Sunday, August 03, 2014

Australia in the grip of a ‘new stolen generation’?

The story below is totally biased.  It makes no mention of the high and chronic rate of alcohol abuse in Aboriginal families or the harsh way  Aboriginal men treat their women and children. I  have seen both with my own eyes.  Because of the "stolen generation" myth (triggered by child welfare authorities taking children away from severely dysfunctional Aboriginal homes) all State child welfare departments became very wary of removing Aboriginal children from their homes.  The result was a lot of dead and injured children.  It now seems that they have mostly returned to their  statutory responsibilities towards the children and are rescuing them once again

THE rate of indigenous children being taken from their families has become so rife, more are being removed today than at any other time in Australia’s sordid colonial history.

Figures reveal the number of indigenous children being forcibly taken from their homes has risen almost 400 per cent in 15 years, prompting Aboriginal Elders to condemn what they are labelling a ‘new Stolen Generation’.

Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander children represent 4.6 per cent of the Australian population, and a whopping one third are in ‘out of home care’.

According to the Federal Government’s 1997 Bringing Them Home report, the number of indigenous children removed from their families at the time was 2785.

Fast forward fifteen years to 2012, where a report by the Federal Government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare recorded the instance of removal had risen almost 400 per cent to 13,299.

“More than 14,000 Aboriginal children are in what they call ‘out of home care’ in any given night in Australia,” said Paddy Gibson, a senior researcher at the University of Technology, Sydney.

“That is a far greater number of children removed in any year over the Stolen Generations period.”

According to Mr Gibson, Australia has essentially returned to an “assimilation policy” where mass removal of Aboriginal children is being used as a strategy to “deal with questions of Aboriginal disadvantage, just as it was in the Stolen Generations era”.

But the Federal Government has washed its hands of the problem, with the Minister for indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, telling “Child protection is the responsibility of the states and territories. At all times and in all circumstances, the best interest of the child is paramount.

“However I do encourage states and territories to work harder to find solutions, where possible, within the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family. Experience has shown that where issues can be resolved, the extended family is at the centre of the solution.”

In NSW nearly 6300 indigenous children are wards of the state. That’s nearly 10 per cent of the state’s Aboriginal children. Meanwhile, only 1.6 per cent of white children have been removed.

According to the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner’s annual report, indigenous children were 395 per cent more likely to be put into care than non-indigenous children.

In the year to June 30, 2013, 624 indigenous kids were removed in the Northern Territory, in comparison to 126 non-indigenous children.

Child protection services have denied having an unfair focus on indigenous communities, claiming it is beyond the Department’s control and that the health and welfare of the child was at the core of the department’s interests.

“The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has a statutory responsibility to protect children, and will only remove a child or young person as a last resort when court order finds there are serious concerns for their safety or wellbeing, said a spokesman.

“The decision to remove a child from its family is not taken lightly by the Children’s Court, which treats all cases equally, no matter what the racial or social background.”

FACS pointed to the 2014 Report on Government Services, which stated NSW had the highest percentage of indigenous children in out of home care placements with relatives or kin (63.6 per cent of indigenous children as compared to the national average of 51.5 per cent).

But Mr Jackson remained unconvinced.  “Yes we do have drunks, yes we do have druggies, some of them are mothers even, but in the wider family, not all of them are drunk or drug-affected,” he said.

“When you walk into an Aboriginal house, the first thing you see is a wall covered with photos. “Photos of family of those who have gone, those have just come and those who are in between and growing. Walk into the kitchen, the fridge is covered with children’s drawings. That is a normal home.

“That is pride in your family and children, and that is not being recognised.


Leftist advisers betray Tamil illegals: All 157 now sent to Nauru instead of the Tamil homeland in India

ALL the 157 people, including 50 children, who left India almost six weeks ago on a people-smuggler’s boat will arrive at the Nauru ­asylum-seeker camp today from the Curtin detention centre in Western Australia after refusing to see Indian consular officials.

The Abbott government decided to send all those from the boat late yesterday to the Pacific nation’s detention centre because they decided not to meet Indian government officials after re­ceiving advice from refugee ­advocates.

The boatload of people, mainly Tamils who had fled Sri Lanka to India, now face months on Nauru while their asylum claims are processed and the prospect of being sent back to Sri Lanka if they fail to qualify as refugees.

Australia’s deal with India on the return of Indian residents who sought to come to Australia by boat has also ended with the asylum-seekers’ refusal to be ­interviewed.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told The Weekend Australian last night: “Those who have been transferred to Nauru will now likely never go back to India and will certainly never be resettled in Australia. Should they be found to be a refugee, they will be resettled on Nauru, not Australia. If they are not found to be a refugee, they will go back to Sri Lanka, not India.

“Going back to India, where they are likely to have family and friends, is no longer an option for those who were living there. They passed up that option when they chose not to meet with Indian consular officials in Australia.  “This is regrettable, dis­appointing and could have been avoided.”

After refugee advocates spoke to three leaders of the 157 people, the government was told on Thursday the asylum-seekers would not meet Indian consular officials who were going to assist in their return to India.

Mr Morrison had organised a deal with India to take back the Indian residents, as well as non-resident Tamils, who had left from India’s southern coastal city of Pondicherry, near Tamil Nadu, in June. They then spent a month on board an Australian Customs vessel after being intercepted in internationals waters.

“The Australian government created a rare opportunity with the government of India for many of the 157 people who were on that voyage from India, including up to 50 children, to go back to where they were living in safety in India, where they have family and friends, rather than go to Nauru,” Mr Morrison said last night.  “This opportunity has been squandered.”

Mr Morrison said Immigration officials had warned the asylum-seekers of the alternative of going to Nauru if they did not meet the Indian representatives.

He said it appeared the decision not to see the consular officials had been taken “on the advice of advocates and lawyers who spoke to the leaders of the group”.

“If this is true, these lawyers appear to have put their own political agenda against the government ahead of the welfare of their own clients,” he said. “There are now around 50 more children on Nauru, many of which, if not all, could have been going back to India as a result of the humanitarian option for return secured by my visit to India last week.

“There were only ever two options here: return to India or offshore processing on Nauru. The government was clear about this and provided the options.

“The result of this venture means that, unfortunately, the ­arrangement with India has come to an end. There was always the risk that advocates would seek to frustrate the initiative, to the detriment of those they claim to support, as it would appear they have on this occasion. The result is that those on that voyage are now even worse off.”

Last weekend, the 157 people were transferred from the Customs ship to the Cocos Islands and then flown to the mainland and housed in the mothballed Curtin detention centre. Indian consular officials from Canberra were ready to go to Curtin to ­interview them with a view to returning them to India.

On Wednesday night, the Immigration Minister, in an interview on the ABC’s 7.30 program, warned that a failure to see consular officials could mean the 157 people would be sent to a “third-party country” for offshore processing as asylum-seekers.

“It is rare for India to concede bringing back someone who is not a citizen but they’re prepared to do that for humanitarian ­reasons,” Mr Morrison said.

“If they’re receiving advice, whether it’s from lawyers or advocates or others, to refuse that then they will be passing off the opportunity to potentially return to India where they were safe. They will go to offshore pro­cess­ing and that’s where their claims will be assessed. They will never ever be resettled in Australia … and nor will they probably ever be able to go back to India.”

Refugee advocates had sought orders from the High Court while the people were held aboard the Australian vessel to prevent them being sent back to Sri Lanka where they feared persecution because they were Tamils.

The government told the High Court there was no intention to send the 157 people back to Sri Lanka as it negotiated with India to take back the people who were Indian residents and had departed from India.

The Australian government decided to bring the people to the Australian mainland because it would be quicker and safer for Indian officials to interview the ­asylum-seekers face-to-face.

Mr Morrison has described the 157 asylum-seekers as “economic migrants” because they had come from India, where he says they were safe.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young campaigned for the asylum-seekers to be allowed to seek refuge in Australia because they faced persecution in India.

Refugee advocates have also sought compensation for the ­asylum-seekers from the government for “false imprisonment” on the Customs vessel.

Yesterday, in the first monthly update for Operation Sovereign Borders on illegal boat arrivals, Mr Morrison said the 157 passengers from the boat intercepted in June were the first to be transferred to Australian Immigration authorities in almost seven months, since December 19 last year.

Mr Morrison said in July 2013: 48 illegal boats arrived with 4236 people on board; there were 33 Search and Rescue incidents involving illegal boats that Border Protection Command personnel assisted; and 18 people died or were presumed lost at sea, including a baby.


Abbott's Green Army ready to march (but it's not work for the dole)

The government's $525 million Green Army conservation initiative was rolled out on Saturday.

Launching the project at Carss Bush Park in Sydney's south, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt said it would be the largest environmental workforce the country had mobilised. About 2500 young people were expected to join up this year to work on 250 projects around Australia.

"It's six months of good work and good comradeship that you can come back and look at in the years ahead and say, 'I did that for my country'," Mr Abbott said.

"This is not a work for the dole project, I want to stress this. It's an environmental traineeship."

The workers would be paid between $10 to $16 an hour while engaged in the project, less than minimum wage but higher than the Newstart or Youth Allowance rate.

Mr Hunt said he didn't anticipate the hourly rate would discourage young Australians from signing up.

"They not only earn the funds, but most significantly the work skills, and hopefully they'll come out of it with certificates and occupational health and safety training and first aid training," he said.

The number of participants was expected to rise to 15,000 by 2018.

The Green Army, one of a range of proposals put forward by the federal government as an alternative to the repealed carbon tax, will recruit young Australians to engage in restoration and heritage protection projects.

The project will include pest animal management and the monitoring of threatened local animal species.

Workers will be able to obtain certificate I and II qualifications in various environmental fields for their efforts.


Federal Government departments spending big on office upgrades

THE federal Department of Human Services is spending about $1 million a month on office upgrades and refurbishments, at the same time as it prepares to crack down on welfare recipients.

And it is not the only government department splurging sizeable sums of public money.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has also splurged on a set on new lockers for public servants working at its Canberra office, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $50,000.

As dole recipients and pensioners feel the pinch of the Abbott government’s end of entitlement, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent by the welfare department, DHS, on dozens of “minor works”, desk changes, and carpet upgrades.

Between February and June this year, the Department of Human Services spent more than $6.5 million upgrading and consolidating its Centrelink and Medicare shopfronts across the country.

Government documents returned to the Senate, on request from Labor frontbencher Joe Ludwig, also show DFAT authorised $51,000 to replace the lockers in the gym of the department’s Canberra office.

The project management fees for the expensive locker upgrade cost $4,600 alone.

DFAT also spent close to $850,000 refurbishing another part of its Canberra office, including spending $77,000 on architectural costs.

In contrast, it cost the Department of Foreign Affairs just over $5,000 to upgrade a loading dock at Sydney Airport.

Senator Ludwig attacked the government’s decision to spend taxpayers’ money on upgrading its facilities, accusing the government of having “twisted priorities”.

“The government should be standing up for working people instead of building lockers for gym shorts,” he said.

At the Department of Human Services, $159,000 was spent on “minor works and desk changes” for an Adelaide office, $38,000 was spent increasing desk numbers and carrying out minor works in Moreland in Victoria, the refurbishment of a DHS centre in Southport in Queensland cost $92,000 and “minor upgrades” to a centre in Sydney’s Surry Hills cost taxpayers $25,000.

DHS general manager Hank Jongen defended his department’s spending. He said the 140 one-stop-shops around Australia offering both Medicare and Centrelink services required ongoing maintenance.

“A large proportion of our expenditure is linked to the transition to these one-stop shops and while there is an initial cost to relocate services under one roof, there are longer-term savings to be achieved,” he said.

Mr Jongen said the department had already delivered more than $350 million in savings to the government by making its service delivery more efficient.

The Department of Foreign Affairs did not response to questions from News Corp.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Taking Aboriginal children away from most of their families is the best way to give them at least a start in life. I've seen enough, and I'm about ready to leave the North as it is starting to feel unsafe as the baby-bonus generation get old enough to pick locks and outrun police dogs.

They can barely sign their names at Centrelink but they sure as hell can jailbreak a stolen iphone.