Early Intervention

By DeusExMacintosh

PARENTS who allow their children to become truants will lose welfare payments under Labor’s plan to toughen elements of the Northern Territory intervention after a report found widespread acceptance of the controversial program in Aboriginal communities.

In a redesign of its attack on indigenous disadvantage, the Gillard government will announce plans to legislate to continue alcohol bans but its extension of some of the intervention’s measures will not include introducing a floor price on alcohol.

Speaking to The Australian in Alice Springs yesterday, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said she remained convinced grog bans, night patrols and welfare quarantine measures were protecting women and children across the Territory. “People really understand that life is not going to change if people are not going to be educated,” Ms Macklin said.

The Indigenous Affairs Minister will also today unveil an 88-page report, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory, which details the results of the most extensive community consultation into the Territory intervention since it was instituted by the Howard government in 2007.

The report, which finds widespread acceptance of the measures on the ground, is expected to be used by the government as a foundation for Labor to build on those aspects of the intervention it believes have been successful.

After more than 100 meetings in communities and town camps and larger centres, the report finds most respondents want the federal government to strengthen measures to boost school attendance, create employment opportunities, reduce alcohol-related violence and improve housing.

“While people continued to feel hurt at the way the Northern Territory Emergency Response was initially implemented, many Aboriginal people who participated in these consultations said they wanted to move on, be more self-reliant and take pride in their culture,” it states.

The Australian


  1. kvd
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    That’s a lovely painting in the background. Someday I’d like to read about the ‘alternative solutions’ – specific – from those opposed to any sort of ‘affirmative action’ in these circumstances. I mean, I get the theory, but what is the proposed, positive alternative?

  2. Posted October 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Kvd, there probably isn’t one, although more secure property rights in land (which would, of necessity, involve the use of individual title) may help at least some Aborigines, as it has some Native Americans. Native Title really is a startlingly weak form of title, such as to make it very difficult to use the property in question as any form of collateral.

  3. TerjeP
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Title must not only be secure but must in some sense be alienable (ie tradable) and owned by individuals or families rather than communities. Not all of it but at least some of it.

  4. kvd
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks SL for an honest answer. Never mind that it simply reflects my own view.

  5. Patrick
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad Howard was only wrong when he was he, and not when he is she.

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