The Senate Committee report into my legislation on a compensation system for the Stolen Generations was tabled yesterday. The Committee didn’t directly support a national system of compensation, but did put forward some other useful recommendations. You can read my additional comments at this link.
The Daily Telegraph has invited me to ‘debate’ people and answers questions live through their website at 9am tomorrow (Wednesday). You can ask a question or contribute by going to this link.
Given that the official position of both the Labor and Liberals parties is opposed to a national system of compensation (despite both parties supporting a compensation tribunal in Tasmania), I wasn’t expecting the Committee members to adopt the principle of my legislation. But I think the report recognises there is validity in such an approach and provides a way for members and supporters of the Stolen Generations to keep making their case. This in turn should increase the pressure on those opposed to it to make a better case against than they have to date, or propose better alternatives to address the ongoing harm.
UPDATE: The Daily Telegraph page is not closed, but Andrew Bolt has taken up the cudgels (yet again) on behalf of the denialists, continuing his campaign trying to deny the historical and current reality of the Stolen Generations. This campaign basically consists of asserting that they don’t exist and demanding someone name ten people who were stolen. Apparently the fact the more than ten of the people who provided submissions to the Senate Inquiry identified themselves as members of the Stolen Generations doesnt count, and nor does the fact that the Tasmanian Stolen Generations Assessor has paid compensation to more than ten people.
Mostly I just feel bemusement at the ferocious determination of some people to ignore the bits of history that they find inconvient or unpleasant or that don’t fit their current ideological narrative. However, one can’t ignore the fact that trying to pretend this sort of wrongdoing didn’t occur compounds the harm and hurt that has been done, and make it more difficult to resolve some of the current problems which it helped generate.