Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Reform Option

The day and age of having one white and one black Australia is over. It’s time that we as a Nation stood together and started taking the Reform issue more seriously than just as an occasional issue that pops up.  The political football that governments use to hide behind when the heat is on.

By reform, I mean real reform not tweaking bad policy or announcing new initiatives that continue only to serve the fiefdoms that have controlled Indigenous earmarked funding for the last 25 years. Real reforms are what will achieve on the ground results in Aboriginal communities.

 It’s time that we reformed Land Rights into an easier and more workable piece of Legislation. It’s not fair for Traditional Owners to have to deal with a bastardised bureaucracy that again only serves those within the fiefdom structure. Land Rights reform should be about making sure that Land is available for cultural use and not for the gain of Land Council CEO's and families. It is not their Land. Land Right Reform should be about diluting the power of Land Councils and having them absorbed into Local Councils as another Department. Is should be about conservation of Land Assets and not about pimping it out the highest bidder. Of course when I talk of this type of reform I'm referring mainly to the Urban Land Councils. The remote Land Councils have a whole set of different issues that I am not familiar with so I won’t speak about those, even as an opinion. 

Reform of Aboriginal Medical Centres must be made to prevent those within the community who can afford private Health Care from using the system. It is not there as a Right. It is there for those who cannot afford other Health Care systems. I’d be more than happy to see the whole system scrapped and the money spent on other areas. It’s about making the right investment choices on how Tax -Payer money should be spent. What’s the point of having segregated Health Systems?

Indigenous Leaders like Noel Pearson should be the ones who we listen to when it comes to creation of sustainable Employment. It should be those who put up or shut up that we listen to when it comes the hard sell of Welfare Reform not because Aboriginal people are dole-bludgers (I’m sure that many are) but because Welfare Reform is important for all Australians. It’s important to have a purpose in life that doesn’t revolve around every fortnight and Dole Day.  Programs such as CDEP looked great on paper but nothing was ever achieved in the long term for most participants.

The Apology to the so called ‘Stolen Generations’ was a milestone in our national history and a highlight in our nations pride. But what has Labor done since then? If you just heard crickets in the background then it must be nothing much. 

Why is it that when I attend Indigenous based meetings the Aboriginal people can say White C*nt this and White c*unt that and no White people get offended? I’m half Aboriginal and the European in me is offended by this double standard. If I am to speak up about it almost as the last of the air pushing my words out is weakening the claims that I am a traitor fly flying thick and fast. I’m not a traitor to anything. I believe in Australia for all Australians.

I don’t want there to be a divide down the middle that makes each side resent each other. I’m sick of explaining why some Aboriginals drive Fleet Cars when I think unless you have a damn good reason in your job then that money should have been spent on hospital beds and better roads, for all Australians.

So let’s cut the bullshit and start making reforms that work for all Australians. Let’s find the grassroots support that exists and exploit it for the betterment of everybody. Let’s stop the waste and double-dipping from the Tax-Payer trough. Let’s make it fair for everybody. That’s what I think anyway.

(This article is far too short to be considered a thought out view but it drives me bonkers and I had to get it off my chest.)

1 comment:

  1. "I believe in Australia for all Australians." This is the most important sentence in you article.
    I am also not going to write a thesis on this problem and why prospective governments have failed to improve the lot of Aborigines by just throwing money at the problems. History starkly shows this.
    Once again you have written a good thought provoking article.

    I also agree that people like Noel Pearson should be listed to more.
    I work in the mining industry and I have seen first hand how some aborigines have abused some aspects of native title, however saying that I have also seen some miners trying to abuse it for their own advantage. This is happening now but because of the possibility of being sued I won't name the mining company.