Closing the gap between policy and 'Law' : Indigenous homelands and a working future

Burns, Marcelle J. (2011) Closing the gap between policy and 'Law' : Indigenous homelands and a working future. Law in Context, 27(2), pp. 114-134.

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The Northern Territory Government's Working Future: Outstations/Homelands (2009) policy statement gives effect to the Council of Australian Government's Closing the Gap policy on Indigenous housing and remote service delivery. These policies mark a radical shift in public policy that winds back the outstations and homelands movement that began in the 1970's. This paper examines Indigenous homelands policy and considers whether these policies are consistent with the Indigenous human rights and in particular the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), which Australia endorsed in 2009. The author argues that the current homelands policy breaches a number of Indigenous human rights and promotes assimiliation by forcing Indigenous Australians to relocate to access basic services such as health, housing and education. As a consequence these policies are counter-intuitive to the overall Closing the Gap goals of improving Indigenous health outcomes because they fail to take into account the importance of country and culture to Indigenous wellbeing. She concludes that Australian governments need to formulate a homelands policy that is consistent with Indigenous human rights and in particular the right of self determination, enjoyment of culture and protection against forced assimilation.

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ID Code: 42110
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special issue : Volume 27 No 2 (2011) Indigenous Australians and the Commonwealth Intervention - April 2011
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Indigenous Australians, Human Rights, Government Policy
ISSN: 0811-5796
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law (180101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Federation Press
Copyright Statement: Copyright in the monograph is held by the Editorial Board, Law in Context, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
Deposited On: 23 Jun 2011 22:16
Last Modified: 01 May 2013 01:55

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