... but she surely gets it wrong when she suggests that 60% of working age Aboriginal men in remote NT have no income
UPDATE, October 16, 3.30pm: Centrelink Outreach teams visit most "very remote communities" once a month and sometimes more to ensure that people know about their entitlements. Click on FULL STORY for detail.
Olga Havnen (pictured), whose position of Coordinator-General of Remote Services was terminated by Minister for Indigenous Advancement Alison Anderson last Monday, told an Alice Springs audience on Friday that she was not worried about losing her job. But she was "really worried" about the absence of an "ongoing arm's length independent monitoring role". Without scrutiny and someone out there to "call things honestly", the big risk is getting to the end of the Stronger Futures decade and finding that not a whole lot has changed. "Guess who's going to get the blame?" she asked.
Broadly, she may well have a point. However, in her presentation there was a glaring example of a mishandling of data. That was around the question of labour force participation, with her rolling into one those Aboriginal men not in the labour force (NILF) and those not having an income. This was more than a case of passing confusion as she returned to underline her point later in the session.
"In the NT the rates of NILF for Aboriginal men for the last 20 years have been in the order of 60%," she said. " So if you've got 60% of Aboriginal men of working age who have no income, think about it for one second, what impact do you reckon it has on a household or a family? And what connection do you think that might have to the level of violence or to crime?" KIERAN FINNANE reports.