CLP candidate rejects 'racist' employment policies


p1913brownsteveBy ERWIN CHLANDA
The endorsed CLP candidate for Araluen, Steve Brown (pictured), is rejecting policies to increase involvement of Indigenous people in the construction industry which are promoted by the Country Liberal NT Government.
He wants the government to remove “the words Indigenous or Aboriginal and replacing them with the word Local. That would actually create the stated intent of favouring local business and employment, bringing our community together rather than ripping it apart.”
He says this would put a stop to an “ill-considered, blatantly racist policy”.
The schemes offer generous, taxpayer-funded bonuses for builders and sub-contractors who engage Aboriginal workers and firms, while penalising those who don’t.
Says Mr Brown: “I have spoken to various department heads and while acknowledging the early vision and intentions, I must also acknowledge a wise old saying: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
“The policy seems to have been developed at the macro level with intent to show good Indigenous employment figures to an east coast audience, but with little or no empathy for the individual lives affected.
“Throughout these policies, decisions to employ or not to employ, to favour or not to favour, are clearly based on race. This is plainly, simply wrong.
“In recent days I have been told of individuals losing their jobs as employers seek to comply with the policy’s Indigenous requirement. Indigenous in, others out. Lives are being affected. Divisions are being created.
“It is also plainly in contravention of this CLP Government’s pledge to end the politics of apartheid, of division, that saw them so well supported at the last election.”
Mr Brown says: “As a CLP candidate standing on the outside of government I feel an obligation to constituents and community both to acknowledge their concerns and to give assurance that I am lobbying vigorously on their behalf, placing pressure on Government to deal with the issues raised. My intention is not to attack government. My intention is to right a wrong.
“Debate should not be seen as harmful criticism but as an opportunity to find and remove policy weaknesses.
“A modern, decent, egalitarian government should be expending every effort to remove all racial tags from legislation and policy, not adding to the burden of division.
“Racial equality is the only way forward, the only worthwhile outcome. The fundamental belief in fairness and equality [is what] I have always believed to be foundation stones of CLP philosophy.”
Mr Brown, an electrical contractor, on February 20 co-chaired a meeting of 16 disgruntled people in the industry, and a government-sponsored meeting last week failed to allay concerns of the industry.
Araluen is a blue-ribbon CLP seat. In the August 2012 election Robyn Lambley won with a 45% margin. She is this time standing as an independent after falling out with the government.


  1. @ Steve. I do not agree. As the deputy mayor, can you please explain why we have so many non local people and non Australians, when we can employ our local people? Can you please explain?

  2. The politics of apartheid belong to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is clearly infected by racism, busily dividing and qualifying our rights as Australians, using racial identification as their measure.

  3. About time. It is the only way forward. The east coast ones only want the Aboriginals to make money for themselves – same as for the ones down south, west and north.
    Hanging onto the past is extremely destructive for Aboriginals and Whites. It does not mean totally losing anyone’s culture but accepting progress. All cultures can intermingle but it means give and take on all sides and in some cases a change from terror like thinking to thinking peace. It definitely means maturing rather than staying in a child-like state of being in the ID mode. Little children say give me, give me, give me – adults understand that everyone has rights and needs and can balance between getting what they want and letting others do the same – and not taking what is not theirs.

  4. And will Steve stand up against the CLP racist alcohol laws that see indigenous people targeted at bottlos everyday.
    And meanwhile blackfellas have been pushed to the side in almost every part of modern society.
    Bev says give and take from both sides. Looks like a one way street to me.
    We’ll take your land, freedom, power, equality etc and give you directions on how to live every aspect of your lives.

  5. I really don’t think it’s too hard to figure this one out. The question to ask is: “Do you want the job done, or not?”

  6. @ warren who on 22 February, 2012 12:57PM ACST
    This is a statement for Steve: “I don’t like restrictions that get in peoples faces, cause division and don’t address the issue.”
    If you type in Steve Brown Alice Springs you will find years of Steve talking for equality and voicing loudly his opposition to racist policy and division.
    It was Aboriginal organisations such as Congress which have worked hard to bring in these alcohol restrictions.

  7. After Steve Brown was caught out betraying local interests over the shrinking stadium I reckon there was a meeting with CLP strategists.
    They all agreed that Steve needed to oppose the Government on a local issue to try to restore his credibility.
    That would be the only way to get him elected.
    So with the approval of Giles they decided that Steve would oppose the employment policy.
    Possible that Giles will now relent to some extent and change the policy to demonstrate the “influence” of his man in shaping local policies.

  8. Warren Who: The Aborigines need to be accountable at the bottlos everyday, why, because 50% of them have a serious drinking problem.
    It’s time to move on from the past and stop making excuses. They need direction and help if they are to receive government handouts like non-Aboriginal people. Not just saying we took their land, freedom (which they have a choice to do so), power and equality!

  9. @2 Jack: Jack, interesting theory, that party sanctioned separatism and insolence may be at play to achieve the common goal of furthering the CLP’s cause.
    However, the CLP has no common goal. There is a small group in the upper realm of the party, operating like a dictatorship, feathering their nest and furthering their own goals, not the party’s and definitely not their electorate’s. The CLP is in complete disarray and merely holding the sinking ship together with bandaid upon bandaid.
    There can be no hiding the Giles led CLP minority government continues to manoeuvre itself into an increasingly unlikely re-election position. The privatisation of public assets, TIO and Darwin Port has been received in the community with much alarm. The separation of Power and Water assets should also be viewed as the first steps of privatisations.
    Further scandals are such as the Foundation 51 slush fund, “unusual“ granting of water licenses to CLP candidate Tina MacFarlane and the recent unceremonious dispatching of the Deputy Leader. The government’s refusal to establish an anti-corruption commission is telling.
    This brings us to the most recent furor that has blown up in Alice Springs. Blatantly racist policies which are unlikely to ever achieve the outcomes of which they are made.
    Steve Brown is responding as his personal principles demand, but unfortunately, whilst Giles remains, the principles of other elected members around him will count for nothing. Adam Giles represents the guaranteed oblivion of the CLP.
    Do not forget that John Howard, a far savvier politician in a better economic climate, also fell to ego and did not know when to step down for the benefit of the party. If Howard could fall, watch Giles tumble. The end is nigh.

  10. @ Jack: Your post has no facts at all. Your allegations are both unfounded and malicious. There is no conspiracy, no manipulation of the local people. Ficticious name, fictitious comment.

  11. What about the other 50% who suffer from this racism, and do no non-Indigenous people have drinking problems?

  12. When it comes to Indigenous Australians, we can’t live in the past. So let’s all agree to end conservative politicians playing the race card stunt in the lead up to elections.

  13. I will be voting for Robyn Lambley at the next election.
    I encourage anyone who has any common sense to do the same thing. Letting Steve and Janet Brown’s views represent the modern CLP is a disgrace.
    The Browns are already feeding the politics of division and we’ve seen what that has resulted in for the CLP’s standing in our community.
    I don’t like all aspects of this employment policy but it is not nearly as bad as Steve Brown is making it seem.
    I think Jack is probably on the money.

  14. I reckon Jack is on the money too. This is what they do make, a lot of noise about local issues, and talk up how local they are (3 generations, whacko, new arrivals compared to our long term locals).

  15. You’re right, Warren, non-Indigenous do have drinking issues but let’s put it into perspective. I would say 20% at a population of about 25 million to a ratio of 50% of about 200,000.
    As for racism, yes, it is a large issue and no one should go through it but tell me if they are called Abos and we are white crackers, isn’t that the same?
    They get first option at jobs and a lot of other benefits for free while non-Indigenous have to work hard and pay for it.
    Isn’t this racism? I have many Indigenous friends and we have this conversation and they totally agree, and that’s from their own people.

  16. The Country Liberal Party had no input into this policy. This was departments and ministers. All policy should come from the party and then find its way to release. This policy is not CLP policy.
    This is why it is controversial, it has no grassroots morality.


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