Today marks the third anniversary of the Howard government’s "national emergency" intervention in 73 prescribed Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. In the "name of the child" the basic liberties of Aboriginal people were suspended and a draconian and paternalistic state project of improvement was launched to "stabilise, normalise and then exit" these communities: stabilisation was to take one year and normalisation four.

On Saturday June 19, the latest six-monthly Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory Monitoring Report July – December 2009 was posted on the FaHCSIA website in two detailed parts totalling more than 100 pages. Despite a six-month delay as the report was compiled, it provides the latest information collected by a variety of government agencies on the intervention.