Thursday, October 16, 2008

NT Intervention Report the way forward

This post is a little tardy but I thought I'd read the report before commenting. It's hard to argue with the comments and recommendations below from the NORTHERN TERRITORY EMERGENCY RESPONSE REVIEW BOARD REPORT. Former Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, had no difficulty on Radio National's Australia Talks:

I probably spent more time in remote indigenous communities than any of my predecessors. I was intimately involved, and took questions, comments and thoughts, and pain and suffering from the people in those communities.

And that is actually what allowed me to develop in such a quick timeframe a response to the Little Children are Sacred Report.
He was out there deciding what was good for people. The intervention didn't need detailed planning. He had all the answers as soon as the Little Children are Sacred Report was released. Brough still has no idea what oges into real consultation and planning.

I heartily endorse the following from the NTER:
“The Intervention diminished its own effectiveness through its failure to engage constructively with the Aboriginal people it was intended to help.”

Income quarantining “should be available on a voluntary basis and imposed only as a precise part of child protection measures or where specified by statute, subject to independent review. In both cases it should be supported by services to improve financial literacy.”

“There needs to be adjustments in the machinery of government enabling better coordination of services, greater responsiveness to the unique characteristics of each community and higher levels of community participation in the design and delivery of services.”

“CDEP participants must undergo literacy, numeracy and on-the-job training designed to improve non-CDEP employment opportunities.”

We must “address illicit drug use in remote Aboriginal communities and associated mental health issues.”

“Funding priority be given to enable Aboriginal communities to build community integration and ownership of a child and community safety system that has the capacity to interface effectively with government agencies.”

“Priority be given to capacity building for Aboriginal leadership and Aboriginal governance at the local community level.”
The role of education was identified as a major factor but the review had no expertise in this area. If we are to transform CDEP jobs then education and training are critical. It is frustrating to see Year 12 students graduate in places like Maningrida and then find that their only employment opportunities in areas like construction are CDEP, not apprenticeships.

We have little choice. The NT Intervention Report is a sensible way forward.

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Unknown said...

Dear Kevin,
Saw your note on Senator Fielding on GetUp.
I'm enjoying Labour's pain about that Senator, after all you had him electe in preference to a Green! Poetic Justice

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