Black money

2466 Dale Wakefieldp2106ken-vowlesCOMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA

 

The NT Government this week has announced three decisions of providing public money to people selected on the basis of their race.

 

These are grants of up to $60,000 for “Aboriginal Territorians who want to pursue a career in education” (Minister Selena Uibo), $5.4m over four years “to recruit and support Aboriginal foster and kinship carers” (Minister Dale Wakefield – at left) and $10m “for the increased involvement of Aboriginal Territorians in the seafood sector” (Minister Ken Vowles – at right).

 

The government will have some explaining to do.

 

A rich country like Australia must look after its disadvantaged people, but they should be defined by their individual needs, not by the colour of their skin.

 

If we don’t have a bureaucracy capable of identifying need of that kind, and responding appropriately to it where it exists, then we must create one.

 

Is the NT Government drifting to a “one size fits all solution” as an easy way out?

 

Who in our community has not become aware of women – aunties, grandmothers – looking after a swag of kids whose parents are part of our 600-plus prison population, or are drunk or dead?

 

That is one group who deserve maximum support. And so do all foster carers, black or white.

 

Failing to target welfare to people in genuine need will reduce the services and cash they will receive from the limited resources.

 

Neither should we be labelling Aboriginal people as necessarily being in need of greater public support.

 

There is now a sizeable Aboriginal middle class in Alice Springs, in private enterprise as well as public or NGO employment.

 

How tempting would it be for them to hold out their hand, not because they genuinely need extra money, but because their race entitles them to it?

 

Meanwhile, the shoe is on the other foot in Canberra,  with the Community Development Programs (CDP) a tool for punitive discrimination against remote-living Aboriginal people of working age.

 

Labor figures, in the lead-up to the Australian election, are now calling for putting the next funding round on hold and extending present arrangements “until the current broken CDP program can be fixed”.

 

Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon and NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and others say Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion “should stop CDP chaos,” claiming that he “is forcing new contracts on CDP providers, despite his legislation stalling in the Senate.

 

“The Government is pressing ahead with new funding agreements in the face of this uncertainty – leaving the community and providers in the lurch,” they say in a media statement.

 

“Without any certainty about the future of the Government’s CDP legislation, local organisations are being asked to sign a blank cheque.

 

“Around 80% of the people in the CDP program are Indigenous, and participation requirements are double those in Job Active.

 

“Remote communities need jobs and economic development, not another round of punishment based on who they are and where they live,” say the Labor Parliamentarians.

 

 

 

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6 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Paul Parker
    Posted December 3, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    James T Smerk Re: Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm
    The Commonwealth, rather than seriously address significant disadvantage issues, consistently practices and promotes racism by its concentrated use of racial filters.
    Either persons in need satisfy clear needs criteria without requiring their racial identification, or the policy is racist.

    .

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  2. Davo
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    It’s pretty sad watching the usual suspects here whinging and whining as government tries to Close The Gap. No wonder conservatives are on a hiding to nothing everywhere.

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  3. James T Smerk
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    I had the pleasure of going to the Parrtjima lights festival this year and thought it was an awesome show of Indigenous culture.
    However the Lady (I believe she may have been an elder) giving a speech about their culture startED to talk about how this government is so racist and always has been.
    Then she went into saying the stolen generation is still happening with their youth being taken away and placed in detention.
    I was really offend at the talk as I know this Government is not the best, however they are not racist (not our current anyway).
    Anyone who says the Government is racist doesn’t fully understand the decision making process or benefits for cultures.
    The issue about the children being taken away and comparing it to the stolen generation blew my mind how someone could possibly think this with no understanding as to why kids these days are being “taken away”.
    This one eyed view of the Government and its processes is beyond a joke.

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  4. Local 1
    Posted November 25, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Well said, Evelyne.
    The business of grovelling apologies, welcome to country and acknowledgement of country have slowly indoctrinated us to accept this level of racism.
    We go on about paying respects to people of the past present, and somehow the future for doing something (not sure what exactly) called nurturing the land.
    Yet we totally ignore the explorers, adventurers and pioneers who opened up the country and make us the envy of many countries around the world.
    The modern brainwashing we are subject to makes us and everybody believe that all of these people killed Aboriginal people whenever they saw them and stole all their children.
    Every time you hear one of these silly speeches, which do nothing to advance rectifying the plight of Aboriginal people, you encourage this sort of racist policy.
    It does nothing other than promote white guilt, when in fact we have so much to be proud of.
    If it’s good enough to acknowlege the custodians of the land (a people who did not much more than just survive) then it should also include an acknowlegement and thanks to who made this country what it is today.
    There is much money to be gained by weaving lies about the nasty white man, and having books published which bend the facts at best, and just make them up at worst.
    It is going to get worse, there was never any cultural taboo or lack of respect for climbing the rock, until the white rangers told the Anangu that there was, because rescues are expensive, and the profit margins can be increased by getting rid of those pesky rescues.
    My kids were not permitted to attend a comedy workshop a while ago simply because they are white.
    Heaven forbid Aboriginal children learn they can have fun and get along with white kids, that would weaken the victim brigade in the years to come.
    Next time you are subject to a welcome to country, something that was only invented in ’86 by Ernie Dingo, [remember it is] just as much my country and my children’s.
    Or next time you hear an acknowlegement of country, without acknowledging our culture or the contributions of our forebears, turn your back or walk away, and treat these divisive apologist charades with the contempt they deserve.
    As far as the scholarships go, give them out based on need, not greed. A simple test would be consider if it is fair if the background of the recipients were reversed.

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  5. Steve Brown
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Good article Ed and very good comment Evelyne, something that every Territorian should read and pay heed to, particularly our Government institutions and NGOs.
    For presently we are the home of institutionalised Paternalistic Apartheid which in its condescending manner denies the right of individuality to its citizens of Aboriginal origins and penalises the rights of those who are not.
    It is a deliberate and ongoing act of separation by race. Attempting to deliver different levels of service, law, protection and health all on the basis of that race. Sanctimoniously claiming the high morale ground, outwardly exuding care and compassion, while in reality simply justifying the division in order to protect the status quo, guarding against any potential threat to long established funding streams which feed that vast parasitic industry of apartheid, which has grown up around the divide!

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  6. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Mr Gunner please explain: Are you above the Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice Adopted and proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at its twentieth session, on 27 November 1978:
    • Convinced that the essential unity of the human race and consequently the fundamental equality of all human beings and all peoples, recognized in the loftiest expressions of philosophy, morality and
    religion, reflect an ideal towards which ethics and science are converging today.
    • Convinced that all peoples and all human groups, whatever their composition or ethnic origin,
    contribute according to their own genius to the progress of the civilizations and cultures which, in their plurality and as a result of their interpenetration, constitute the common heritage of mankind.
    Articles 1-2
    All human beings belong to a single species and are descended from a common stock. They are
    born equal in dignity and rights and all form an integral part of humanity.
    All individuals and groups have the right to be different, to consider themselves as different and to
    be regarded as such. However, the diversity of life styles and the right to be different may not, in any circumstances, serve as a pretext for racial prejudice; they may not justify either in law or in fact any discriminatory practice whatsoever, nor provide a ground for the policy of apartheid , which is the extreme form of racism.
    Identity of origin in no way affects the fact that human beings can and may live differently, nor does it preclude the existence of differences based on cultural, environmental and historical diversity nor the right to maintain cultural identity.
    All peoples of the world possess equal faculties for attaining the highest level in intellectual,
    technical, social, economic, cultural and political development.
    The differences between the achievements of the different peoples are entirely attributable to
    geographical, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors. Such differences can in no case serve as a pretext for any rank-ordered classification of nations or peoples.
    Article 3
    Any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, ethnic or national origin or religious intolerance motivated by racist considerations, which destroys or compromises the sovereign equality of States and the right of peoples to self-determination, or which limits in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner the right of every human being and group to full development is incompatible with the requirements of an international order which is just and guarantees respect for human rights the right to full development implies equal access to the means of personal and collectiveadvancement and fulfilment in a climate of respect for the values of civilizations and cultures, both national and world-wide.

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