From Anna Lamboys in today's issue of crikey.com.au:
'There’s a document circulating around Yuendumu, Central Australia’s largest Aboriginal community, that suggests federally appointed Government Business Managers on Aboriginal communities in the Territory will have the power to direct police activities on those communities.
Northern Territory coppers are to be ordered to round up kids wagging school and conscript them into work gangs so they are "worked until visibly tired" ... The document "Yuendumu – School Attendance Proposal" has been drawn up by Noel Mason, the newly appointed Government Business Manager at Yuendumu.
Explaining that the kids from Yuendumu "enjoy staying away from school in Yuendumu far too much", Mason states that "the names of children staying up late at night will be collected and those children will used to assist with the clean up the town site the next day ... The aim is to make children who want to avoid school, have a busy, tiring day."
He goes on:
"Children listed will be ... questioned about why they are not at school, then moved to an area of rubbish in the town site and will be required to collect rubbish as punishment. Family elders, Police, Night Patrol staff and CDEP staff, will manage the rubbish collection. Students will be worked until they are visibly tired. Water and fruit will be available for them whilst working."'
Great. How about rubber gloves, face masks, free antibiotics and emergency responses to needlestick injuries?
I don't even recognise this country any more.
One ray of light is that the Northern Territory police are already publicly very unhappy as it is about the Feds' latest foray backwards in time; many of them have extensive experience in the Aboriginal communities and already know what works and what doesn't. I hope for, and expect, harsh words from the boys in beige in charge.
UPDATE: Or, if you are obliged to use grown-ups to do your dirty work, here's another cool new bit of government enabling: now you can ensure that they are expendable icky foreign grown-ups that nobody cares about.