Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Aboriginal organization a 'white man's dream'

Just another gravy train for Leftist parasites, in fact

A new national Aboriginal organisation is "a white man's dream", says indigenous leader Warren Mundine. The former ALP national president has also described Labor policy guaranteeing a new representative body as "a big challenge" for the Rudd Government. Mr Mundine said he would strenuously argue against the reintroduction of a large taxpayer-funded elected body, such as the abolished Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, supported by its own bureaucracy. He said the idea of an indigenous assembly was popular among academics, intellectuals and sections of the indigenous leadership, but "that's a white man's dream", he said. "I don't think there's much grassroots support for it."

While indigenous leaders such as South Australia's Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement, Klynton Wanganeen, have argued Aboriginal people have been robbed of representation at regional, national and international level, Mr Mundine said the abolition of ATSIC meant "sweet bugger all" to most Aboriginal people and it was more important to develop leaders and entrepreneurs in Aboriginal communities.

Continuing his attack on the idea, which is expected to be prominent at the 2020 Summit, Mr Mundine said talk about a new peak body would distract from discussion about the crisis gripping Aboriginal Australia, including high levels of child trauma and illiteracy, as well as the economic opportunities presented by a minerals boom occurring on Aboriginal land.

It is Labor policy to establish "a national representative body and regional representative structures for indigenous Australians", to "empower indigenous Australians to hold all levels of government to account through this national body and regional structures". But Kevin Rudd responded coolly to the push for a new body. The Prime Minister said 2020 delegates should feel free to discuss the issue, but the Government's view of ATSIC was clear.

Brendan Nelson was scathing, saying "we've already had that experiment and it failed". The Opposition Leader said that during the ATSIC years "the money intended for Aboriginal people was like a whale carcass dragged through a pool of sharks". "A bit was taken out at every step of the way before it got to the people for whom it was intended," Dr Nelson said.

Wesley Aird, a member of the Howard government's National Indigenous Council, which replaced ATSIC as a forum for indigenous advice, said he feared the outcome of the summit was "as predictable as a Zimbabwean election". "The issue of Aboriginal Australia at the moment is disadvantage; the issue is not representation," he said. "They just get it so back to front all the time. "I think what we're going to hear this weekend is a pleading to return to the past, which is quite unfortunate. At some stage we're just going to have to say the old days weren't that good, there was abuse and disadvantage under ATSIC, it's not going to change if we reinvent anything like it, let's move on."


A secretive Leftist government

The Bligh Government's claims that it is open and accountable with Queenslanders are being undermined by its own culture of secrecy. At the end of a week in which several gross examples of the government's secrecy were highlighted, The Courier-Mail can reveal 40 examples of secrets the government wants to keep. From crime statistics to full secondary school OP ratings, overcrowded train figures and details of payments to the Governor - they cover the full gamut of the government's operations. Publishing the list comes after numerous examples emerged this week of the government being caught going out of its way to hide important details from the public.

Auditor-General Glenn Poole lambasted departmental annual reports as being incomplete, ambiguous and lacking relevant information; Education Queensland refused to reveal which schools were most in need of urgent maintenance; and it emerged Queensland Health refused to release cancer data to scientists to conduct life-saving research. Transport Minister John Mickel also initially denied access to CityTrain service cancellations in State Parliament after releasing the same damning figures only months earlier. The government also this week lampooned an Opposition motion asking for advice or reports on lead levels in Mount Isa, suggesting they lodge a freedom of information application instead.

Ethicist Noel Preston yesterday said recent examples of secrecy were cause for concern despite promises of openness such as the review of freedom of information laws. "There are early signs showing the Premier and her Ministers need to re-double their efforts to ensure they are more open and ready to disclose information," Dr Preston said. He said all governments suffered a bias towards control that led to excess secrecy. "The people own government and the first rule of good government is accountability to the shareholders because it is an ethical issue and one of integrity," Dr Preston said. "The more secret and controlling a government, the more it will lapse into bad decisions and bad practices that may become unethical."

What the Queensland Government doesn't want you to know:

1. A full breakdown of OP ratings for schools.

2. How much government money is paid to unions.

3. The bonuses paid to senior public servants.

4. The register of cancer sufferers which the Queensland Cancer Council needs for life-saving research purposes.

5. The state's 20 most dangerous intersections.

6. The names and values of the top 20 art works in the Queensland Art Gallery.

7. Details of payments to the Governor and expenditure at Government House.

8. Results of Health Department blood tests on children at Mount Isa.

9. South Bank crime statistics.

10. The breakdown of costs of the Lang Park redevelopment and construction of GoMA and the Goodwill Bridge.

11. Cull figures in national parks for vermin like dingoes, goats and foxes.

12. The detailed breakdown of the multimillion-dollar fees paid to big law firms like Minter Ellison and Clayton Utz.

13. How many girls aged under 16 have received contraceptive implants from Queensland Health officials.

14. Rail station crime statistics.

15. Monthly statistics on peak-hour train performance.

16. Overcrowded train statistics.

17. How much money the Government will save by making rainwater tank rebates less attractive.

18. Health and Education Department safety and security reports for the Torres Strait.

19. The cost of a full statewide roll-out of Tasers for police.

20. Individual departments' electricity consumption.

21. Traffic accidents involving pedestrians in the CBD.

22. Which dodgy childcare centres have been given compliance notices for breaches.

23. Breakdown of contractors and consultants hired.

24. Queensland Transport's contract with Cubic Transportation Systems, the contractor behind the troublesome public transport Go Card.

25. High priority maintenance budgets for state schools.

26. Schools invited to apply for first round of Federal Government's computers-in-schools program.

27. Political donations under $10,000.

28. Documents that form the key part of research into the proposed western Brisbane transport network.

29. Briefing notes provided to ministers when Peter Beattie handed over to Anna Bligh last year.

30. Crime statistics for the lowest divisional levels (only regional and district levels are released).

31. Results of audits at Queensland mines as part of a crackdown on safety standards.

32. Details of Main Roads study into the department's own commissioned work on the Captain Cook Bridge.

33. Details of the almost 11,000 documents exempted from freedom of information searches last year because they were taken to Cabinet.

34. The number of public servants whose jobs are dedicated to media relations.

35. How many submissions were considered before council amalgamations were decided.

36. The restaurants prosecuted for breaching health guidelines.

37. The regions where the most convicted pedophiles are living.

38. Which ministers have sought the advice of the integrity commissioner and why they sought that advice.

39. The advice the Crime and Misconduct Commission gives the government and the DPP.

40. The rates of sexually transmitted disease in indigenous communities.


Too fat for jail

Obesity has its pluses

A man considered too fat to be jailed has spoken out after escaping time behind bars because of his weight. Shepparton man Claude Jackson was ordered to do community service for smashing a glass over another man's head at a Shepparton bar on January 14, 2007. The victim, Tim Kirkman, received a 4cm cut to his neck in the incident and required hospital treatment. Jackson pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and affray.

A medical report submitted to the County Court sitting at Shepparton said Mr Jackson, who weighed 190kg, had suffered three heart attacks earlier in life and suffered from ongoing arthritis, sleep apnoea and other weight-related ailments. It said he had once weighed up to 234kg and that "morbid obesity" had been present all his life. The medical report also warned that a jail term would "create great problems" for his health.

While reluctant to talk about the incident, the 21-year-old told the Herald Sun he was deeply sorry and had been keeping out of trouble since the bar brawl. "I would like to say sorry to (Mr Kirkman)," Mr Jackson said yesterday. "If I could take back everything that happened on the night, I would. "But unfortunately it happened and I have to deal with it. I have definitely learnt my lesson."

Mr Jackson, who is studying for a certificate in youth work at a local university, was ordered by the court to undertake eight hours a week of community service at Rumbalara Football and Netball Club, and four hours of counselling a week for the remainder of his sentence. He was initially considered unsuitable for an intensive corrections order by the Office of Corrections.


Another Greenie false prophecy

Post below lifted from Tim Blair. See the original for links


Perth will become a ghost city within decades as rising global temperatures turn the wheatbelt into a desert and drive species to the brink of extinction, a leading Australian scientist warns. Australian paleontologist and popular author Tim Flannery said Perth was a city on the edge - isolated, dependent on energy and declining water supplies and more likely to feel the effects of global warming ...


Perth remains on track to break the record for the wettest April ever recorded ... Before today, persistent lows have soaked the city with 107.8mm of rain since the start of the month and only 41mm of rain needs to fall to break the 1926 April record of 148.8mm.

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