Anti-fracking Greens: Are jobs for the dole schemes legal?


2636 George Hanna 1 OKA big “no” to fracking tops the list of priorities for the Greens candidate in Lingiari, George Hanna.
He’s even putting anti-fracking independent candidate Hamish MacFarlane, who is close to 1 Territory, in second place on his how to vote card.
AT RIGHT: Mr Hanna with a display of Safe Harbour, a refugee lobby, in Todd Mall last week.
This is ahead of Labor’s Warren Snowdon, the sitting candidate, who is giving the Greens his number two slot.
Mr Hanna says Labor “have agreed to go on with fracking.
“No disrespect to Warren, I think he is a nice bloke, I’ve known him personally for a long time, since I was a kid.
“He’s been in politics for the Labor Party for a long time, but he has done very little for Aboriginal people.”
Mr Hanna, who lives in Berry Springs, is on a disability allowance because of a kidney complaint requiring dialysis three mornings a week.
He says he’s had no luck finding a job for the remaining time: “Unfortunately no-one wants to hire me even though I have a degree in education.”
Mr Hanna spoke with Editor ERWIN CHLANDA.
NEWS: We’ve asked you to nominate the five most important reasons why people should vote for you and fracking tops your list.
HANNA: We are one of the few parties which are very firm on fracking. The Greens don’t want any fracking at all. We don’t have a problem with mining gas in the conventional way, but there are documented facts from overseas of what fracking has done to water supplies.
NEWS: The vexed issue of work for the dole came second on your list.
HANNA: We need to look at the legality of working for the dole, people without qualifications being forced to operate large and small machines and equipment, like tractors, lawn mowers, chainsaws and so on. We need to investigate insurance provisions for when someone gets injured. The Greens think Newstart should be increased by at least $100 a fortnight before they implement work for the dole. People are going to St Vincent de Paul, Red Cross, the churches for food handouts. $640 or so is not going the full distance of a fortnight. [Newstart] has not been increased since the mid 1990s.
NEWS: Where do you stand on job opportunities?
HANNA: Medical marijuana should be legalised. Aboriginal communities in remote areas could benefit from growing cannabis for medical use as a source of income. It can also be used for making hemp ropes and mud bricks.
NEWS: Should cannabis be legalised for recreational use?
HANNA: That should be investigated. It could be modelled on how it is available in Amsterdam, where there have been cannabis cafes for 30 or 40 years. No-one has gone crazy over there, picked up a gun and shot people. Maybe we should investigate how the Dutch have been doing it so successfully. People from here can go over there and legally smoke cannabis.
Mr Hanna says Lingiari is big enough to accommodate refugees and asylum seekers from detention in Manus Island.
2636 George Hanna 4 OKHANNA: The Greens say bring them to Australia now. Bring them here, integrate them in to the Northern Territory population as soon as possible. It is the humane thing to do. [According to the Refugee Council, the current refugee figures are 359 in Naru and 547 PNG, Total 915. In 2012 4000 were sent there. Fewer than 1000 left.]
NEWS: Would the majority of people of Lingiari be in favour of that?
HANNA: I’m pretty sure they would. Ask Aboriginal people how they feel about it. Asylum seekers have been scrutinised and abused by the same administration for so many years, ignoring the plight of Aboriginal communities. We get kicked up the backside by the same administration, when you look at it.
NEWS: Would Lingiari have enough jobs for such an influx of people without taking jobs from current locals?
HANNA: Divide them up into four large towns. Get them working on projects such as solar power arrays, their construction and maintenance, to provide power for these towns. They could also be growing medical cannabis. They could be a quick labour force. Pay them a decent wage, $18 or $20 an hour for starters. There are more than 150 houses south of Darwin, ex-RAAF base, empty for at least two years. There are about 100 demountables from Inpex, growing cobwebs. Larrimah has a population of about eight or nine people. You could put 50 houses down there for Manus Island refugees.
NEWS: Do you think we have very low involuntary unemployment, that pretty well anyone who wants a job can find one?
HANNA: Some people are fussy eaters when it comes to work. They don’t like doing menial jobs like cleaning or working at Maccas or Red Rooster. It’s all about choices and training. What’s happened to places like Batchelor Institute that was once such a great institution? 4000 or 5000 students were going there, and now it’s a graveyard. Maybe Batchelor Institute needs more funding to put is back to its glory days of the late nineties. 40 or 50 courses were taught there. Maybe we need to investigate what happened with the administration of the Batchelor Institute. Inject more funding, in Alice Springs and Batchelor campuses. Get people back into training that reflects the needs of Lingiari – mechanical trades, carpentry, health workers.
NEWS: What’s your view about the fact that the greatest number of graduates only get as far as Certificate Two? Many fewer get to level Three and Four or higher, which is what employers require.
HANNA: You have to look at the academic structure of the courses. I imagine the people you’re talking about are from bi-lingual backgrounds, from out bush. They may need to do part of their training, maybe half, by working on site, with qualified tradies from the mainstream. Tailor the course to the needs of people living in the bush. They could be assessed on their practical work as a requirement for Certificate Four. And that should get them a fairly well paid job.
NEWS: Training on the job as well as in the classroom?
HANNA: Yes, mixed mode. The theory in the classroom, say a couple of weeks, and then out on site for two or three months.
NEWS: You are listing youth issues in your line-up of priorities.
HANNA: Should Don Dale be rebuilt? There are only about 15 kids there, as I understand it. 100 kids are out on parole, being looked after in other places. [The juvenile detention facility] should be where kids can breath air, not stick them in the middle of the city or suburbs, a place where there is a lot of land, Humpty Doo, Berri Springs. Do something with these kids instead of buying them pizzas and giving them cups of tea and watching TV. Tennis, squash. When I was 14 and 15 I was cutting grass around town, making $300 a weekend.
A selection of reading on Batchelor Institute from our large number of reports:
Batchelor Institute in turmoil: leak.
Batchelor Institute students get 149 certificates
With Gunner and Scullion, Batchelor doesn’t need Santa
IMAGES courtesy Greens.
UPDATE Monday 2.30pm
Safe Harbour is a movement bringing people together – through art – to ask the Australian Government to treat all refugees and people seeking asylum with humanity and compassion, says Project Manager in Alice Springs, Karren Lau.
“We are raising awareness of the unfair treatment at offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island.
“Our balsa wood boats were painted by the public and other community groups in Alice Springs; they symbolise we are welcoming of refugees and asylum seekers.”
Other main members and volunteers are Christabelle Baranay, Penny Watson and Rene Gates.


  1. No discussion about the state of the economy. Neither NT nor national.
    The Greens everywhere avoid discussing how to repair and grow Australia’s economy like the plague.

  2. Medical marijuana – the cure for everything – including unemployment!
    A few notes: the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) has a legislated responsibility to adequately train and supervise workers. As such there is no legality issue in working for the dole unless a PCBU is breaking the law. There are of course already mechanisms in law to deal with this.
    Also, your proposal of paying solar construction workers $18 to $20 is below minimum wage. This is taking advantage of refugees and putting Australian workers at a disadvantage.
    And yes, new start has increased – at a faster rate than inflation – since the 1990s.
    Has it increased at the same rate as the average workers wage? No.
    That’s because Newstart is not what has driven productivity, economic growth or certainly the export surge at such a strong rate.
    So factually, Newstart recipients are, inflation adjusted, better off than in 1990s.
    It is just when compared to a person in the workforce – which has had above inflation wage growth (up until recent years), that a widening in living standards between welfare recipients and workers emerge.

  3. @ John Bell: Greens policies all online if you are interested, and all members can contribute to policy development.

  4. Rosalie: Read the policies on the website. Best described as wishful thinking and thought bubbles.
    I liked this line:
    “To allow persons or organisations other than the RSPCA the right to fully investigate and prosecute charges relating to animal welfare in appropriate courts and tribunals.”
    That would entail giving radical vegan activist the right to enter a farm and conduct an investigation. Bringing all the damage and cost and interruption to the Aussie farmer along with it. Instead of the group being a professional organization (like the RSCPA) it could instead be undertaken by extremist activist. The ones who shut down streets, spill red paint on people and deliver a dead piglet to Maccas.
    Another cracker:
    “Government to ensure the equitable distribution of paid work among those who wish to engage in the workforce.”
    What does that even mean?!

  5. Unfortunately, Darwin Observer, you are correct in the way it is supposed to work, and in this case would be the Crown (Commonwealth or State) and regulated by either Comcare or Worksafe that is the regulator and responsible for enforcing the NUL WHS Act.
    Unfortunately an Aboriginal worker on CDEP had a serious accident with an angle grinder, which he should have had training and instruction in using, yet he was unable to claim compensation as he was not a worker as defined by the Return to Work Act, and neither worksafe nor Comcare have said they are able to prosecute (or don’t want to) due to the way it is structured.
    This should be one of the first things they should nut out as part of any planned changes to CDP or CDEP.

  6. “He’s been in politics for the Labor Party for a long time, but he has done very little for Aboriginal people.” I think this is true.
    However, posting the coconut meme isn’t helping either.
    Let’s be mature and open to both sides of any conversation and debate facts instead of just trying to shoot down people we don’t agree with.

  7. Coconut reference.
    Firstly, I am a proud Aboriginal Australian of the stolen generation.
    I wish too make a comment in the use of the word “coconut”.
    The word coconut was first used when the coalition government employed Aborigines from other clans to track pale Aborigines who had been hidden in the bush, as part of the white Australia policy.
    When the trackers returned with pale Aborigines, the parents and members of clan named the trackers “coconuts”, meaning the trackers were white on the inside and black in the outside.
    The coalition government can’t state this is racist, especially as they are the architects of the white Australia policy. I guess they have not watched Rabbit Proof Fence.
    In conclusion, as an Aboriginal candidate in the NT you have every right to call the coalition candidate a coconut, because its disgraceful and offensive for any Aboriginal to either vote or want to be involved in the coalition, if they are true Aboriginal Australians and have studied the coalition’s history.
    Warren Mundine is also a coconut.
    This needs to be made public. I also give you [George Hanna] permission too forward this email onto your leader.
    If I was in the NT I would vote for you. Also, I am a Labor voter, because Labor stopped the white Australia policy.
    John Argent.
    Arabanna Clan SA, living in Central Victoria.

  8. Comment #2 posted by James Smerk.
    Hi James, you stated in your comments that a discussion on the work “coconut” should be based on facts. Please refer too my comments #1 John Argent. My comments are based on facts.
    John Argent

  9. John Argent: You require a history lesson.
    The Protectionist Party came to power with the assistance of the Labor Party. The union movement was against jobs going to immigrants. Labor pushed for the restriction of non white immigration. And so the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 was born.
    But this is all totally beyond the point. To draw parallels between the parties of today and yesteryear is irrelevant.

  10. Posted 17 May Interested Darwin Observer.
    Sir, firstly I don’t need a history lesson from anyone.
    I was only referring too the word “coconut” nothing else.
    This is definitely not the forum too discuss political history.
    Have a nice election day, go LABOR for Bob Hawk, the best Prime Minister ever.

  11. Posted 28/5 by Laughing: I do have an issue with that word, because it is not used within the aboriginal Australian culture.
    This word is used mainly used by Americans in the USA, as a racist discription of black Americans. Also, as I have previously stated the word “coconut” should and only be used between Aboriginal Australians.
    Have a nice day, Mr Laughing.

  12. John Argent: Your arguments have more holes that the rabbit proof fence itself.
    If you are quoting that movie as a source of facts you may want to pick a better example.
    If you google “holes in the rabbit proof fence” you will find plenty of info on it.
    Even the person it is supposed to be about has said: “That’s not my story.”
    It’s a bit like saying Jack and Rose were real people and using the movie Titanic to base your story.
    As far as the White Australia policy goes, you use that as justification for the Aborigines finding the others in the bush.
    You fail to understand the white Australia Policy had absolutely nothing to do with Aboriginal people. It was to do with immigration, pure and simple.
    And as far as calling somebody a coconut, it is a racial slur, no matter who uses it.
    If you you use it yourself then congratulations, you Sir are a racist, as racism goes both ways and being Aboriginal, African, Asian or any other colour does not give you an exemption.

  13. Greens are just a bunch of crazy Commies; however, fracking is not the way to go.
    Fracking is poisonous to Mother Earth – do you know there are more than 800 different artificial chemicals that go into the ground and thus eventually into our water system in this practice of fracking?
    Find something else to earn your living that won’t hurt our planet and eventually our very own lives.
    And by the way, all those third-world invaders will never assimilate or integrate so letting them in is a big big mistake.
    All they will want to do is destroy the traditional Western way and quality of life of Australia and steal our freedom, culture, language, and eventually, land.
    Do you really want to be replaced like that? Not me.
    I’m proud of my heritage too much to let something like that ever happen.


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