by ray jackson, president, indigenous social justice association
The Stronger Futures legislation designed to roll out the second stage of the intervention in the nt is not about improving the life of the aboriginal communities and those families who reside there. this is not about the original lie of stopping child abuse or even closing the gap. youth suicides have skyrocketed, arrest and incarceration of aborigines, mainly for alcohol abuse, has also increased dramatically. school attendance is, in fact, dropping. health remains a high priority.
the only winners in the first intervention are woolworths and coles as only they have been authorised to accept the welfare card. both these corporations already control 83% of the australian supermarket scene. other winners are the government-appointed 'mission managers', public servants installed in new houses and on a high salary. i keep asking macklin what their role is but to date, no answer has been supplied.
the first intervention was based on the theft of aboriginal land that is/was controlled by the traditional owners. as we know, the nt sits between the two mining boom states of qld and wa. the nt and federal governments have watched as both states grew fat on mining royalties and both wanted to change the fact that the nt aborigines owned some 40-odd percent of the nt lands. further it was proved that the nt was also resource rich with uranium and other minerals but too much of the resources were on lands that the traditional owners wanted no mining to occur.
the howard government plotted and schemed up the answer and it is my belief that such theft also had the full blessing of the labor party. that was evidenced when they came to power in 2007. most people do not know that howard had instructed the australian crime commission some 12 months before the intervention to investigate crimes including drugs, money laundering and organised paedophile rings in aboriginal communities in the nt. whilst the outcome of the first two investigations are not known it was proven that no paedophile rings existed, organised or otherwise. what was found was underage promised brides and sex between teens. the underage brides was a cultural response whilst the teen sex was a biological response found throughout australia.
but i digress as usual.
communities were forced into accepting the krudd/gillard edict to sign their lands and houses over to commonwealth control. the second intervention is merely to reinforce the federal government control of those lands and allow mining to occur for the alleged benefit of the owners of the lands. this is cynicism at its very best.
the required legislation passed the lower house on monday and is now awaiting ratification by the senate even though the senate enquiry continues to hear submissions. just shows julia's quoted impatience to get on with things!