Unc Goes to Quinkin Country

Laura is in Quinkin Country, well known for the rock art and the bi annual Laura Aboriginal Dance festival.

Aboriginal tribes come from all over Cape York came to Quinkin country to pay their respect to the traditional owners of the rock art sacred sites and to dance at the sacred Bora ring like their ancestors have done for over 40,000 years.

The 500 dancers from 20 tribes kicked up a lot of dust, made a lot of noise, ate a lot of tucker and kept the crowd of 5,000 spell bound and asking for more.

Old mate Unc, went back to Quinkin country to listen to his grandfathers stories from elder and traditional owner Tommy George.

Unc’s pick of the dancers were the Lockhart River, and the Injinoo tribes.

But after 250 dancers and lots of clap sticks and didge, old unc had seen enough. Leaving the dance areas Unc ran into an old mate recently elected Co Chair of the national congress, Les Malezar. Lez was visiting and touting for business for members of the new congress. He made his way to the Radio Laura tent for an interview. Asked on radio what issues the congress was looking to engage with, he drew attention to the 4th anniversary of the Northern Territory Emergency Response, commonly known as the Intervention.

He pointed out that for a supposed emergency, measures put in place 4 years ago are still there and are becoming a normal way of life. He also highlighted how the intervention had stigmatised Aboriginal people.

Ex ATSIC Commissioner for Tasmania, Rodney Dillon was also there, getting people interested in and talking up the declaration on the rights of Indigenous people. You may remember that after the Howard Government refused to ratify the declaration, along came Kevin Rudd, and ratified it and also made the apology to the stolen generations.

If you are thinking about coming for the next Laura Festival, be prepared to rough it, I mean there is new meaning to the word thunder boxes. Those ones on the movie “Kenny” were thrones in comparison “Just picture a long drop into a wheelie bin and you will be there”

Apart from the blackfellas, Laura festival seems to be a magnet for hippies young and old and grey nomads. Which sets up an interesting dynamic between those that want a good nights sleep and those that like to sit up and play tom toms.

If you are ok with someone camping within one metre of you, then you will have a great time in Quinkin country.

Now they want our help, yeah right

The pastoral industry are using whatever means they can to get support for a resumption of live cattle exports to Indonesia.

They are very quick to use the Aboriginal controlled stations to support their cause when it suits them. It was not very long ago that the pastoral industry was fighting and is still fighting every Aboriginal land claim that hits the table.

What hypocrisy. Remember the outcry from the industry over Mabo?.  Remember the  Wik Native Title debates?  Remember the walk off from Wave Hill?

The industry has to come from a long way back, after over 200 years, before the pastoralists can even begin to make up for the dispossession, exploitation and theft of land.

Just like old soldiers, who suffered atrocities of the Japanese in world war 2, Aboriginal people will never forget what has happened to them as a result of the push by pastoralists into their country and the atrocities that impact on them today.

Nothing short of a truth and reconciliation inquiry into the pastoral industry in Northern Australia will suffice. This has to happen before the “cattle industry” can even think about speaking on behalf of the Aboriginal Pastoral Industry.

The Human Rights Commissioner Tom Calma made some typical Aboriginal middle class comments regarding the Aboriginal cattle stations and the suspension of live exports. He needs a shot of reality, as we have become used to the comments from him and this band of elite Aborigines within our midst orchestrating all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples towards assimilation.

There have been advances in the industry as Aboriginal stations come on line, some employment has been created and a small number of Aboriginal people enjoy their Native Title, but remember folks it’s not Land Rights and it has divided Australia’s  Aboriginal peoples.

Fran Kelly is on the right track

I was watching the ABC Drum programme, and a story buried in between the carbon debate, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, caught my attention. It was the Julia Gillard visit to Alice Springs and it opened up the the debate again on housing.

The debate has been raging in one form or another for 40 years or more. What to do about the shortage of housing, and how to build affordable solid housing, to withstand the elements of Central and Northern Australian remote areas.

It is clear, that the housing companies, the bureaucrats and ad hoc Aboriginal building teams are not delivering, simply because of the archaic current construction and delivery methods that have been in place in Territory housing for decades.

What pricked my interest were the comments made by Fran Kelly on the Drum. Fran is the only person in all the years the debate has been going on who has made any sense or offered a solution.

No one on the panel reacted to what she said, It went straight over their heads and little wonder because they are not involved in the construction industry and would not be able to drive a nail or use a screwdriver.

What she said was, that she could not understand why the government doesn’t build houses somewhere and ship them out already built.

Ummmmm they said and moved on to the next item. I know that there has been various attempts, to construct donga type housing in an ad hoc way. If I understood what Fran was saying or thinking, there needs to be a much better engeneering proposition out there for Aboriginal housing. We hear horror stories on a daily basis about the shoddy workmanship, incomplete jobs, and inadequate septic systems.

What is needed is a government funded “roll on roll off” factory to be built in the Territory.  Ideally Alice Springs could be the central place with components being manufactured in Darwin, Tennant Creek, and South Australia. The Victorian housing commission, had such a factory at Homesglen many years ago and they turned out great houses  in concrete panels design. They built thousands of houses in places like Bendigo and Ballarat in a very short time.

A factory in the NT, using modern technology and construction methods, would meet the future needs of housing in Northern Territory, the Kimberley and Western Queensland. The construction and erection time could be cut significantly.

The transport infrastructure is already in place now with the Ghan, able to transport the materials  at reasonable cost, either out of Darwin using the trading partners in Asia, or the Australian manufacturing sector in Southern Australia.

Mobile batching plants can also be set up to construct the floor slabs in communities, teams would build the slabs, and move on then construction teams would follow and erect the homes that would be complete with all of the fittings.

The factory could build enough housing for the Aboriginal communities, the town camps, and also for the town folks themselves. As everyone knows, the costs of building a house in the Territory are enormous in comparison to the other states.

Supplying houses in the future for the mainstream market would ensure that affordable housing was also maintained for Territorians.

If these houses could be built in an undercover  factory with overhead cranes, modern factory environment and using modern equipment, it would go a long way to solving  the long term housing problem in the Territory.

The government, would be investing in the long term future of the Territory, When the construction of Aboriginal housing was complete the enterprise could be handed over to a consortium of businesses in Alice to continue making houses for the general economy.

That is what I think Fran was meaning, but it went straight over everyone’s head.

Master Chef Judges are “Shearers Cooks”

The whole master chef series is an orchestrated affair. Why?  Well cast your mind back to the previous nights changing of the baskets. It took place  with all the drama of a primary school plot.

When Jay was given the basket and expected to make cherios the net was cast . He would have been better to make jonnie cakes and serve it with jam. Jonnie cakes you ask, what are they?  Well they are traditionally cooked in the coals of a camp fire, eaten with jam or syrup, I prefer them cooked on the top of an old wood stove.

Poor Jay, he was set up from the start, they knew he had little experience in some areas, so the scene was set by the show’s producers and orchestrated so that he faced elimination. It’s got nothing to do with cooking, that’s a side show. It’s about ratings and acting like shock jocks.  Jay was forced into elimination with the two girls and after making Ellie cry and making stupid sexist comments about lipstick (look at Nigella) the night before. The judges were then obliged to leave the two girls in. I mean anyone could see the play, it stuck out like dogs balls guys.

Jay was humiliated by you guys, absolutely humiliated, we know it was a pay back because he was a car salesman, you guys are unbelievable, you showed all the panache of a couple of shearers cooks. Actually shearers cooks have more dignity and are real men and women.

As for the dish idea, it is something you would encounter at the sushi train. I mean who cooks a pandan chiffon cake with palm sugar and black sesame ice cream?

Let’s put that Asian cook up against the Iron Chef and see how he would fare with a real Asian dish, not just that wok stir fry that they do in the restaurant where he spends his time making his pandan chiffon cake and black sesame ice cream. As for the dish, don’t try and buy tapioca. I tried at my local coles store, they never heard of it.

I guess the shearers cooks will find some way to eliminate Kumar.  They have tried but he has outsmarted them. Gotta keep the girls on don’t we boys. Whose turn tonight to be humiliated?  I couldn’t care less I won’t be watching, I will be out at the sushi train trying some of that pandan chiffon packet cake.

“Let Them Eat Cake”

 The rush by mining companies to stitch up the resources on Aboriginal land, is gaining momentum and is all part of their business model to exploit the riches of this country, pay as little in compensation and taxes, leave the country like a moonscape and at the same time send a message to the public, that they are good corporate citizens.

At the recent mining industry dinner at Parliament House, we were shown the spectacle of a gloating Chairman of Rio presenting a patronising and condescending speech where he spoke at length of the great relationship Rio had built up with the Aboriginal community.

“Well he would say that wouldn’t he” the mining industry could well afford to gloat. After winning the battle on Native Title, with the help of the Howard Government and a select group of Jacky Jacky Aboriginal people, who sold out hard fought for principles of the Aboriginal movement, to appease the government and the miners, so the exploitation of resources could carry on relentlessly.

 In a pan across the dinner tables there was not one black fella. I did not see anyone from a remote community there sitting in their suits and ties if they were there, they would have been down the back, and it is very unlikely that Kangaroo, Crocodile, or Emu was  on the menu.

 Broadcasting the speech live by the ABC news 24 was shameful, and a low point for the ABC, what enlightened neanderthal producer on News 24 decides to make ABC News 24 an advertiser for the mining industry. If the ABC wants to go into advertising then let’s just sell them off.

Sitting there in my lounge room watching it, turned my stomach. I thought of all the Aboriginal people, who had fought long and hard all of their lives, for land rights and human rights. From the tent embassy days, right back to the massacres at Waterloo Creek and I thought, you guys just dont get it do you.

What a cheek, with the plight of Aboriginal people, the mining and business establishment enjoying a lavish dinner, gloating and patting themselves on the back, over the theft of resources from Aboriginal land.  The industry are in effect sending the same message as Marie Antoinette  “let them eat cake”.  The ABC News 24  has opened up a pandoras box and are acting more like shock jock radio and tabloid newspapers. It puts a new meaning to the slogan our “Our ABC”  what a joke .  Can I now expect news 24 to cross in prime time to the Pan National Aboriginal Congress conference dinner.

The mining industry, would like the shareholders and the rest of the population to think, that they are doing the right thing by engaging and doing deals with specific groups of Native Title claimants. They throw money around like a drunken sailor to specific Native Title Claimants and clan groups, while others outside the claims, languish landless in the creek beds and rubbish dumps on the edges of town.  

This is because, under the Native Title law as it now stands, Aboriginal people are prevented from sharing in claims by the Native Title rule, of having to prove continuous connection to land.

There is a two speed economy, also among Aboriginal people running alongside the mainstream economy the “Native Title Two Speed Economy” created largely by the mining companies exploitation of Native Title. They are only required to deal with people, where the mine lease is located. If an Aboriginal clan group is off the lease claim, by a boundary defined by an anthropologist, as a tree or a hill, they are not eligible; even though they may be part of the bigger language group of traditional owners, they receive nothing.

Native Title representative groups, have also exploited the act and have largely caused the “Native Title Two Speed economy”, building exclusive oligarchies and dynasties like the ones that operates in Central and Northern Australia. By bending the rules of continuous connection to land, they can exclude people that they don’t want.  (sorry bruz your family not part of the claim) Members themselves in most Native Title groups,  may not be able to prove continuous occupation to country. They may come from another area 200 kilometers  away, but by some manipulation of connection by family line, are on the claim or part of the Native Title oligarchy.

As Keating says the act is onerous. Because if you put other historic peoples on to the claim, it diminishes the funds. So it is in the interest of the Native Title groups to practise exclusion on their own relations.

One of these Native Title Groups, in Central Australia sells grog, from a supermarket enterprise they have established in several locations. Aboriginal people now have a one stop shop to buy groceries and grog. The question needs to be asked of them.

Why are you selling grog, from a business built up out of Native Title funds?. Should the fund be used to benefit Aboriginal people in Central Australia and not just a few beneficiaries,  riding roughshod over Aboriginal people who drift into town, selling them grog and acting like lords of the soil, while their people go hungry.

Rio and the other miners can afford to gloat and patronise Aboriginal people, hoping to put their previous racist campaigns and activities of the past aside, hoping that a fist full of dollars, would encourage people to forget the past. They expect Aboriginal people to forget their fierce anti Native Title campaign. Who can forget that racist campaign?  

 Who can forget that the leading spokespeople for continuing dispossession have been pillars of the business and mining community like Sir Arvi Parbo, Hugh Morgan and Henry Bosch.

Who can forget the racist fear campaign the Myths that went far beyond common decency?

  • ·         The Mabo decision means my backyard isn’t safe from an Aboriginal land claim.
  • ·         The Mabo decision allows Aboriginal people to gain ownership of Australia’s farming and grazing land.
  • ·         Mabo will mean huge compensation payouts to Aboriginal people for the historical dispossession of all Aboriginal   people from their land.
  • ·         The Mabo decision means that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will “lock up” Australia’s mineral wealth causing disaster for the economy. This is confirmed by government moves to confirm mining leases at McArthur River and elsewhere.

Remember, Hugh Morgan, who, as a senior executive of mining company WMC, savaged Aboriginal spirituality in the 1980s and in the 1990s claimed that Native Title threatened Australia’s very sovereignty

Remember, Rob Davies, a mining analyst from Lehman Brothers International, speaking at a London financiers’ conference attacked the Mabo decision in this way: “If this decision stands, Australia could go back to being a Stone Age culture of 200,000 people living on witchetty grubs”  

The Native Title deal unveiled this week by Rio Tinto, falls a long way short of what Aboriginal people will receive, from the wealth generated by Rio from the mineral on their land, it has been touted as the best thing since the “coming of the light”.

Any deal short of the Aboriginal people, being genuine share holder partners is no deal. Rio knows time is running out. The Aboriginal people disenfranchised now under the Native Title act, having to prove connection to country, is now under serious challenge.

Paul Keating said at his Redfern speech on the 10th of December 1992 that the problem starts with non-Aboriginal Australians. We did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practiced discrimination and exclusion.

Now the mining industry expects us to move on from our history. It is like asking all Australians to forget the atrocities of the Japanese on the Burma Road? How do we forget the atrocities of the concentration camps? the Court in the Haig  hasn’t forgotten Bosnia.

Former Prime Minister Keating introduced the Native Title Act almost two decades ago, but the act has undergone amendments since then. Recently he said the requirement to prove a continuous connection to land is too onerous. The Howard Government’s 1998 amendments to the act diminish its value, he says. Central to his concerns was the legal requirement for Aboriginal people to prove a continuous connection to their country.

“This onerous burden of proof has placed an unjust burden on those native title claimants who have suffered the most severe dispossession and social disruption,” he said.

 As novelist Xavier Herbert said in his book Poor Fellow My Country:

“Until we give back to the black man just a bit of the land which was his, and give it back without provisos … we shall remain what we have always been so far: a people without integrity, not a nation but a community of thieves.”

User Choice

What Noel Pearson says in his weekend Australian article of May 28 that choice is power for development and progress and ultimately creates social change in individuals and families.

What he says makes a lot of sense to me. Mind you there is not much about the mechanisations of Noel Pearson that I agree with.

Linking choice to good health, education, social infrastructure and economic freedoms is a principle that I have believed in all of my working life.

Choice and the principles of user choice, goes to the heart of Indigenous development and is at the centre of a larger debate going on among Aboriginal learning centres, Aboriginal RTO training providers, and indigenous individuals, particularly the young emerging indigenous diaspora, than want a better life, and to be able to choose for themselves and take on the responsibilities and discipline of the choices they make.

Choice or more commonly known these days as user choice,; it’s not a principle that came to me as I was laying back in my swag , looking into the night sky and suddenly seeing a star falling in the east.

It came to me in a more realistic and tangible way.  I recall when I was growing up, when we kids got sick, or mum got sick, we had to go to the doctor in town based at the hospital. I recall walking through the bush down a sandy road about 2 kilometres to the bus stop and catching the early morning bus.

The bus would take us to close to the hospital where we would walk a few blocks. The hospital used to open at 9am in those days and close at 5pm.  I always remember my poor mum being one of the first there when the doors opened and sitting there in outpatients all day. All of the Aboriginal and Islander people were made to wait and gave up their turn in the queue to the white folk.

Mum and the other ladies just endured this practice in silence. The nurse would come out and look around and if there was a white person there, call their name. This would go on all day;  it did not matter that she had registered at 9am, she would sit all day with patience and dignity, waiting her turn. Sometimes we missed the bus, and we would have to walk the 8 or more kilometres home and we would arrive home just on dark.

When private health insurance came in, mum joined the family up and for the first time in her life she had a choice, to use whatever doctor she wanted for her family. She was so pleased and happy and stayed in health insurance all her life, just so she had the doctor of her choice.

I always remember that and the principle of choice has stayed with me ever since. Choice for her and many other Aboriginal people in those days meant a better and a healthy life style. I am not in hospital benefits now, only because we have a great Aboriginal health service and the blatant racism does not exist to the same extent of those bygone days. In those days, we always sat at the back of the bus even though there was no written law.  Aboriginal people were conditioned to move to the back of the bus.

My mum exercised what Pearson writes about, she exercised her individual right to self determination, personal empowerment, her self-actualisation of having control over her life and taking responsibility for herself and her family.

The discipline and responsibility of choice in my mum’s case, was to make sure she kept up her health payment. She maintained her payments even in her pension years; she stayed with a plan, a discipline she maintained for 40 years. Thinking back she would have been in the vanguard of Aboriginal people, using choice in joining a health medical benefits plan.

In today’s climate Aboriginal students and participants in education, there is a shift to user choice, for example kids can practically choose what university they go too, what training establishment they prefer. Students and program participants can now look at a school, university, RTO, look at the services they provide and then make an informed choice on where they want to go.

Most mainstream training organisations, RTO’s and the like, have taken a lot of time to set up proper and consistent  protocols, to embrace indigenous culture and are mindful of the requirements in education practises that fit in with the training needs of Indigenous people.

The job scene is also changing rapidly. One time the only job was as a stockman on the station, now after long periods of idleness and lost generations, people can now choose what training they want, where they want to train, and what job outcome can come from that training.

Choice changed my mother’s life all those years ago and choice has already changed the life style of many Aboriginal people. Having choice does empower people giving them the capabilities and the opportunity for a better outcome in life.

My view is that wherever you are, always choose user choice whenever the opportunity arises.

Is Anyone Listening Anymore

The recent visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, laid it on the line when she said that the Northern Territory Intervention needed a rethink. That it was fundamentally wrong and that the intervention had caused deep hurt and pain to Aborigines.

Of the people she met , “One person told me that he didn’t have money left to buy ice-cream for his children,” she said. “The whole voluntariness of spending your own income has been removed from them. They feel they are being targeted.”

The concern is whether there anyone listening to what the commissioner had to say. The media have trotted out the usual people and agencies for comment on what she had said. We have heard it all before. It is obvious that interest has dropped off; no one is listening, and no one cares. The footy season is nigh. The news media are just going through the motions and are becoming increasingly frustrated from the orchestrated responses from pollies.

The good old Greens keep punching away; on both of the issues, the Territory Intervention, and refugees.  Good on them for that, but my sensors tell me that people are a little bit sick of seeing Sarah Hanson Young on their screens.

The talk back mob struggled as well, as their audience load the Winnebago’s up and follow each other around the country tail to tail in their own form of “caterpillar dreaming”.  Their interest is to avoid paying camping fees. They are running out of things to say and are getting as old and tired as some of the presenters.

Fairfax has seen the light and is selling their flagship talk back radio stations and The Australian is hoping for another tweet from Larrisa to get its ratings up, or another Town Camp story with pictures.

Even good old “auntie” with it boring repetitive news 24 and their whole ensemble of tax payer funded digital frequencies, and web portal have struggled to grab the attention of the average punter. Even though the ABC has given new meaning to the word podcasting, they have not laid a glove or had an impact.

This of course is timely for government. No one has really reacted about the refugees since the Malaysian solution was announced, except the libs carping on about about caning. No caning on Naru they say, “touche”.  The steam has been taken out of the debate and the average punter can sleep peaceably in their beds at night, because the politicians and government bureaucrats  will have done the dirty deeds for them on refugees and the intervention, on their behalf.

The message here is that it is not the Ice Cream that’s the issue,  it is the disempowerment and shame of not being able to provide for the family unit. The very thing Australia built its reputation on as a fair and equitable civil society. However “the Aboriginal family unit”, has been raped and pillaged by the last Liberal government, now its Labour turning the screws even harder and maintaining the intervention with all of its failings. “That’s why, that poor bugger can’t buy his kids an ice cream”.

I spoke to an “old Unc” about this and other comments that had been made by the commissioner when I saw him down the street. I remember when I was a kid on the station, he said, we never had ice cream, and actually we never had much at all.

My dad worked like a donkey on the station for “ little bit flour and little bit tea”.  He wanted a better life for us so we moved down to town before the war. There were a lot of people on the move. We camped out near the mangroves, actually it was in the mangroves, the mosquitoes and sand flies drove us mad but we got used them. I remember mum took us to town and bought us ice cream; she would have a pot of tea and a ham sandwich. It was great they used to scoop the ice cream out of big long cans.

There were only 2 colours. We used to get the white one because we did not like the black one (chocolate).  Looking back the shop owner always wanted to give us the black one. Wonder why?, he asked. I don’t know I said, maybe deep down he thought that black kids liked chocolate  ice cream.

We both laughed, it’s good to laugh at things like that. I remember a time the great depression, they call it. My father would come home from looking for work. Sometimes he would get a job for the day down at the waterfront loading raw sugar.

He would come home, the molasses from the brown sugar would be dripping down his back, he would wear a piece of hessian bag with a hole cut in and slip it over his head to soak up the molasses, all the wharfies used them. It never stopped the molasses from dripping all over his back.

He would slump into an old canvass chair, like the ones in the old picture theatres and have a homemade mango wine; he could not afford anything else.

One day he came home there was no work and he said “kids I won’t be able to buy you and ice-cream this week”. Maybe if they pick me for work next week it will be ok. There are a lot of men looking for work down there. I don’t like my chances, there are a lot of big TI fellas down there looking for work and they pick them first he said, because they are big and strong.

There were a lot of kids whose parents could not afford ice cream, it wasn’t the end of the world.  They had other things on their minds, and there was no human rights commissioner to bring the situation to the world. I left him there playing his ukelale out front of the market, people walking buy throwing a few coins into his hat.

The reporting of the Intervention by a section of the media has been tendentious from the very beginning, supporting the governments and a few selected Aboriginal people’s views. It was always destined to fail. The people on the ground told us that.

This latest report from the UN Commissioner does us no good. It is difficult now because the Howard/Brough plan polarised the country on blackfellas and refugees. We are dealing with a pernicious and hostile press who have dug a hole for themselves in supporting the view of Howards lifted One Nation policies. The current government are locked in now,  fearing that any change will diminish their chances of re-election.

What has happened to us a nation, we don’t deserve this. The Human Rights Commissioner Ms Pillay has hit a nerve, practically calling the country racist. Our current media oligarchy is undecided on how to challenge her, some preferring to ignore her, happy to see the back of her.

That countryman out in Alice who can’t afford an ice cream for his kids is an unfortunate sign of the times for a lot of ordinary Australians.  The country is becomeing  poorer,  jobs are going off shore,  “Julia, Julia, Julia” what else can go wrong.

Fielding pulls the rug on Wild Rivers


Senator Fielding in his rejection of his support of the Tony Abbott, Wild Rivers private members bill, was letting his conscience guide him.  Fielding is a Christian and attends CityLife Church a large Pentecostal church in Melbourne. On the ABC television program Q&A he admitted to being a creationist but would not answer whether or not he believes that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old.

The party that Fielding represents was founded in South Australia in time to contest the 2002 state elections,  when former Assemblies of God pastor Dr Andrew Evans became its first Member of the Legislative Council (MLC), winning a seat in the South Australian Legislative Council.

Then along came fielding in 2004 winning just 1.9% of the vote to represent Victorian in the senate, well Victorians had enough of him and in 2010 fired him.

With the Family First philosophy built firmly in his mind, his attitude towards Aboriginal people was always going to determine, that Aboriginal people were better off under a system, where their lives are orchestrated towards welfare and assimilation.

The Family First party has no tangible Aboriginal policy that gives hope to Aboriginal people. They have no firm policy on self determination, economic development, and land ownership. Their attempts at winning over Aboriginal voters and middle Australia were seen as being sinister with the nomination of an Aboriginal woman, lawyer Andrea Mason, as party President. 

There was no way Fielding was ever going to support Wild Rivers. He was always angling for a deal from the State and the Feds, that’s the nature of independents. Fielding played the “black card” and simply out played them.

I can’t believe the naivety of Noel Pearson and others in his camp to think that Fielding would support Wild Rivers. 

Family First’s preferencing agreement with the Coalition in the 2004 federal election led Barnaby Joyce to publicly slam the party the day before the election, calling them “the lunatic Right”, and stating that “these are not the sort of people you do preference deals with”. Joyce said that in 2004, what has changed in 2011, why would you believe that Fielding would support you, why?

Look at his record on the Paid Parental Leave Scheme, Fielding suggested “some women may rort the scheme by deliberately falling pregnant and then having a late-term abortion”. He was subsequently criticised by all sides of Australian politics for these comments

He opposed the Rudd Government’s alcopops tax. He argued that taxing ready to drink alcohol beverages wouldn’t put an end to binge drinking. Since then the Senator has campaigned hard for the government to act on Australia’s binge drinking culture.

In February 2009, he told a Senate hearing that he believed divorce added to the impact of global warming because it resulted in people switching to a “resource-inefficient lifestyle”.I mean “Hello”

What hope Aboriginal peoples in the Cape that want to improve their lifestyle, when they are up against a modern day zealot and a devotee of the Family First doctrine.  

 Wild Rivers is flawed, we know why the Beattie Government done the deal politically, with the greens to enable labor to cling to power. This legislation, guarantees the two speed economy of Aboriginal people in the Cape, is maintained for the resource rich Aboriginal folk now getting some benefits, from mining in their regions. 

For the remainder of Aboriginal people who have no mineral resources, just their land the right to earn from it is diminished. They have been condemned to a life of poverty, misery and despair.

The circumstances in today’s economy have changed, with governments tightening the screws and running a welfare reform agenda, the need to open up development to Aboriginal people is now stronger than ever.

In this so called 2 stage or patchwork economies where do Aboriginal people with little or no resources of mining agriculture, tourism, fishing or pastoral industries fit. How do you measure someone on a basic card?. How do you even begin to build the communities into economic hubs, if you don’t support their aspirations to get off welfare?

This whole business of Wild Rivers legislation is stopping development in the Cape and for Aboriginal people from having economies, and keeping them reliant on government handouts. 

Calling Fielding a judas and a miserable man is probably close to the mark, but to Fielding it is water off a ducks back, he will slink back to his Christian roots, and the greens will forever be in his debt.




 Calling Fielding a “Judas” and a miserable man is probably close to the mark, but to Fielding it is like


A fair go underpins our Democracy


The Australian Newspaper, who everyone knows is running to a set agenda. It now deludes itself  in an article “one hand tweeting” that the Australian Newspaper alone, is the leader of the “fourth estate” and is winning the contest of ideas as its articles deliver the accountability and transparency that underpins our democracy.  I would like a dollar for every time a mainstream journalist in search of a self rightious hit, has pulled that old chestnut out of the fire.

The time spent by journalism students being preached a doctrine which surfaced in the British Parlament in 1787, and one year after the first boat people landed in Sydney Cove, is  testament as to why we have so many sub standard newspaper journalists today.

Much better to have studied a unit on Aboriginal Australia, and then the journalists writing the Aboriginal stories, would have a better idea of the background to the situation Aboriginal people find themselves in today.

In Australia today a  large number of Aboriginal people remain landless and ethnics in their own land. There are a lot of Aboriginal people in Victoria and NSW not signing off on a multi million dollar gas deal, their land has been stolen from under them, beginning on on that faithful day 1n 1788 when they sailed down Sydney Cove.

It is not just a couple of Aboriginal women in Central Australia who suffer from delusions of grandeur. Some Australian newspaper journalists suffer the same symtoms, are quick to claim that they are on the side of good and that others that don’t agree are on the side of evil. “Your with us or against us”.

The battle with Fairfax, is as ferioucious and penecious, as their reporting of black issues, the only difference is that it is not on the front page.

Depending on your view of the Australian newspaper, many ordinary punters would find their putting down of people with opposing views not in the best interests of community decency and democracy.  The Australian’s view is self-serving. They ignore the key principles of balanced reporting. They are short on substance and the checks and balances required in a modern democracy.

The term “fourth estate” is loosely used term by journalists to  putdown others, when they are seeking the moral high ground on articles that are with odds to their own sub standard content .

In this case the Australian is putting down the Fairfax news for not getting into the gutter and reporting issues like the Berehet – Price affair,  in the same way as their journalists drag black Australia through the mud, putting one Aboriginal against another, in order to get a story. Claiming that that such stories are in the community interest. No one gives a toss as to what Berehert said, no one that is except those Aboriginal people who have an axe to grind.

Last weekend, a story appeared in the Fairfax press sparked by the Australian’s front page reporting of a tweet in which Behrendt engaged in what amounted to a bit of “bar talk”.  Behrendt tweeted about a substandard monosybilic performance by Price on ABC Q&A.

What is wrong with that? its a simple bit of Australian larrakinism. You can hear the same talk on TV she did not use the bad language which is so common these days on TV, and in any bar or club in Australia.  Maybe because it was a woman and a black one that said, it is the reason the moral fourth estate Australian newspaper was so quick to moralise about its role and its ability to deliver the accountability and transparency that underpins our democracy. and pours scorn on rivals or individuals that don’t agree with its opinions.

Their view is inconsistent and not in keeping with principles of good journalism, their thinking is straight out of the political ideology in Mein Kampf

The Australian says that the Herald self – censored the original Behrendt – Price story. Maybe it was because it was not newsworthy or suitable reading for the readers of a quality newspapers published by the Hearald. Better to let the fading Australian newspaper run another beat up sterio type story on the front page about Aboriginal people.

This strange approach matters little to us as it serves only to highlight the benefits our readers enjoy. But it hardly seems fair to Herald readers or the broader public, who might be interested in this crucial discussion.

The issue is not as the Australian says about who speaks for Central Australian Aboriginal people, they are well supported by a cultural structure and an organisational structure. No Indivedual blackfella speaks for the whole mob. The two women provideing all of the copy are part of the problem of the intervention. They delude themselves that they speak for the mob. It is a common thing among most Aboriginal people that when someone bestows the title “:leader” it goes to their head, they think they are untouchable, and can say and do as they like, ignoring the rules of common decency and respect.

The situation with the intervention is that it was and is built on naked racism. It is underpinned by the so called “fourth estate” remember them? they deliver the accountability and transparency that underpins our democracy. That what the Australian tells us. You cant have your cake and eat it too, Racism is racism does not matter how you dress it up.

Any one indivedual who supports the intervention, any newspapers and radio commentator who supports the intervention also supports racism and discrimination of Aboriginal people.

 Ethical standards in reporting by mainstream media coupled with a thirst for cash from shareholders, is having an impact on the public who read newspapers. They have been disillusioned for a long time. So much for the dream of the 1789 doctrine of a Fourth Estate. It belongs in the waste paper basket of time.

The Grog Town Muster

As the sun sinks over “Dog Dreaming” In Alice

All the cracks are gathering for the fray

The noted interventionists from communities near and far.

Are mustering at the Alice overnight

For the interventionist love discrimination where the Aboriginal people are

And the “Australian newspaper” and the ABC snuff the battle with delight

There was Tony who made his name when Turnbull and Nelson bit the dust.

Few can ride beside him when his belligerence is up.

He will go to town camps, where even Julia or Macklin wouldn’t go.

And the good old boys and girls from Alice were there to lend a hand,

There was Woolworths, Coles, Ahorua, and even a Native Title Group.

No better grog baron can pour a better beer.

No journalist can throw him, when he is on song

He learnt to ride with Noel when teaching in the Cape.

And down by Canberra , where the politicians meet

Where the air is clear and the winter nights are long

The treasurer rises for the battle, and grabs the reins with glee

And down around the town camps where dust and flies prevail

The man from Canberra will be forgotten

And the town folk camped on sacred ground

Will tell the story of his ride.