Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Lake Tyers update

White do-gooders have for decades been tearing their hair out trying to find some way of "lifting" Aborigines out of what is perceived as their very bad living conditions.  Everything from paternalism to liberty has been tried.  But nothing changes.

There was a experiment in 1970 in Victoria arising from the perception that Aborigines were a rural people who should adapt well to existence as farmers.  So a large tract of land at scenic Lake Tyers was given to them and various funds were allocated to get the enterprise up and running.

But the whole thing very soon became a tale of woe. The existing farm was neglected and nearly all the residents went on to welfare. And what money there was "disappeared".  By any estimation, the whole scheme was an abject failure. 

But the Victorian government was not prepared to give up -- and so reverted to paternalism.  White administrators were hired to run the place and white contractors were hired to provide services.  That, however, just froze a bad situation into place.  And that situation limps on to this day.  Below is a 2015 account from one of the Lake Tyers people

At the beginning of October, I packed up my family and we made the move ‘home’. 

The house is fairly new, but the place is old.  It has a lot of history, and not all of it is good.  Lake Tyers is a former Aboriginal Reserve, started up in 1861 as a place to keep Aboriginal people separated and under strict control, but today, is freehold land that was returned in 1971 to the residents.  My paternal Grandfather, Charlie Carter, was a member of the group of residents who marched with Pastor Doug Nicholls on Melbourne in protest when the mission was threatened with closure at the end of the 60’s, and in his role as eventual Chairman of the Committee they formed, stood and received the deeds when they won their fight and the Governor General of the day, Rohan Delacombe, formally handed back the land to the people in a ceremony held just a short walk from where I sit right now.
On the day, my Grandfather was smiling and happy.  He told the people who gathered to witness the handover that “we won’t let you down”, and, for a long time, he was good to his word.  Ask any of the residents or former residents from that day who are still alive what they remember of life at Lake Tyers before he died, and you will be told that life out here was much, much better. 

My Grandfather was a smart man, a tough man, and a very determined man.  Sadly, he didn’t live for a long time after the land was handed back, but thought he had fought long enough, hard enough, and won the battle that would mean his children and grandchildren and the generations that came after them would always have this place.  A piece of security and a home for eternity, never again to be threatened or taken away.  That was his dream, and the dream of all the families who lived here - almost all of whom are related to me today through blood or marriage.  My Grandfather was a man who’d lived with the threat of being forced from the land he knew, that he was very much a part of, and it was an intolerable position that he wanted to ensure he protected his family against ever having to worry about.

This was done in two ways.  First - the 4,000 acres went into a Trust, with shares given to every Man, Woman and Child who was a resident at the time.  My Grandfather received shares, as did all his children and so did many other members of my extended family.  Second – there were rules put in place around ownership and transfer of these shares.  Unlike NAB shares or BHP shares, they couldn’t be sold for money or any other kind of consideration, and those who had shares had strict limitations on who they could give their shares to. Only the original residents and shareholders or their bloodline descendants were eligible to receive them, a simple rule that meant it would always pass down to the rightful heirs.  I wasn’t born until two years after this all happened, so did not receive any shares from this initial handout myself.  A little over a decade ago though, my Aunt, who had received shares in the initial handout as a child in 1971, decided to transfer almost all of her shares to those of us in my generation, and as a result, I was the recipient of 100 of her shares.  Or so I thought.

The day I signed the lease for my property, I was also hoping to sign some paperwork to accept the nominations I had received and take a place on the Committee here.  Enter the first stumbling block.  After my paperwork was examined by a man from the Koori Justice Department purporting to hold authority on these matters, I was informed that the Land Council had ruled that the year of my share transfer (2003) deemed me ineligible and as such I was not a shareholder as I thought, and therefore could not take a Committee position. I am not the first, as story after story has been recounted to me by relatives, given the same spiel when they try to assert their rights, yet the Share Register is full of names that don’t belong and people that should never be eligible to hold shares.  There is no avenue of appeal offered for the decisions that have been made, and no opportunity for those who have been excluded to prove their rightful title to this land today.

So even with just two simple rules, and basic principles to underpin them, it all fell apart in less than 40 years.  We may not be able to sell the land, but that is not the only way to make a dollar out of a place like this.

4,000 acres is a lot of land, and not everyone can resist temptation.  Whitefellas and blackfellas alike are both susceptible to greed, and self-determination took a huge step back when the Government had to step in and take charge after one Chairman was caught with his hand in the till – years after they had received information about his misdeeds.  Perhaps they didn’t want to go in heavy handed and create another ‘wasted Aboriginal money scandal’ that they could ill afford at the time, perhaps they didn’t want to seem like they were meddling – whatever the reason for their delay, the end result of their apathy was a greater sum of taxpayer money lost ensuring that when action was taken, it was more severe and far-reaching in the lives of those people who were left behind.  The benefactor of the fraud was banished and no longer allowed to reside here, but the rest of the residents – who received no benefit from his actions nor had any power or control in the community to make the decisions – had to live with the daily consequences of his actions.  The Government stepped in and took power, appointing various people over the more than decade of their rule here to run the day-to-day affairs of the Trust and promised solutions if given power, money and control over an extended period of time to get it done. 

The media releases will tell you that the Government has poured money and effort into this place – millions of it in fact.  A ’10 year Renewal Project’ that was supposed to help improve the place and, as a priority, they would train the people to eventually take over and run this place themselves and attain ‘Self-Determination’.  Instead, the 10 years has ended, and things are not much better than they were a decade ago.  There will be no outcry at the waste of taxpayer money this time though, it was not stolen by a greedy black man but instead funnelled by stealth into wasted programs that provided not hope and change to the people here, but proved useful instead as a means to give kickbacks to the salaried army of contractors and bureaucrats who learnt to make the various schemes work for them instead.

Since coming ‘home’, I’ve seen the real face of racism.  It’s not a foul-mouthed or ill-behaved child at a football match -  as some would lead you to believe, but instead, it’s the disenfranchisement of a whole group of people based on their race, location and history - who have less education, less money and less support than their detractors.  I now see it all day, every day.  From the police officer who attended here and, instead of taking the complaint from the victim who was doused in petrol as I thought he would, gave advice consisting of “wash your clothes and forget about it” before leaving – to the graffiti some filth sprayed on our bus stop the other day that read ‘fucking coons’ – they never let you forget what you are living out here. 

We’re probably not what you’d imagine when you’d think of a remote Aboriginal community, but we are in many ways very isolated.  The term the Government folk were using at one point was ‘discrete community’ – though it hardly seems appropriate.  The closest well-populated town with services like supermarkets and a police station is Lakes Entrance, about a half an hours drive each way, or you can take the 17 kilometre drive to the closest general store - if you don’t mind paying $5 a loaf for your bread.  I use the word drive because that is your only option out.  There is no public transport within about 15 kilometres, the distance from the residential area of Lake Tyers out to the nearest bus stop (a limited service Vline route), with a State Park surrounding you and only the one road in and out.  There once was a community owned bus or two here that took residents out regularly that either couldn’t drive, didn’t have a license, or couldn’t afford a car.  Like the Cattle Enterprise though, you’re not allowed to ask about what happened to them, or where the money went from the sale of those assets.  There is no transparency, no accountability, and for now, that suits the status quo.  If the books were ever opened on this place, I assure you there would be scandal after scandal revealed and waste of taxpayer money in the millions.  If you set foot out here you'll see the beneficiaries are not the Aboriginal people who will be blamed and suffer the consequences when the losses are finally tallied, but instead, the real winners are the army of salaried contractors and government employees who drive in and out of here on weekdays and rely on this place not improving as their means of financial stability for themselves long term.

I don’t know what will become of this blog, or of my future here.  As far as the blog goes, I have very limited internet access for now, but my wish is to write more and post it up when I can.  Not only because people need to know what is going on in places like this, but also in the hope that by speaking up, some questions just might get asked.


Another Muslim charmer

Taxi driver banned for 'threatening to rape and kill government staff' is charged with drink driving

A taxi driver who lost his license after he allegedly told staff at the Transport Department he would come to their home and rape and kill them is now being accused of numerous alcohol and drug offences.

Abdul Qadir will face a lengthy list of charges at the Darwin Local Court later this month, including driving while under the influence of alcohol, consuming liquor in an alcohol protected area, bringing liquor into a protected area, recklessly endangering serious harm and driving without due care, according to the NT News.

He is also charged with possessing cannabis in a public place, possessing a dangerous drug, breaching bail and entering Aboriginal land without permits.

Qadir, who recently had his bail conditions changed so he can travel to Pakistan, was a taxi driver for nine years before he lost his license in 2014.

He appealed the Transport Department's decision to remove his license but the Supreme Court sided with the government staff, ruling that Qadir had been the subject of many complaints, including 'overcharging, rudeness, failure to produce records and other matters.'

He is also accused of threatening to harm two transportation staff members. 'I know where you live. Do you have a boyfriend because I'm going to come around and f**k you?' Qadir allegedly told a female employee on the phone.

He allegedly told a male employee that he was going to kill him before hanging up on him.  Qadir is due back to court on October 17.


Baby boom ends as Australian economy slows

Hmmm  ... The Australian economy is not exactly "slow".  It is still growing but perhaps a little more slowly.  Demand for coal is down but demand for iron, lithium and dairy products is up

The Peter Costello baby boom is over with the number of births falling across the country in a development experts believe is driven by concerns about the economy.

And though the number of newborns has fallen to its lowest in four years, the number of people dying is at record highs in a demographic one-two punch.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the number of children born across the country last year fell to its lowest in four years.

In WA there was a fall in the number of births for the first time since 2001.

Births soared nationally between 2004 and 2010, helped by the Howard government’s baby bonus, good economic times and an influx of migrants drawn to Australia because of the way it weathered the global financial crisis. But since 2010 total births have lifted just 0.6 per cent across the country while the number of deaths has hit a new high.

In WA, births continued to grow on the back of the mining construction boom to 2014. Over the past five years, the number of deaths in WA has grown at a faster rate than births, with a record 14,582 people dying in the State last year.

Amanda Davies, a senior lecturer in planning and geography at Curtin University, said not even WA’s slightly more youthful population profile was shielding it from the events driving the downward trend.

She said sudden falls in fertility were often linked to downturns in consumer sentiment.

“This data could be indicating that a combination of consumer uncertainty about the economy together with uncertainty about Government policies regarding child care and parental leave are impacting people’s decisions to start families or expand their families,” Dr Davies said.

WA’s population growth rate at 1.2 per cent is now half of even the most pessimistic forecasts for the State on which major planning documents and decisions have been based.

Bankwest chief economist Alan Langford said across the nation there was a substantial slowdown in the number of births. “As the mini baby-boom has ended, births per thousand head of population have dropped back again and are now not much above their mid-2000s trough,” he said.

Some of the biggest falls in births have been in NSW and Victoria where the prices of homes in Sydney and Melbourne have rocketed.

NSW births peaked at 101,000 in 2012 and last year had fallen to a little over 96,000. Baby numbers have fallen in NSW, Queensland, SA and Tasmania since the start of the decade.

Despite the fall in the number of births, the nation’s overall population continues to grow, driven by immigration.

CommSec chief equities economist Craig James said the sharp lift in house prices might be playing into the falling birth numbers.

“People sometimes have to make a choice in these areas and they may be deciding to put money into buying a house rather than having another child,” Mr James said.


Tony Abbott urges open slather post-Brexit trade with UK

Former prime minister Tony Abbott is proposing a comprehensive free-trade deal between Australia and Britain to be negotiated now and come into force on the day Britain formally leaves the EU.

Under Mr Abbott’s proposal, it would be both the most complete, and simplest, free-trade deal Australia has engaged in. “There should be no tariffs or quotas whatsoever on any goods traded between our two countries — there should be no exceptions, no carve-outs, nothing,” he will tell a high powered London business breakfast tomorrow.

The second big element of his proposed deal is “full recognition of each country’s credentials and standards”.

The objective, Mr Abbott believes, should be “an entirely seamless economic relationship based on free entry of goods, ­mutual recognition of services and standards, and easy entry of qualified people”.

He will argue that “if a motor car (say) could be registered in the UK, it should be registrable in Australia; if a trade qualification (say) was recognised in Australia, it should be recognised here”.

Mr Abbott pronounces himself an enthusiastic convert to Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

“Post-Brexit, the stockmarket’s up, employment’s up and economic growth is up; the pound’s down, but that should more than compensate for any tariffs that the EU is foolish enough to impose,” Mr Abbott will say.

He hails Brexit as the British people taking back their country and lists a slew of advantages for economic management in Britain as a result, among them that no new Brussels directives will apply, British courts will no longer be subject to European courts and Britain will no longer need to admit everyone with an EU passport. He does not believe any British Australia free-trade agreement should wait on any broader European deal.

Free-trade deals involving the whole of the EU are notoriously slow and difficult processes.

Mr Abbott challenges the ­European practice of trying to harmonise regulations and standards across Europe and proposes instead mutual recognition as a much simpler, more effective way of creating an agreement between Australia and Britain.

Such an agreement, he will say, could be a template for the kinds of free-trade agreements Britain could easily do with Singapore and New Zealand.

He sees no reason why negotiators should delay getting the agreements worked out soon, even if they don’t take effect until Britain formally leaves the EU, which will happen two years after it triggers the formal commitment to depart.

“Because Australia and Britain are like-minded countries with similar systems and comparable standards of living, there should be no need for tortuous negotiation and labyrinthine detail,” he will tell a UK Australia Chamber of Commerce breakfast

The former prime minister believes Australia and Britain could achieve almost free movement of people between the two nations.

“For the first time in a generation, Aussies shouldn’t face a passport queue at Heathrow,” he will say.  “Britons and Australians already have more than 200 years’ experience of each other, so why not allow them more freely to travel and work in each other’s country, provided no one’s bludging.”

This reference presumably means that Mr Abbott would envisage restrictions on visitors receiving welfare payments.

Mr Abbott believes Brexit offers enormous opportunities. “Both Britain and Australia should be looking for a quick win.”


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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