The struggles against the NT Intervention and the expansion of the nuclear industry in the NT continued to build during the election period – through the Greens campaign and the Intervention Rollback Action Group’s (IRAG) grassroots mobilisation.
Greens candidate for Lingiari and IRAG spokesperson Barbara Shaw, from Mt Nancy Town Camp demanded to be taken off Income Management at a Centrelink protest that attracted wide media coverage.
Regular stalls were held outside the local supermarket in Alice Springs to support the Greens but also to argue that the campaign was not just about votes. Twenty-five new people signed up to join IRAG. Two activist meetings in three weeks sought to draw new people into the campaign.
A major “vote Nuclear Free”, lunchtime election rally was held in Alice Springs in the week before the polls.
These mobilisations set the tone of debate in town. Introducing their coverage on election morning, local ABC radio in Alice Springs said, “the big issues this election will be Indigenous affairs, nuclear mining and the NT Intervention”.
The grassroots campaign won significant swings to the Greens. In 2007, the Green vote in Lingiari was 6.9 per cent. This time, at voting booths in Alice Springs, Barbara Shaw consistently polled at 18 per cent. She also won a number of Central Australian communities outright – with unambiguous majorities to end the Intervention.
A joint IRAG/Greens post election forum is being on 1 September to discuss how to continue to build the momentum to stop the intervention, even after the dust settles on federal parliament.