The announcement by the Northern Territory Government that it will reinstate its failed Cash for Containers Scheme means that consumers will bear the cost of what is effectively a tax on drink containers, writes Gary Dawson, CEO, Australian Food and Grocery Council.
Bob Durnan (pictured) is a community development worker with over three decades of experience in working with Aboriginal people in town camps and remote communities in the Northern Territory and Queensland. He looks forward to where we would hope to be when the sun sets on the current 10-year second phase of the Federal Intervention into Indigenous affairs in the Territory.
Those of us – of all ethnic backgrounds – who seriously look forward to still residing in the Northern Territory 10 years from now need to start getting our acts together if we want a tolerable social and climatic environment to enjoy in our dotage.
Apart from the grim fact that we must hope Australia doesn’t get dragged down into a world-wide economic quagmire – the new depression – and endure the suffering that would accompany the further disappearance of finance and trade, jobs and commerce, we have to still deal with our own unfolding local social catastrophe.
To help us do this dealing, we also must hope our nation’s strong streak of mean-mindedness and lack of empathy is diminished, at least a bit, as we badly need to continue receiving generous helpings of the GST gravy if we are to have any chance of achieving a safe, well-educated, healthy, productive and integrated society in the NT.
Equally we must hope that measures to abate global warming are implemented rapidly, despite their impacts on trade and finance. It’s hot enough in Central Australia as it already is.
If Australia’s national wellbeing survives these and other possible threats (the usual – war, terrorism, and their pressures for increased population shifts) then we could reasonably expect our national government to build on its already large investment in the Northern Territory Emergency Response, and see some Stronger Futures evolve in the NT; but as you may sense, I think it’s a bit of a long shot.
They have no control over their lives anymore ... paternalistic and punitive measures ... broken lives and spirits ... endure life [in a camp] ... toxic nature of intervention measures.
No, this is not the desperate plea of an oppressed people in a brutal Third World dictatorship.
It's Tangentyere CEO Walter Shaw speaking on behalf of people benefiting from an unprecedented $150m Federal program – in addition to the massive ongoing welfare expenditure – to provide better housing and other services to his clients.
Meanwhile, are there members of the Shaw family living at Mt Nancy (pictured in this Google Earth photo) who are superannuated, employed, capable of taking on employment or in a situation in which Centrelink would expect them to be available for employment? And if so, why are they living in public housing? ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
PICTURED are Concerned Australians (from left): Alastair Nicholson (Former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia), Barbara Shaw (Alice Springs); Djapirri Murunggirritj (Yirrkala); Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM (Elcho Island); Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM (Utopia); Japata Ryan (Kalkaringi); Harry Nelson (Yuendumu).
And now, a short excursion into the Lalaland of some Intervention foes.
Wikipedia will tell you reparations are "measures taken by the state to redress gross and systematic violations of human rights law or humanitarian law".
So normally, reparations are given to people who have something taken away from them – sometimes a relative's life, or many relatives' lives.
"Northern Territory Elders and Community Representatives" as they call themselves, are now seeking reparations for having received something, namely around a billion taxpayers' dollars for housing and a string of other services and measures. COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA.