Friday, June 22, 2007

A Huge Day For Australia's Aboriginals

Wow! What a huge, bold and radical set of Aboriginal policies.

Paternalist, interventionist, nannying, illiberal, statist. Yes to all. But i applaud these radical new policies to the rafters. Any libertarian that adopts a knee-jerk negative response to these proposals either has a heart of stone or a mind of clay.

In response to the spiralling cases of child sex abuse in remote indigenous communities, Prime Minister John Howard and Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough announced radical measures today affecting Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territories.

i) widespeard restrictions on alcohol sales will be enforced for six months

ii) all indigenous children under the age of 16 in the territory will be medically examined.

iii) 50% of welfare payments will be quarantined to prevent all their money being spent on alcohol.

iv) welfare payments will be dependent on children attending school.

v) meals will be provided to children at school, with parents paying for them.

vi) the permit system for common areas and road corridors on Aboriginal lands will be scrapped, and work-for-the-dole participants will be marshalled to clean up Aboriginal communities.

vii) possession of X-rated pornography will be banned and all publicly-funded computers searched for evidence of stored pornography.

viii) there will be an immediate increase in policing efforts.

Howard made no apology for overriding Northern Territory laws to implement his plans, saying,

"Any semblance of maintaining the innocence of childhood is a myth in so many of these communities and we feel very strongly that action of this kind is needed. It is interventionist, it does push aside the role of the territory to some degree - I accept that. But what matters more, the constitutional niceties or the care and protection of young children?"

Looks like Noel Pearson has got most of what he wanted. Good for him.

What a huge day.