In reply to “Greens” (Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:12 …

Comment on Country Liberals: Resolve takes the place of frustration by Bob Durnan.

In reply to “Greens” (Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm): You are confused. The Liberals were not in power for over two decades of self-government in the Territory. That was a separate political party known as the Country Liberal Party, or CLP. Unlike the CLP, the Liberals have some quite credible achievements in Indigenous affairs. For example, it was the Liberal Party that drafted and passed the Aboriginal Land Rights Act NT, which is regarded internationally as best practice in the recognition of rights in land held by pre-existing Indigenous groups in circumstances of colonisation and settlement.
It was the Liberal Party that ensured strong Aboriginal sacred areas protection in NT legislation, and required the NT government to provide for the processes of claiming community living areas on pastoral leases, and town camp leases in towns in the NT. The Liberal Party created the ADC and NAC, as well as training and employment programs for people living in remote communities. More recently, it was the Liberal Party which began expanded primary health care funding in remote regions, funded the initial rollout of Opal fuel and expanded youth services, vastly increased Commonwealth housing programs, and moved to intervene with massive emergency resources in an effort at trying to help prevent the further social disintegration of Aboriginal families and communities in remote regions.
On the Labor side, it was ALP governments which established the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission and its successors. Other ALP achievements include the Woodward Royal Commission into Land Rights, funding for Aboriginal Hostels and Indigenous Business Australia, ATSIC, the Deaths in Custody Royal Commission and associated reforms, the Council for Reconciliation, the Stolen Generations enquiry, and funding for many valuable services, such as the Aboriginal community-controlled health, legal and education sectors.
Most importantly, it was Labor which recognised Native Title Rights in legislation, and established a process for settling claims to these rights.
There are a myriad of other achievements in the Indigenous affairs area by both Labor and the Liberals.
It is immature and glib for the Greens to just dismiss the Liberal and Labor efforts as “hopeless”. They were not always perfect, but they have come a long way in the last forty years, and done a lot of good which is too rarely acknowledged. It is very easy to identify shortcomings, but many failed programs had to be tried in order to find out what actually worked for the benefit of the people.
On the other hand, it could well be argued that the approach of the Greens to Indigenous affairs is hopelessly immature and opportunistic, as they continually invest their political capital in emotionally charged issues, without taking care to negotiate beneficial outcomes within the realms of what can be realistically achieved in these situations.

Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Gallery business case slap in the face of custodians
Wrong again Matthew Langan (Posted August 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm).
It was actually “big knob socialist flogs” from the CLP who talked up and used government funds to build the Desert Park, the Araluen Arts Centre and the Strehlow Museum.
If you have complaints about those places and their costs to the public purse, go talk to the conservatives. Nothing to do with the Labor mob.
The CLP under both Adam Giles and Gary Higgins has indicated it would also support a new National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.

Architect of Katherine’s masterplan to be Alice council CEO
James (Posted June 6, 2019 at 8:14 am): How many parks in Alice Springs commemorate Aboriginal leaders or dignitaries?
Nothing against Father Smith, but couldn’t we consider looking collectively at setting some priorities before rushing in to barrack for our favourite project?

Price family were sole complainants against Cocking & Satour 
Conservative (posted May 1, 2019 at 9:19 am): what do you mean by ‘props to Erwin’? Stage ‘props’? It doesn’t make sense.

Road toll drops by half
Like InterestedDarwinObserver, I think Assistant Commissioner Beer’s claim is a somewhat questionable one.
Given that the majority of NT road deaths are normally the result of single vehicle roll-overs on remote roads, it is questionable whether more intensive traffic policing in Alice would necessarily produce this good result as claimed.
We would need a much bigger sample and more details of the individual accidents to really get an idea about what is actually going on here.

Massive horse deaths now a risk to humans
Hal, (Posted April 14, 2019 at 1:29 am): Don’t be so disingenuous. It is obvious from the article that CLC staff have been trying very hard to get permission to act.
They have now made their frustrations known to the relevant authorities, who are able to step in.
My point is that your criticism should have been aimed at those responsible (the traditional owners in question), not at the CLC as an organisation, as the staff are trying to do their job and get something done about the situation.
I was at both Mulga Bore and Angula a little over a week ago, and found very few people at Mulga, and none at Angula.
There were no dead horses that I saw, or smell of dead horses, around the houses then at either place, but there may have been some elsewhere. Of course the carcasses should be disposed of, wherever they are; that is what the writer and the CLC are trying to achieve.

Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor