So very sorry

Am I reading this and this right?

“Part of the Government’s approach is to reduce people’s discretionary income by quarantining half of all income support and family assistance payments for up to 12 months. The changes will apply to both indigenous and non-indigenous people living in as many as 60 remote communities. People living outside the communities will be assessed case by case. Further measures will see the payments linked to school attendance. Where children are identified as at risk, Centrelink could intervene to ensure essentials such as rent, food and medical expenses are paid before assistance payments are made.” – Source.

Is the government proposing that a person or a couple or someone in a kinship group, who is on a Centrelink payment and lives in one of 60 remote communities, where the payment is made for the care of children, possibly in the form of Family Tax Benefit A, will need to adhere to less than 3 unexplained school absences for one (or all) of their children, if they expect to keep that payment autonomous from some sort of financial case management regime?

How does the government plan to monitor this? If resources are available, why not utilise them to educate, rather than investigate? Is the message here that children need to have maximum time away from the adults in their communities (other than schoolteachers) to be safe? How is that then not a stolen generation by another name? What services will be put in place to act as a change agent, so that a caregiver can work towards self-determination and independence.

What will be the punitive measure if these parents are not on a Centrelink payments, or is that so unlikely, as to be ridiculous? If that is the case, what will be done to fight poverty and the lack of employment opportunities in remote communities?

I was moved by, and understood the urgency of, Noel Pearson’s speech given to Fran Kelly’s Breakfast, on 20/06/07, on ABC’s Radio National.

I was equally moved by, and understood the cynicism inherent in what Mick Dodson had to say in response to HoWARd’s National Emergency rhetoric. Mick spoke of the past two decades of this ‘urgency’ in Aboriginal societies. He calls for a National plan to tackle addiction, housing, education, employment, physical and mental health in Indigenous communities.

I’m uneasy about a PM who can’t say sorry, and horrified at what I read in the Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle
Little Children are Sacred

On balance, I have to come down on the side of safety. Having said that, this measure needs to be monitored for the safety outcomes it hopes to achieve. I want to see every non-indigenous person take on a mentoring role for an indigenous person, so that every one of them can work themselves out of a job in the 5 years allocated to this national emergency.


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18 Responses to “So very sorry”

  1. Graham Bell Says:

    I am appalled at the pre-election stunt. I am disgusted at the re-stealing of Aboriginal land.

  2. Suki Says:

    Will the voters see this for the MV TAMPA moment it is?

    As a Sydney girl, I had my money on HoWARd’s MV TAMPA moment as being sometime during APEC in September.

    Perhaps his desperation will lead him to have more than one…

  3. ab Says:

    This is a really outrageous move by Howard – fancy sending in the army instead of paying the billions of dollars owed to these people by the theft of their land and the subsequent systemic abuse and genocide that has caused so many problems.

    Stolen gen, again, no wonder he won’t say sorry – he isn’t.

    He is a poor excuse for a prime minister – for a human being even, he really is a disgrace.

  4. Suki Says:

    ab, we just have to vote him out and then get him to the Hague!

  5. Dave C Says:

    I can’t help but think:

    First he targeted the refugees.
    Then he targeted the aborigines.
    He is targeting the weak and marginlised – but who is the weak and marginalised is growing larger, and larger.

    It’s alarmist (I know) but I can’t get the thought out of my mind that were seeing the rise of something quite vile.

    And I’m quite scared as to what may happen if he is voted back in this election.

  6. Suki Says:

    And Im quite scared as to what may happen if he is voted back in this election.

    As am I Dave C.

    As well as all the other appalling and illegal acts HoWARd is responsible for, it will also translate into another crop of young people who have no concept of a PM or a government other than this mean and tricky bunch.

  7. weezil Says:

    To simplify the usual matters of discussion for all commenters, I have installed a new quicktag button on SHAO:

    I blame John HoWARd!

    Just one click says it all. 🙂

  8. Dave C Says:

    I blame John HoWARd!

  9. weezil Says:

    Now, wasn’t that easy? 😆

  10. Dave C Says:

    That’s so cool. And so clever.

    Well done weez.

  11. weezil Says:

    Thanks Dave- but it’s your CSS code making it bark. 🙂

  12. weezil Says:


    I blame John HoWARd!

  13. weezil Says:

    Suki is responsible for the new button. 🙂

    I will be voting HoWARd out! too!

  14. Dave C Says:

    The buttons are technology at it’s best:
    bringing people together, and making them laugh and think.

    I blame John HoWARd!
    I will be voting HoWARd out!

  15. Suki Says:

    I will be voting HoWARd out!

    Theres no end to these buttons Dave C,
    Any suggestions? 🙂

  16. Dave C Says:

    I was thinking about this:

    Somehow many years ago we gave over our power as individuals to the government and the corporations – probably because we believed they would create a better world for us.

    Perhaps they did – I don’t know.

    But now I don’t think they are making a better world for us. Examples of how we are being betrayed would include HoWARd and Bush, and {insert evil corporation name here}

    So my idea for a button would be one which says:

    I take my power back

  17. joe2 Says:

    Mine would be….. I Blame the Press.

    The fourth estate seems to have packed up and left democracy without a house to live in.

  18. Dave C Says:

    I Blame the Press!

    Chomsky wrote a lot on that in his book Manufacturing Consent. If you want to find out why and how we were sold out, it’s worth a look.

    I take my power back!

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