NT legislation set to be bulldozed through Senate

The federal government’s legislation relating to the Northern Territory is finally starting to appear around the place. According to Minister Brough the entire package was only finalised at 1pm Sunday. It started providing copies of the legislation to people on the Monday. It will be introduced into the House of Representatives today (Tuesday) and the government’s intention is for it to be passed tonight.

I have also been informed that the government intends bringing the legislation on for debate in the Senate tomorrow, with the aim of having it voted on by Thursday. Efforts by myself and others to seek to ensure a Senate Committee can look at the new laws and give Aboriginal people and others from the Northern Territory the chance to have a say seem set to be squashed by the government.

Apart from the appropriation Bills, which are required to authorise the expenditure of extra money, there are three other Bills which come to a total of 365 pages.They cover a range of complex measures including the takeover of Aboriginal land, quarantining of welfare payments, a range of exemptions from the Racial Discrimination Act, removal of consideration of customary law and practices, widespread alcohol restrictions, controls over the use of computers, takeovers of the administration of Aboriginal councils and no doubt more I have yet to identify. There is an exemption to the alcohol restrictions for recreational fishers in their boats – trying to stop the rivers of grog, while still allowing grog on the river.

The government originally insisted that the whole intervention would cost “tens of millions” of dollars, and slagged off anybody who said that would be impossible. We are now told that it will cost over $500 million for the first year alone. It is good that reality seems to have finally struck in this area, but is unfortunate that anyone who raises queries or concerns are still being responded to with smears that we don’t care about the children. If the government is genuine in their statements that they are in this for “the long-haul” (and if Labor is genuine in providing their in principle support), then this $500 million will just be the start. Respected academic Jon Altman, who has been examining this area for years, estimates at least $4 billion will be needed.

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  1. Coral

    Truancy is a major issue amongst marginalised communities, right here in Brisbane.

    I won’t bother responding to your pedophilia comments, which is obviously a deflection from the responses made to your original post.

    But what I will state is that you are not the voice of the social worker, nor the teacher.

  2. I do not suggest censoring the offending comments, they are very instructive. I simply draw Andrew and his readership’s attention to the nature of the comments.

    The racist and defamatory nature of the comments is, unfortunately, quite in line with federal govt. policy in the NT.

  3. Only in QLD – bewdiful one day red neck the next. Old Joh is alive and well.

    Better be careful you guys I bet coral has a lawyer freind, or relo at hnad.

  4. Coral says,

    “I don’t see why people can’t take information at face value in order to find solutions, instead of vilifying those who don’t agree with them on certain issues, and trying to discredit everything they say”.

    Coral, it’s called living in a democracy. I don’t have to take what you say on “face value”or what Howard or Mal Brough say either! I like to watch programs like Message Stick and Living Black – creates understanding and acceptance. Books are great too! There’s heaps of factual information out there! Libraries!The internet! The more I learn the angrier I become about racism!

    Using terms such as “full blooded” to describe indigenous people is revolting; it makes human beings sound like race horses or a dogs, and ceased years ago, thankfully, but after the racist assertions re brain size etc. How disgusting? The official method is, that anyone who claims to be an aboriginal person, and/or is acknowledge by their peers as an aboriginal person has the right to assert thus. Like the rest of us, indigenous people come in all shapes and sizes, with a wide variety of ‘colour’ combinations. They also have a wide diversity of abilities, ideas and ideals, just like you and I. The horrors of racism, is to use blanket comments to attest to a group’s behaviours. It’s demoralizing, racist, hurtful and always always wrong! Even the Howard government asserts, that aboriginal people suffer the worst disadvantage in the country. Other countries such as the US, Canada and NZ have made progress in overturning this, we haven’t by comparison. Now, thanks to Howard we’re going backwards.
    Statistics don’t use emotional rhetoric, or give opinions. Go to the ABS website for confirmation.

    You’re not suggesting that anyone who disagrees with you is a supporter of paedophiles, or even their supporters surely? Read your last two paragraphs! I find the inference offensive!

  5. There are certainly supporters of paedophilia contributing to this debate. It is clear that such supporters must know who they are, since I didn’t name anyone. Truth is not defamation and facts are not racism.

    If Naomi wants to compare people with dogs or race horses, that’s her prerogative. It’s not an interest of mine.

    I said nothing about anyone’s brain size, Naomi. You have simply extrapolated in a negative direction. You could try reading for understanding, instead of attack. Ask questions if you don’t understand what others mean.

    I have made no blanket statements. My reference to the Stone Age was an attempt to understand the stage the aboriginal peoples were at when the white man first came here. It could not have been the Iron Age, the Nuclear Age or the Space Age, could it? Perhaps someone can tell us what it was.

    There’s clearly still a gap to be bridged – especially in remote communities.

    If you don’t want to believe what I tell you, fine. Just continue with your reactionary lack of understanding.

    Well yes, Ken, I do have a friend who is a lawyer working in the Family Court. She’s the person I previously mentioned who is forced to send her children to visit a paedophile or be struck off. Don’t you have any friends??

    Donna, I may not be the voice of the teacher or the social worker, but I am reiterating their experiences … THAT’S REAL EXPERIENCES … whether you like them or not.

    In Brisbane, I doubt if we have a 60% truancy rate on any day of the school year, except possibly in the last week of a school term or during a gastrointestinal outbreak or flu epidemic.

    Put yourself into that teacher’s shoes for a moment, and see how you would like it. She moved to a remote location leaving her husband behind her, in order to prepare those kids for school. She loves children. She’s even willing to do ponytails herself to get the kids into the classroom.

    You can’t teach children the foundation of literacy a

  6. She can’t teach children the foundations of literacy and numeracy if they are seldom at school.

    It also isn’t fair to the small number of children (no matter what their colour) who are reliably brought to school each day.

    It isn’t fair to the teacher or her employer either.

  7. Coral: what you say is quite difficult to understand sometimes – perhaps you should take your own advice about reading back. Take this for example: “There are certainly supporters of paedophilia contributing to this debate.”

    I’m sure you can’t possibly mean that anyone on this list who disagrees with the way the intervention in the NT has been set up is therefore a pedophile? Or maybe you mean anyone on this list who disagrees with you is a pedophile?

    I’d be careful about saying that sort of thing, although I’ve noticed that you do seem quite reckless with your statements.

    You would be foolish to continue to press the point about your teacher friend. If she does exist, she would be identifiable from what you have said. I find it quite strange that a teacher would be unwise enough to tell you about the private lives of her students, which is why I doubt her existence. That would be against her Code of Ethics. However, if she does exist, I suppose a young or naive teacher might tell you something confidentially, but I doubt you have told her you are broadcasting what she says to the nation.

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