Sunday, August 29, 2021

Indigenous footy star turned ABC presenter says Australians 'can't accept it's a racist country' that was 'built off the back of slavery and rape' of Aborigines

This is grossly offensive to the many white men who were the real builders of modern Australia. My ancestors were among them

An Aboriginal ex-AFL player has labelled Australia racist after weighing in on a new documentary that explores the appalling rates of Indigenous incarceration.

Tony Armstrong, who played 35 games across six seasons for three clubs, argued that Australians needed to accept they were living in a racist country after watching unsettling footage from 'Incarceration Nation'.

The documentary takes a deep dive into the imprisonment rates across the country with Aboriginal men making up 29 per cent of the male prison population and Aboriginal women making up 34 per cent of female inmates.

'This country still can't accept it's a racist country,' Armstrong said on Channel 10's The Project on Thursday.

'You still can't accept it's built off the back of slavery, it's built off the back of dispossession, it's built off the back of rape and pillage of Indigenous people.'

The former sports star turned ABC presenter had been invited onto the talk show panel to speak about the upcoming documentary.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rates have increased over the decade with 12,456 behind bars between July 2019 and June 2020.

The figure is up from 11,989 the previous year and 7,507 in 2010-2011.

The documentary revealed a startling number of young Aboriginal Australians were being thrown behind bars - some for committing petty crimes.

One included a 16-year-old who was thrown into detention for 28 days after he stole a bottle of water. Another was an 18-year-old who was jailed for 90 days for stealing 90 cents from a car.

A visibly emotional Armstrong admitted that it was 'hard to watch' the unsettling footage. 'My heart is going a million miles an hour,' he said. 'There's so many points to pick up on.

'We talk about incarceration rates, you're not seeing white kids getting jailed for stealing a bottle of water.

'You're trying to find a way to rehabilitate them, you're asking what are the reasons why they ended up stealing that bottle of water? You're not just throwing the long arm of the law at them.'

Footage also captured Aboriginal Australians being beaten, tasered and thrown around by police.

A 14-year-old Dylan Voller was shown hooded and bound to a chair while in youth detention in 2015.

ABC's Four Corners first aired the footage during an explosive investigative piece in 2016. The photos sent shockwaves across the country and raised questions about the treatment of young inmates.

'You saw the footage of the young fella, bound up like Guantanamo Bay,' Armstrong said.

'That's not on. But that happens in our country. And we talk about a sense of truth telling, we talk about, you know, needing to accept where we've come from to be able to move forward.'

'Incarceration Nation' will be aired on NITV at 8.30pm on Sunday. The documentary will also be available on SBS On Demand.


Brisbane private school rejecting kids over ‘gender balance’

Families are being rejected from a highly-regarded Brisbane school, with entry being blocked to some students in an attempt to achieve a specific gender balance.

Numerous families have received rejection letters from Cannon Hill Anglican College (CHAC) in Brisbane’s east that state key considerations for enrolment include gender balance.

Parents of one male student said their son was not permitted through to the second stage for enrolment.

“We are just disappointed that the reason our child didn’t get into the school was due to their gender,” the parent said.

The letter stated that demand for year 7 places in 2024 exceeded the college’s current enrolment capacity.

It said, “The key considerations within the current College Enrolment Policy include; whether a sibling is currently enrolled at CHAC, gender balance and date of application”.

A CHAC spokesman said due to the school’s strong academic success, holistic pastoral program and coeducational offering, each year it received more enrolment applications than there were places available.

“The College has a transparent enrolment policy, which is shared with parents prior to application and throughout the enrolment process,” the spokesman said.

“Places are primarily offered on two key considerations: whether a sibling is currently enrolled at the College and the date of application.

“As a coeducational College, we then aspire to enrol an appropriate balance of genders. CHAC also supports gender diversity within the College community.” 

Professor Tamara Walsh at the UQ School of Law said it was likely this stance comes under an exemption in both the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.


Qld set to totally decriminalise prostitution

The State Government has moved to totally decriminalise prostitution, referring the matter to the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman will today announce she has asked for the review to investigate how to set up a new system of laws to improve the health, safety, human rights and legal protections for sex workers across the state.

There are currently just two forms of legalised sex work in Queensland – services provided at a licensed brothel, and when a person is working alone from a premises, providing in-house calls, outcall services, or both.

All other forms are illegal – including escort agencies, unlicensed brothels, massage parlours, street workers who publicly solicit and those who work in small groups – although they by far make up the majority of services being offered.

Women cannot operate in pairs, check in with a colleague before or after calls, work with another person providing them security, or employ another person to screen or book clients.

Ms Fentiman said feedback from the industry was that current laws were actually making things less safe.

“We need to ensure appropriate and modern laws are in place for the industry and its associated safe working arrangements, and that these are also in the best interests of the community,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The review will consider how best to provide appropriate safeguards to protect sex workers.

“Feedback from the sector has been that current laws criminalise safety strategies used by sex workers.

“A key focus of this review is the safety of workers and putting in place proper regulation so the industry doesn’t operate in the shadows. “Sex workers shouldn’t have to choose between working legally and being safe at work.”

She said the QLRC would consult with the industry, and the community would also be able to provide submissions on the issue.

It will also consider laws in other jurisdictions, including the NT and NSW, which has already decriminalised sex work.

“This is an important step forward allowing us to consider what reform will benefit the industry and the agencies that provide support and regulation,” she said. “It is our hope that these recommendations will help reduce the barriers sex workers and businesses face.

“These barriers include appropriate access to health, safety and legal protections – which are rights that should be afforded to every Queenslander.”

The commission will provide its report, including any draft legislation required, by November 27, 2022.


The ABC ignores half of Australia, let’s give it half the funds

If you defamed someone, would your boss pay the legal bill? That’s exactly what’s happened when the ABC paid the legal bills of journalist Louise Milligan, who defamed someone on her social media accounts.

If it had been any other government agency that forked out $79,000 in damages and $50,000 in costs — paid for by the taxpayer — for the same crime, the ABC would go feral.

The ABC, answering questions on notice recently, told the Senate there was a distinction between official ABC social media accounts and ABC staff using their social media.

“In the former case, the ABC accepts editorial responsibility for content provided on official ABC social media accounts and editorial policies apply,” it said.

“In the latter case, the ABC does not accept editorial responsibility and editorial policies do not apply.”

So why did they pay Louise Milligan’s legal bills?

“Particular and exceptional circumstances,” we are told.

A private media company would have to explain to its shareholders if they covered the legal costs from an employee’s personal social media account. But the ABC is not a private media company.

Its shareholders are the Australian taxpayer who can’t attend an annual AGM.

Since 2015, the ABC has had to pay court-ordered damages, costs, or settlements 18 times for defamation cases, and we don’t know the price.

We have a right to know this because we own and pay for this organisation whose operating budget is the price of two rural training hospitals, or $880.56 million a year.

As other businesses struggle and shed staff, the ABC has had the taxpayer-funded benefits of increasing them by 120.

When the ABC was asked on notice during Senate Estimates who was handed an eye-watering bonus of more than $50,000, about the annual wage of a regional reporter that would make a few Cartier watches seem cheap, the ABC made a Public Interest Immunity Claim: “The ABC believes that disclosure of this information could result in an unreasonable invasion of privacy for the individual, resulting in undue public attention and speculation.”

That’s an immunity that was never afforded Australia Post boss Christine Holgate — she of Cartier watch-gate — by the ABC.

And when asked about publishing unsubstantiated rape claims against Christian Porter and Bill Shorten from the ’80s? “ … that does not prevent in certain circumstances allegations of criminal conduct being reported”.

So no undue public speculation there?

When Extinction Rebellion protests against something, the headline generally reads: “Grandparents fighting for the future of their grandchildren.” But when backbencher George Christensen appeared at an anti-lockdown rally in Mackay, according to the ABC he “posed just metres from QAnon supporters”.

When Extinction Rebellion protests, they are carers; when George does, he is a terrorist.

When the ABC wants a dissenting voice from the Liberal Party, they go straight to Malcolm Turnbull.

But they never give Mark Latham the royal treatment, despite him being a former Labor leader.

What triggers the bush is when they don’t use regional reporters in their prestige programs.

A Four Corners hit job on Murray Darling Basin water was orchestrated from inner-city Ultimo instead of by the well-regarded ABC Shepparton correspondent Warwick Long.

Why have a city reporter do a rural story?

Ultimo urbane’s apparent assumption is that their city kids are more discerning, while us rural types are sitting backwards on a horse eating a banana — a generalisation about some 8 million Australians.

If they only talk to half of Australia, they only need half the budget, and we should give the other half to another view.

We could have The Drum with Julia Baird followed by The Drum with Peta Credlin.

We could have Late Night Live with Philip Adams followed by Catherine McGregor Live.

We could have Q&A with Virginia Trioli followed by Q&A with Alan Jones.

Would Ultimo pay for Sky News? Of course not. So why should the bush pay for someone else’s ABC?

The ABC claims to support the bush whenever they are under attack, so what new regional offices have opened?

Sydney ABC commentariat keeps calling for greater lockdowns — if they are the greatest advocate for staying at home, some Ultimo reporters should find a new home in Dubbo.

When Senator Ben Small asked where ABC content-makers lived by postcode, he was told that was “confidential”. That question remains unanswered and is overdue months after they took it on notice.

From Ultimo, they can see Glebe, Chippendale, Annandale, Pyrmont and Surry Hills. Moore Park is the bush. Parramatta is the outback.

As they say in the genuine regional areas, it’s cattle for the country; you buy the appropriate beast for the country you live.

The ABC’s country is the inner city, and this is the type of beast it is.

If the trotted out guilt trip is that funding cuts would hurt the regions, then move your legal budget to the west of the Great Dividing Range, and bring your management too.




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