Officials stonewall Yuendumu violence report

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By ERWIN CHLANDA

The responses received by the Alice Springs News into a survey of government and NGOs dealing with out-of-control youths in the township of Yuendumu are offensively shortcoming.

We asked Byron Matthews, Regional Manager of the National Indigenous Australians Agency, to arrange an interview about how many children are involved and what kind of involvement there is.

After a delay a spokesperson answered: “Unfortunately on this occasion we don’t have an appropriate person” to be interviewed but the News could say “the NIAA funds a number of activities in the region to support community safety.

“This includes a community safety patrol, a mediation and community justice program as well as programs to encourage young people to attend and engage at school.”

NIAA participates in fortnightly meetings with police and “seeks to address patterns of anti-social behaviour,” the spokesman stated.

Our survey started at the top: The Chief Minister and the Minister for Territory Families Kate Jane Worden gave no reply, and neither did police, prison in Alice Springs (some 600 inmates), schools nor Congress.

GOOGLE EARTH PHOTO: Yuendumu.

8 COMMENTS

  1. They stonewall because the high level of crime demonstrates the abject failure of youth programs in the community.
    Yuendumu receives far more youth oriented funding than any other community in Central Australia.
    Millions over the past five years.
    There are many snouts protecting that funding trough.

  2. I find it amusing that organisations in Yuendumu have an open check book to funds when local youth organisations barely have staff to run programs!
    How on earth can people keep giving out millions of dollars to organisations that don’t have staff to run a program?
    I’d love to see a royal commission into the greed of organisations putting their hands in their pockets while watching tens of millions of dollars disappear! Biggest rort of all time in Yuendumu.

  3. If a funding body notified a visit to the community they would see all the programs running. The night patrol would be busy patrolling etc etc.
    But if they popped in unannounced nothing would be running.
    Smoke and mirrors describes the programs.
    But the funding is real enough.

  4. @ Jye Lee: A royal commission into snouts in the trough – what a good idea!
    But fair go you guys. Yuendumu “the biggest rort of all time”?
    I don’t have to look very far to perceive far bigger troughs and rorts. Try Alice Springs, Darwin and Canberra for starters.
    One of the problems I see with a Royal Commission, is that a Royal Commission is itself one of the troughs that attract snouts.

  5. To me, one of the biggest issues is the lack of staff. It’s all very well to suggest rorting, (and I know it goes on) but if there are no staff, it’s impossible to do anything!
    So the blame lay with the pollies as they are the ones that made and perpetuate this issue. Unfortunately, it started many many years ago when we stopped training people. Then in recent times, its oh my gosh, we have a skill shortage. So we start bring in skilled migrants by the bucket loads. The fallout is Australians are without jobs.
    BUT we mange to allow a huge volume of foreign students in because they pay extraordinary amounts of money to keep our educational institutions funded.
    Fast forward to recent times, the Government neglects remote areas and neglects to give real incentives to come and bang, we are where we are. Many people are sent here as a part of their employment conditions, but it’s more like a prison sentence. Perhaps we should be enticing people here, as different from coercing them. But we need real incentives for them.
    It’s all very well to have a shortsighted look and blame the NGOs, but the real failing is the Federal and state governments, not the NGOs or staff.
    Does anyone have a long term plan for for the benefit of all of Australia and Australians?

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