A plea to Penny… don’t vote for Stronger Futures

Labor Senator Penny Wong.

THERE are two ‘big ticket’ items bouncing around federal parliament at the moment – same-sex marriage, and the Stronger Futures legislation.

One seeks to extend rights, and one seeks to deny them, but I’m taking a strong personal interest in both. [Read more…]

Abbott recruits Karen Klein abusers for 2013 election

New York bus monitor Karen Klein, whose abused by a group of school children was pasted onto YouTube.

THE LEADER of the Australian Opposition, Tony Abbott has recruited four young boys who bullied a New York school worker to stand as Liberal Party candidates in the 2013 election.

In a story that has swept the internet, Ms Klein, a 69-year-old bus monitor from Rochester, NY was subjected to 10 minutes of extraordinary abuse by four students, aged 12 and 13. [Read more…]

A CAUTIONARY TALE: Land deals and brown paper bags

IF NOTHING else, the story of how a wealthy property developer came to be working with a small Far South Coast Local Aboriginal Land Council over a series of land deals that potentially would reap millions is a cautionary tale. It’s a story of rich white developers; of organized crime figures; of poor black land council officials; of corruption; of deceit; and ultimately betrayal. It’s even got a brown paper bag, full of cash. [Read more…]

A planetary phenomenon and an earthly invasion

YOU’LL forgive Aboriginal people for not jumping over the moon today at the Transit of Venus. One of the last times the ‘Evening Star’ got between the Earth and Sun, it was used as the pretext for invasion.
Ever a suspicious lot, the British had long wanted to claim the ‘Great Southern Land’ for themselves, which they were sure existed thanks to the hard work of explorers from other countries. But they didn’t want to tip off other countries to what they were doing. [Read more…]

Chicken Little George says native title is all sweet

WHEN it comes to native title, a Liberal politician is like a kid in a candy store. He just can’t help himself.

First there was then opposition leader John Howard, who, in 1995, stood in front of a map of Australia and predicted that more than 70 percent of the landmass was under threat. Then deputy prime minister Tim Fisher; in 1998 he promised “bucketloads of extinguishment” of Aboriginal native title rights through amendments to the Native Title Act. And who could forget Philip Ruddock: in 2006, after the successful Single Noongar native title claim over Perth, he claimed the decision might give Aboriginal people control over the nation’s parks and beaches.

I think it’s fair to say “Mr White of Perth” still has access to his favourite swimming spot. [Read more…]

DREAM STREET: Macklin’s latest address on Aboriginal housing

A humpy in the remote Central Australian community of Irrultja. Rather than provide proper housing, Macklin’s government installed power meters on the edge of the humpy camp.

A REPORT this morning in The Australian says: “Australia has ‘turned a corner’ on Aboriginal housing following the construction of more than 600 homes in communities throughout the Northern Territory, with plans to have 1000 built by June next year.

“I am optimistic that we have turned the corner in Australia. We are building homes to last.”

So said Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, at the World Indigenous Housing Conference in Canada overnight. I’m not sure what corner Macklin thinks she’s turned, but if she’s talking about the intersection of “Fantasy Avenue” and “Spin Boulevard”, then she might have a point. [Read more…]

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