It will be a year on Saturday since then Prime Minister John Howard, flanked by Aboriginal Affairs minister Mal Brough, fronted a hastily convened posse of the national press:
Well, ladies and gentleman, Mr Brough and I have called this news conference to announce a number of major measures to deal with what we could only describe as a national emergency in relation to the abuse of children in indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
It was quite a story. Crikey rushed to produce a special mid-afternoon edition and in the months that followed became one of the few voices in the Australian media to actively question the methods and motivation of Howard’s Northen Territory Intervention. We did not doubt the seriousness of the core issue of s-xual abuse, but wondered at the military “occupation” of remote communities, at the erosion of common rights, at the implied threat of changes to land rights legislation and community permits.
There is still much to discuss, much to argue over. All this week Crikey will be running a series of reports dealing with various aspects of the Intervention. You can have your say at our Croakey forum. On Thursday we will reproduce highlights of Crikey’s year of Intervention reporting in a special printable pdf. Stay tuned.