“Forced labour and exploitation and a form of involuntary servitude?” On …

Comment on CDP work for the dole scheme gets a hammering by Peter.

“Forced labour and exploitation and a form of involuntary servitude?”
On a typical day the women turn up at 9 am or so.
They cook their breakfast (CDP activity) with free food.
They eat their meal and start painting (CDP activity) with materials provided for free.
These art works may be sold with the artists getting the money.
Lunch time and the women cook their lunch and look at some magazines (CDP activity).
Some do cross word puzzles (CDP activity).
The women seem to enjoy the get together and they chat about community events.
Gradually they wander off to the store and home.
The men arrive at random intervals during the morning.
The CDP staff remind them they are late.
They all sit around chatting for a while.
They make themselves free cups of tea.
There may be a free training session on, they half heartedly attend (CDP activity).
Some may head off to fix something in the community (CDP activity).
They come back for their free lunch.
Various complaints are made by the men.
They are working for nothing etc.
They head off home – another day of CDP over.

Peter Also Commented

CDP work for the dole scheme gets a hammering
Jon my anecdotal “typical day” is evidence based in four larger communities in central Australia over a period of 10 weeks.
You say that no pay penalties imposed according to departmental sources suggests that either CDP is poorly administered or deeply unpopular or both.
CDP is challenging to administer but not poorly administered, I take my hat off to the enthusiastic staff doing a tough job while maintaining positive relationships.
CDP is not deeply unpopular with community residents, it’s unpopularity lies with their self appointed representatives.
Contrary to the common perception remote Aboriginal people are not habitually sitting around with nothing to do.
They are quite busy with social / cultural interaction / obligations in a range of communities.
CDP is simply inconvenient in the context of their lives.

CDP work for the dole scheme gets a hammering
Bob Beadman: You say CDP was never an employment agency but that’s not accurate.
Many local employers look to CDP staff and ask who their best workers are?
Who comes on time?
Who sustains working?
The best CDP workers are the first employed.
There are few jobs and so few are employed but CDP is an employment agency.
There could be a lot more use of CDP as an employment agency if employers, especially NT Government, based in town tapped into CDP.
How many times are government or Intervention visits wasted because they lack local knowledge?
Just one example, dentists arrive from interstate to find no-one at home or people don’t know they are in the nearby town?
Similar things happen every day and yet the thought to employ local liaison staff never seems to be considered.
Time to think about how CDP can work better as employment agencies. Don’t deny the reality and therefore the possibility of expansion.

Recent Comments by Peter

End of search for Monika Billen
My drone flying friends say that not finding Monika is a disgrace.
Forget the old tech ground searches.
Fly the latest high tech drones equipped with high-resolution cameras or video and analyse the results.
She would have been found on day two after being reported missing.
After an initial cost of perhaps $100,000 the drone system would pay for itself within a year and the tourist industry would be better off.

The financial crisis in the Northern Territory
James, I suspect that remote community infrastructure does add to the NT’s revenue stream, as it always has. Case in point (admittedly dated):
Federal grant of $500,000 for remote preschool.
NT admin tax $250,000.
Old asbestos clad science block sent to the community (instead of dumping it}.
Over the next three months, Alice Springs tradies renovate the building.
There is no money left for painting so that becomes a school expense.
Darwin designed building has no security so is broken into and trashed, then closed for six months as the school tries to get it repaired.
So the NT Government gets a windfall profit, Alice Springs businesses do well and the community gets a high maintenance asbestos building.

At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
Gunner has made the right call on the location of the proposed gallery and offered substantial funding.
No other sensible and economically viable location has been proposed.
The gallery will probably operate at a loss as does the Desert Park.
To be sustainable the loss must be minimised and it must add value to our tourist businesses.
South of the Gap / at the Desert Part are not suitable locations.
The Greens are engaged in misguided economically damaging democracy.
They are doing the same by using their position on the Water Board to slow down mining development at Mt Pearce.
This action threatens the offer of generous funding.

The millions and the misery
Eugene’s Mate: “Unreasonably negative and incorrigibly antagonistic attitude towards Congress pathological denial of Congress’s achievements? Very unfairly, maligning Congress.”
Any organisation that gets more than $40m a year of taxpayer money, has $20m unspent and has a stake in CentreCorp with assets of more than $50m absolutely needs to be held accountable.
It worries me that you fall back on excuses such as saying that poverty is the main driver of renal disease (and of course Congress can’t change that).
How about, a sedentary lifestyle, living in squalor, poor diet, alcohol and smoking, all of which Congress should be able to do something about.
But they haven’t despite all the millions.
A new approach is needed.
Take diabetes:
Although there are other factors, diabetes is a major cause of end stage renal disease. Many of us have watched the progression from diabetes to end stage over the years.
I’ve personally seen it a dozen times or more.
Uncontrolled diabetes is rampant in our community and the deaths are mounting.
Congress has largely failed to stem the tide so we need to try something else.
That is a medical approach.
Instead of expensively trying to change behaviour and failing we need new drugs and medical devices.
That means more money for research and probably less for Congress.
Of course that is confronting and will get the reaction we see from you.
But Aboriginal health is bigger than Congress and is the priority.
A medical approach has the potential to save many hundreds of millions of dollars and improve Aboriginal lives on a large scale.
That claim cannot be made about Congress.

The millions and the misery
Evelyne, the research to quantify the extent of HTLV-1 was carried out years ago and the results were scary for Aboriginal people.
There will be a large death toll in coming years.
Very little is being done to discover a drug to treat it.
Your question has broader implications.
Should the taxpayer keep funding preventative programs to the extent we do when they are not working?
Wouldn’t Aboriginal health be improved far more by putting the money into the development of medical responses.
For example, there is an urgent need for implanted insulin delivery devices that require diabetics to do nothing.
There are several life threatening diseases, HTLV-1 being just one, that urgently need medical approaches such as drug treatments for prevention and/or cure.
Aboriginal health would be improved far more by redirecting at least some of the tens of millions wasted on Congress to researching new treatments.

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