Wednesday, 25 August 2010


I have received this email to-day from Alex from the Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective.  
Alex is apologetic that his missive is not more extensively researched and says 
that this represents his'preliminary investigations' into Bob Katter 
and his views on the NT Intervention. 

So, it appears that Bob Katter is actually against the NT Intervention
Historically, he is 'pro self-determination' in a self-responsibility kinda way. He is also against privatisation in regional areas, for market failure purposes. These two ideologies clash to some extent i.e. how can you take control of your own life, if you are starved of basic services?
Katter is regarded as being a progressive advocate when he was Aboriginal Affairs minister. At a press conference yesterday, Katter told reporters to find the two books in which he is mentioned in the university reading guides from when he was Aboriginal Affairs Minister in Queensland in the 80s. 
Basically, he is saying that he is prepared to fight for his ideas. 
What does this all mean? Hard to say. 
Two of the Independents are now on record as being against the Intervention (I'd guess that Wilkie is likely to be against it too). 
It will only matter if we can get the NT Intervention onto the national agenda as a racist policy that needs to be stopped NOW. Which is why continuing the grassroots activism is the most useful thing we can do. 
And joining me now from Cairns is the Federal MP for Kennedy, Bob Katter. 

Mr Katter, thanks for your time.
Bob Katter, Federal MP for Kennedy : Thank you.
KG: Firstly, how can the Federal Government help Mt Isa's services cope with the influx of Territorians, given they have crossed the border to get away from the Federal Intervention?
Bob Katter: We don't want to miss the Federal Government on the issue of Intervention. The new government is continuing with those policies, but if you've got to be looking over your shoulder all the time to see if you are treating your children properly, that sounds a very acceptable phrase - it is actually a very terrifying phrase. If anyone in Australia who has children thinks about it that, it is terrifying. 
The fact that they've had all alcohol taken off them, all pornography taken off them and they're going to have their money taken off them and handed to them - like they were little children - through a trust fund sounds good but in reality it is the most dreadful, discriminatory, repressive laws. That's what it translates to on the ground. 
People are running away in droves, they're ending up living in the river in Mount Isa, and the people of Mount Isa of Aboriginal descent, some of them are getting a very bad name because of the behaviour of some of these people. Also these people are in a most unfortunate situation. We have a couple of one-off grants from the Federal Government the we made recurrent funding. If they're going to continue with this oppressive regime of laws in the Northern Territory then they'll have to do something about finding money to make up for their mistakes.
KG: Have you discussed these concerns, the concerns of your constituents, with the Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin.
Bob Katter: Absolutely, and also with the relevant departmental people. I must say that the Minister responded - in fact, she responded before I rang up, I must say in all fairness. But that was on a one-off basis. If they're going to continue, as it appears they are, with this intervention legislation, which I'm diametrically opposed to, then they'll have to make up for their sins by paying out money.
KG: Will you be lobbying on behalf of Mount Isa residents for additional funding to be allocated to services which are stretched because of newcomers?
Bob Katter: Yes. The team of First Australian people, that are around Father McLowcock, the Catholic priest there, they have immense credibility and respect from the local community and they should be the people that become a conduit for the money and that shoulder the responsibility of looking after the mistakes of the Federal Government which are continuing under the current government.

Miss Eagle's comment:
Just want to say that it is good to hear that Mick Lowcock
is still in The Isa and still fighting the good fight.
Mick and I were at school together (in different grades)
in Bowen....a long, long time ago.

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