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http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/northern-territory-grog-ban/2007/06/21/1182019254302.html


Prime Minister John Howard has announced a six-month ban on alcohol in indigenous communities across the Northern Territory.

The move is one of a series of measures in response to a major Northern Territory report last week which revealed widespread child abuse in indigenous communities, fuelled in part by alcohol.

"We regard this as akin to a national emergency," Mr Howard said in Canberra.

Detailing measures to be taken, he said: "In relation to alcohol the intention is to introduce widespread alcohol restrictions on Northern Territory Aboriginal land for six months.

"We will ban the sale, the possession, the transportation, the consumption and [introduce the] broader monitoring of takeaway sales across the Northern Territory."

The Federal Government would legislate to intervene in the territory to enact measures to combat child abuse, Mr Howard said.

He said 50 per cent of welfare payments through Centrelink to parents of children in affected areas would be quarantined to prevent all their money being spent on alcohol.

"The obligation in relation to that will follow the parent wherever that parent may go so the obligation cannot be avoided simply by moving to another part of Australia.

"Effectively, the arrangements will be that that 50 per cent can only be used for the purchase of food and other essentials."

Mr Howard also announced the Commonwealth would make welfare payments dependent on children attending school.

"We're going to enforce school attendance by linking income support and family assistance payments to school attendance for all people living on Aboriginal land," he said.

"We will be ensuring that meals are provided to children at school, with parents paying for the meals."

The Federal Government would take control of Aboriginal townships through five-year leases to improve property and public housing, Mr Howard said, adding that compensation would be forthcoming if required.

Mr Howard said the reforms would include scrapping the permit system for common areas and road corridors on Aboriginal lands, and marshalling work-for-the-dole participants to clean up Aboriginal communities.

Possession of X-rated pornography would be banned and all publicly-funded computers searched for evidence of stored pornography, he said.

Mr Howard said law and order would be a central focus of the dramatic measures.

"There will be an immediate increase in policing efforts," he said.

"We'll be asking each state police service to provide up to 10 officers who will be sworn as police in the Northern Territory."

The Government will also set up an Australian Government sexual abuse reporting desk.

Mr Howard said there will be a meeting next Thursday of the intergovernmental committee on the Australian Crime Commission.

"At the meeting our minister will ask the ministerial council to formally refer this issue to the Australian Crime Commission to allow the crime commission to locate and identify perpetrators of sexual abuse of indigenous children in other areas of Australia."

Mr Howard said at cabinet's next meeting Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough would present further proposals to extend the conditionalities of welfare payments to other welfare recipients.

"To ensure that these payments are used for the benefit of the children," he said.

He said Parliament would come back during the winter break, if needed, to deal with the legislation required to implement the initiative.

Mr Brough said cabinet would consider conditions on which measures requiring welfare payments to be devoted to the benefit of indigenous children would be extended to all other welfare recipients.

He said that particularly applied to the family tax benefit, but included all payments intended to assist children.

"The Australian population has a real desire to see that money only spent on the welfare of children. That has been our clear objective," he said.

"In addition to that is of course school education. You shouldn't have a black or white boundary. Every child should be going to school and if this can help do that, then they are two areas we are current examining and we will have further to say after the cabinet."

Seizure of land 'will take indigenous people back 40 years'

Sydney Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council chair Rob Welsh said he had not yet seen the details of the proposed measures, but that the seizure of Aboriginal land would take indigenous people back 40 years.

"It's total control of Aboriginal destinies. They've been trying to do it with housing right across Australia.

"That land has cultural significance because there are things that connect people to the land over centuries."

He said Aboriginal people had little trust in governments to deal sensitively with land.

"As soon as we start giving it back it's going to be mined and have waste dumped on it."


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My thoughts

a) Stunt. If this is such an emergency then why is the government only getting up in arms about it now?

b) Racist. I don't usually cry racism, but this is the federal government of our country explicitly denying freedoms (that we all enjoy) to people based on their race.
 

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Oh FFS im so sick of the racist card.

Children are getting abused and raped and adults are drinking themselves silly. There will be no indigenous people left in 50 years at this rate.

If this what it takes to fix the situation THEN DO IT.
 

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Oh FFS im so sick of the racist card.

Children are getting abused and raped and adults are drinking themselves silly. There will be no indigenous people left in 50 years at this rate.

If this what it takes to fix the situation THEN DO IT.
What does banning legitimate legal pornography got to do with it?
just another pathetic excuse for right wingers to impose their hypocritical moral beliefs on everyone
 

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Watch my Chops
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Six Month bans have worked in communities thus why they are imposing it in the NT. Half stunt, half a real shot.

Pallo is correct in saying these are hypocrical when it comes to porn. ;).
 

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By banning pornography in these comunities the Howard government is either assuming two things which are equally awful things to assume

1) they are either assuming that pornography encourages child abuse, which is a complete load of bollocks considering the number of people around the world who watch pornography on a regular basis with none of those presumed consequences

2) Or they are either assuming that aboriginal people are too stupid to know difference between porn and real life and need to be controlled, which still doesn't make sense anyway because i assume if those people were watching porn, it would be the legal kind of porn and not some underground illegal videos
 

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Good move, time to take the bull by the horns.

I notice, with interest, that Kevin "lip service" Rudd is supporting the plan.
 

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70's porn star
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technically x-rated porn is banned in most parts of the country except a few like the act and possibly nt. it's one of those things that most states turn a blind eye to.
 

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This is a return to more hands on care, which some will see as a racist action, but do you prefer to see the terrible state of child abuse and alcholism that is presently happening?

I get so angry with some idiots who don't have a clue, and have probably never been anywhere near an Aboriginal community passing judgement when something like this is proposed.
 

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1) they are either assuming that pornography encourages child abuse, which is a complete load of bollocks considering the number of people around the world who watch pornography on a regular basis with none of those presumed consequences
Sure, like the number of people who use alcohol on a regular basis with none of those presumed consequences.
 

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I'm not sure banning alcohol will help considering all the other illegal drugs and legal drugs at their disposal (petrol, glue, paint).

A more clinical approah is required and children of parents who abuse them MUST be taken away before they are too fucked. Stolen generation again?? Who gives a **** when kids are getting abused on a daily basis.

To me its racist NOT to do something. If this was going on in any other family unit across Australia the kids would be taken into care and the parents locked up!
 

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i actually support it... as drastic as it is... tha aboriginal communities up there are in such dire conditions... i do think it's time for tha govt to step in...

who knows how you would police this... i just hope bottleshop owners don't try to undermine tha policy and do tha right thing... they should ban glue/paints/solvents as well...
 

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Ah, in 1967 in South Australia the Labor Govt. removed racially-based alcohol restrictions on Aborigines. Within a year most communities--already dysfunctional--were in chaos.

But hey, let's have equality, right? That's more important than saving lives.
 

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I believe this is a good move. However, they can always put in place other measures that can help reduce the consumption of Alcohol in these communities. On Palm Island, they have a canteen based within the PCYC and Community centre were it is supervised by Indigenous Police officers, and the prices for a can of XXXX is quite expensive. They are also limited to what they can drink, in terms of alcohol, but they can still consume as much Alcohol as they like, and the Canteen is the only place where the consumption of Alcohol is legal. Drinking still happens inside the homes but this measure has also reduced Public Drukeness on Palm Island but a very significant amount. Yes, I have also been to Palm Island on many occasions, and it is a nice place.
 

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By banning pornography in these comunities the Howard government is either assuming two things which are equally awful things to assume

1) they are either assuming that pornography encourages child abuse, which is a complete load of bollocks considering the number of people around the world who watch pornography on a regular basis with none of those presumed consequences

2) Or they are either assuming that aboriginal people are too stupid to know difference between porn and real life and need to be controlled, which still doesn't make sense anyway because i assume if those people were watching porn, it would be the legal kind of porn and not some underground illegal videos

I think the Howard Government is assuming that people who have the tendencies of rape and child molestation would be spurred on by porn, which to me would be highly probable.

I am pretty sure these were all recommendations in a report given to the federal government.
 

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Watch my Chops
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Oh it's good in theory as it takes known practices and follows them. However the execution is simply a marvel of political willpower. Amazingly there will always be inherit racism in any plan put forward by the Liberals as that is there nature to give a nice racism spin to it, aka Heavy handed tactic and tactless dialog.

I do not however think that WA should follow Howard’s heavy handed plan we have our own issues and agree with Carps in saying that WA will be of little assistance to the NT/ Fed Plan in regard to police and nurses.
 

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Its rascist, homophobic, anti-semitic bullshit.

WEH WEH PEOPLE.
Get off the soap box. NOW.

If it needs to be done do it.
 

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I notice, with interest, that Kevin "lip service" Rudd is supporting the plan.
Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Most people no matter where they stand ideologically, understand drastic government intervention is needed to save a whole generation of children. It's just pragmatism.
 

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i agree something needs to be done, i'm just afraid of the risk another 'stolen generation' scenario, and howards reference to the 'constitutional niceties' is offensive, disrepectful and arrogant. Saying that the 'rights of the child' supercede everything is a poor arguement that unfairly draws on peoples emotions to agree with him, while in fact, he's dismissing the very foundations of every persons civil liberties.

I think this is a diversion for the election, to create a 'crisis' so that he can come to the rescue and fix it. The real risk is that despite all the drama and threat of 'crisis', nothing substantial will really be done and the aboriginal communities will actually be left worse off. What is needed is real investment in communities, creating jobs, infrastruction, civil institutions -> societal structures that will empower aboriginal people to make decisions for themselves and lead forfilling lives. This 'nanny state' solution is not the answer, and Howard i fear, is seemling doing the right thing (debatable), but for the wrong reasons.

I'm usually a staunch liberal, but this issue just might turn out to be a vote changer for me.
 

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i agree something needs to be done, i'm just afraid of the risk another 'stolen generation' scenario, and howards reference to the 'constitutional niceties' is offensive, disrepectful and arrogant. Saying that the 'rights of the child' supercede everything is a poor arguement that unfairly draws on peoples emotions to agree with him, while in fact, he's dismissing the very foundations of every persons civil liberties.
I can see that it's hypocritical insofar as both the Keating government and the present government took moves to prevent the High Court using the External Affairs power in the constitution to uphold or reject laws on the basis they were in concert or contravention (as the case may be) of an international treaty to which Australia was party. So it's a bit rich for the government to then turn around and suggest that the International Convention of the Rights of the Child should be used to regulate, via the External Affairs power, this situation.

But in this case, the action is supported by the Territories power, and I'd suggest the wording used by the Prime Minister was unfortunate.

I too am concerned that revisionist history will align this with the 'Stolen Generation'. On the other hand, being as sweeping as it is, it has a substantial chance of success.
 

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There ain't a doctor alive who will perform government-sponsored vaginal examinations on small children without parental permission, sorry. I expect the AMA will issue a statement on this can of worms shortly.
 
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