express her gratitude to The Creator for the land in which she lives and the environment in which she has been placed.

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Challenge is on: Bankstown challenges Basic Cards and Income Management now that it has come to the Big Smoke,

The Income Management Map 

Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 1:29 PM
Subject: Bankstown Coalition set to challenge expansion of income management on anniversary of NT Intervention
Barb Shaw of Mount Nancy Town Camp, Alice Springs.

Say No to Government Income Management - 
Not in Bankstown, Not Anywhere Campaign Coalition
Media Release 20 June for immediate release
Bankstown Coalition set to challenge 
expansion of income management 
on anniversary of NT Intervention
Members of the Say No to Government Income Management - Not in Bankstown, Not Anywhere Campaign Coalition will join a rally this Saturday June 22, marking 6 years since the announcement of the NT Intervention.
The Coalition says it will challenge the further expansion of income management planned for July 1, 2013. Income management began in 2007 for Aboriginal people living under the NT Intervention and was expanded to Bankstown in 2012.
From July 1 2013, new categories of marginalised young people will be compulsorily placed on income management across the NT and all trial sites including Bankstown:
- People under 25 applying for a Crisis Payment for Released Prisoners
- Young people receiving an unable to live at home allowance
- Recipients of the Special Benefit
The Campaign Coalition in Bankstown is supported by 67 organisations representing a diverse range of ethnic and cultural communities along with trade unions and faith groups. Since a declaration calling for a community wide boycott on income management in 2012, Bankstown has the lowest numbers of people on both voluntary and compulsory income management of any trial site.
Semra Guler is a Regional Resource Worker with the Western Sydney Community Forum and a spokesperson for the Coalition:
"All the evidence shows that income management is not improving anyone’s situation. We're having difficulty explaining to our member organisations why social policies that do not work are persisted with and will be expanded to target more community members."

"I've visited Central Australia and seen first hand the destructive impact of income management. I can't find words to describe how systematic racism was that I saw  there. We're proud to join the rally protesting 6 years of NT Intervention".
Kylie Sambo is a young Aboriginal leader from the Northern Territory living on income management. She is traveling from Tennant Creek to address the protest:
"Being put on income management was very upsetting. I know how to manage my money - I don't need a card to control what I can spend things on".
The number of Aboriginal people in prison in the NT has doubled under the Intervention. Kylie says that making income management compulsory for young people coming out of prison will do nothing to address the challenges they face:
"So many of our people are going into prison now. When they try to make their life different coming out they have a criminal record which makes it hard to get a job, hard to get a license. Now they'll be more on BasicsCard, it will be really difficult to go out and achieve something in life."
Paddy Gibson is a Senior Researcher with the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS and is a spokesperson for the Coalition:
"Front-line staff have voted with their feet and are refusing to place people on income management in Bankstown. This latest expansion planned by the government is an attempt to circumvent that opposition".

"Six years ago the government launched an Intervention in the NT which has tried to establish punishment and control as the policy framework for dealing with social disadvantage. Young people in the NT have suffered enormously under this policy. Youth suicide rates have increased 160% and reported rates of self-harm are up more than five fold."

"Now marginalised youth in Bankstown are also set to be punished. The government's own evaluations show an astronomical administrative cost of between $6000-8000 per person per year on income management. From Bankstown to the bush we will continue to struggle for funding to be redirected from income management to badly needed for support services and job opportunities for youth who are struggling".
Rally details: 
12 noon, Saturday 22 June 2013
Paul Keating Park, Bankstown 
(near Bankstown station)
Organised by the 
Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
Kylie Sambo, NT youth leader living on income management
Maree O'Halloran, Welfare Rights Center
Gary Moore, CEO of Homelessness NSW
Robin Croon, Public Service Association
Wafa Ibrahim, Child, youth and family support officer, Arab Council Australia
Kylie Sambo will be available for interview from 
11am on Friday June 21. 
She will be staying in Sydney until June 28.
Fore more information or to arrange interviews contact:
Paddy Gibson 0415 800 586
Semra Guler 0411 644 652
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