"The Federal Government's policy of "practical reconciliation" has come spectacularly unstuck in Wadeye, the Northern Territory Aboriginal town now famous around the world for its violence, gang warfare and child abuse.
Mal Brough, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, has pointed the finger at law and order and the deficiencies of customary law. And he has made wild claims about generous government expenditure. In truth, Wadeye is a scandalous example of gross neglect and underfunding by federal and territory governments."
So begins Adele Horin in her weekly op-ed piece in the SMH today. But read on....
"The public has been led to believe that billions have been spent exclusively on Aborigines, who have received special treatment over years, and that Wadeye is a typical example of government munificence wasted.
Rarely can these claims of over-expenditure on Aborigines be tested. They have become accepted wisdom, feeding a deep sense of pessimism and a blame-the-victim mentality.
But an important study, published last year, examined the assertion and found it wanting. Ironically, it focused on the very town whose troubles are being broadcast, thanks to the BBC World Service, around the globe, to the great shame of Australians."
Read the full article here. The revelations are startling, a disgrace, a blot on politicians and appalling. The current beat-up about the position of aborigines is equally deplorable. Australians should hang their collective heads in shame in what has been allowed to happen here over the years.