NIRS NEWS STORIES 6am-9am 31 January 2014
To New South Wales, a Grafton-based general practitioner says the impact of an asbestos mine at Baryulgil that closed in the 1970s is still being felt, despite just a handful of workers being alive today.
New cases of asbestos-related illnesses continue to be diagnosed in the remote north coast community where dozens of Aboriginal people worked at the James Hardie operation.
Dr Ray Jones says local children were also exposed to large amounts of asbestos and he expects the number of asbestos-related illnesses across Australia to continue to increase for the next 10 years
Cyclone Dylan has crossed the north Queensland coast east of Bowen.
The Weather Bureau says Category Two system crossed the coast early this morning and is expected to weaken over land, although heavy rainfall could lead to flash flooding.
Forecasters say the cyclone is travelling in a southerly direction and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says emergency services are prepared to respond to any flooding or other damage from the cyclone.
One of the nation’s most important figures in Aboriginal health says the Federal Government needs to guarantee action on reducing suicide rates.
Cassandra Tim has more.
Nyungah rights campaigners have commenced weekly protests in east Perth to call for the reopening of the Swan Valley residential community.
The Western Australian Government shut the site in 2003 after allegations of sexual abuse against one of its residents.
The community’s eleven homes were closed and the majority of residents became homeless.
Nyungah elder Herbert Bropho wants the site reopened.
A report by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has revealed the number of Indigenous prisoners has increased at a higher rate than non-Indigenous Australians.
The report shows the adult prison population grew by 6.9 per cent between July 2012 and December 2013, while Indigenous prisoner numbers increased by 11.3 per cent compared to 3.8 per cent for non-Indigenous prisoners.
The report comes as the NSW Government is proposing controversial new laws that would see mandatory sentences for alcohol-related violent crimes.
The Governor-General designate, Peter Cosgrove, has been invited to visit remote communities on Queensland’s Cape York.
General Cosgrove was announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to take up the role this week and said he’d like to visit “stressed” communities to observe their conditions.
Cape York traditional owner, Waanji man Jack Wilkie-Jans, says he wants to bring to the General’s attention the poor infrastructure within communities.
Legal advocates are warning proposed New South Wales mandatory sentencing laws for cases involving alcohol-fuelled violence could have a detrimental effect on rural Indigenous communities.
The state Government has introduced a first legislation package relating to bottle shops and pubs and clubs into Lower House this week and wants to bring in minimum mandatory sentencing laws in the next few weeks.
The Chief Legal Officer at the Aboriginal Legal Service New South Wales John McKenzie says crimes such as assault and affray are common.
Mr McKenzie says the laws are a response to a local problem in Sydney’s Kings Cross but other communities across the state could suffer as a result.
The Northern Territory Opposition says the Government’s mandatory alcohol treatment policy has had mixed success.
The CLP’s recently-released six month data on the program reveals 155 people have completed treatment orders and Alcohol Rehabilitation Minister Robyn Lambley says there have been many success stories.
But Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy Ken Vowles says the controversial policy takes the wrong approach.
Western Australian Indigenous MP, the Coalition’s Ken Wyatt, says he’s optimistic there will be a referendum for recognition before the end of the parliament.
Mr Wyatt, who chairs the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Recognition, is also the first Indigenous Australian in the House of Representatives.
He says it’s significant to have a set of words to enable national dialogue and conversations to occur.
Central Australian Aboriginal people are better equipped to deal with the soaring temperatures and dry climate, English researchers have found.
The research is based on findings from the 1980s, where academics found half the Aboriginal people studied had different levels of a hormone which regulates metabolism.
Professor Robin Carrell from the University of Cambridge says the findings give a great insight into how Central Australians survived the harsh climate.
To New South Wales, the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council says it’ll look to Commonwealth law to override state heritage legislation in order to stop a controversial mine expansion.
The state Department of Planning has approved the expansion of the Rocla sand mining operation at Calga, but Darkinjung claims the expansion would see the disturbance of a large number of significant sites.
The Land Council’s Chief Executive is Sean Gordon:
The wife of the late Dr Yunupingu says her husband “left this world with unfinished business”, and still believed that a Treaty was the best opportunity to bridge divides in Australia.
Yalmay Yunupingu says she wants to keep her husband’s vision alive and is calling on all Australians to work together toward a Treaty.
Mrs Yunupingu says the call is being supported by Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion.
Michelle Tuahine | News Director
NIRS | National Indigenous Radio Service
Lvl 2 / 2 Ambleside Street, West End QLD 4101
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Get more from your National Indigenous Radio Service here: http://www.nirs.org.au/
About the National Indigenous Radio Service
The National Indigenous Radio Service Limited (NIRS) is a national program distribution service that delivers four radio channels of content produced by First Nations broadcasters via satellite distribution and via the internet.
Operating from a central hub in Brisbane, NIRS receives programs from a majority of the 180+ First Nations broadcasting services across Australia.
Arguably, the NIRS satellite footprint is the largest for a First Nations radio network in the southern hemisphere, if not the world. Given this, NIRS and its programs are unique within the Australian media environment. Over 120 Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS) units, 23 Indigenous radio stations and 120 Community Broadcastes receive NIRS. To learn more about our network simply explore our new Google Map interface which show where each and every radio station is located, its website details and even includes a streaming link in some cases.
The reason why NIRS is so important to the sector is because many First Nations broadcasters haven’t the funding support to produce programs for 24/7 broadcasting or possess the funding to employ the number announcers ad producers to make enough high quality programs to support their local community audiences with the style of program that closes the gap.
So for some 15 years, NIRS has delivered its ecletic mix of broadcast programs and a national news service delivered via satellite that all major metropolitan, regional and remote communities via their Remote Indigenous Media Organisations (RIMOs) can receive and add into their regional broadcast schedules.
In this way, NIRS is dedicated to facilitating First Nations voices through broadcasting and internet radio. We achieve this by a mix of programs that provides critical commentary of the strategies directed towards our communities that seek to preserve, promote and maintain First Nations arts, culture, languages and community values. Most particularly, NIRS discusses ‘Closing the Gap’ initiatives that are aimed at achieving quality of life improvements for First Nations communities across Australia.
NIRS also encourages aspirant First Nations broadcasters and RIBS to send their own programs that can be shared and thus opening a “window” to local community issues to a national audience.
For broadcasters who meet the licensing and equipment requirements but lack the funds or resources to provide a full 24-hour service, NIRS will enable them to fill any holes in their schedule with our continuous programming. For community broadcasters who access air time through a CBAA affiliate station, NIRS will provide the opportunity for these areas to hear national Indigenous issues, as well as enabling them to boost local airtime.
The Australia Indigenous Communication Association is also a great way of making contact with First Nations Broadcasters: