Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Big deal .... Govt brags about what it's done before the data is in

The Australian Government is bragging once again before the job is done.  The Rudd and Gillard Labor Governments - under the title "Stronger Futures" - have taken over the Howard Government's disreputable Northern Territory Intervention.

What neither the Labor Governments in power since 2007 nor the Liberal-National Party would-be government can boast about is their inability to treat Aboriginal people living in their own communities as full citizens of this nation.  

If Aboriginal people living in their own communities received the same services from state, territory and federal governments as 'mainstream' Australians, then a lot of disadvantage would never have occurred.  If 'mainstream' Australians were prepared to forego some of their privileges and benefits - such a those relating to grog and alcohol sales - to ensure the health and safety of Aboriginal people, again a lot of disadvantage would never have occurred and 'mainstream' taxpayers would not have to fork out so much money for prisons.  

If only people would look at how many prisons there are in this small nation and how far apart they are.

Certainly in Victoria and New South Wales, it is rare to have to drive more than two hours between prisons.  One factor regularly ignored is how much farmers love having prisons near them.  Traditionally, when agricultural incomes need boosting the wife has gone out to work.  With the shift work operating in the prisons system, farmers can now manage their properties and still maintain off-farm income working as prison officers.  And, of course, who provides a substantial proportion of the prison population to keep prison employment on the up? Aboriginal people.  

Because Australian citizens and their governments have neither demanded nor ensured equality in services and servicing for ALL Australians, we are now - supposedly - playing catch up and doing so in a manner that has continued the trampling of the citizenship rights of Aboriginal Australians once again.  Certainly, these matters are not worthy of self-congratulatory press releases.

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