We have yet to hear back from any LNP minster regarding questions we, UniCEF, and the Australian Human Rights Commission have posed and raised about the Relevance of Indue Cashless Cards to and in First Nation communities and governments obligations under the Human Rights Act. It seems no one wants to discuss the issue at all much less draw attention to it.
Relevance*, as a legal term, is a matter given priority under the Social Security Act and under the Human Rights and related Non Discrimination Acts. Government must prove to the parliament and community, the Relevance of their policy decisions and have that proof approved in turn in order to justify Human Rights infringments.
In regards to the issue of Indue Cashless Cards especially, the question of Relevance has not yet been established – it has barely been addressed. Government has until now, been unable to prove Relevance in any satisfactory manner, and twice now, despite clear and unequivocal statements from the Human Rights Commissioner that governments HR memorandum and the CDC legislation itself does not meet Human Rights standards, still CDC roll outs and “trials” continue.
Yet the issue of Relevance, and the fact that our government already is, and is intent on continuing to abuse the Human Rights of Australian citizens, gets no air time whatever in media, nor in parliament or in any pressers made by pro-card advocates, anywhere.
We leave John Pilgers ‘ Utopia” here tonight to provide some readers with a wider field context as regards the nature of systemic and structural Human Rights abuses already committed upon First Nations communities since colonisation.
It is a film that describes in detail the enduring legacy of structural and lateral violence, not to mention the impact of widespread racism on our First Nations peoples that was compounded by the NT Intervention and is ongoing and underscored today via Indue Cashles Cards push. This is a film that clearly, at least to us, shows why Relevance is such an important issue.
Being informed of the nature of historic abuses of Human Rights in Australia is important to comprehending the long term impacts of the latest round of structural abuses. The governements reliance on knee jerk reactgive polciies, and the hyper-nationalism so prevalent in our Parliamentry processes should concern *everyone* . A greater understanding of the cost of ignoring this cyclical repetition for poltical convenience is urgently needed.
Awareness of the ongoing and seemingly ‘sanctioned’ abuses of Human Rights depicted in this film, for profit, along with the social and moral costs of deliberate applications of punitive programs such as the NT intervention (NTER), the CDP and Indue Cashless Cards, are critical understandings to have when debating this card for what it really is and from a Human Rights platform in any sphere.
Given the fraud behind the NT Intervention is now public knowledge, and in ignoring the lessons of historic and recent history, the LNP have failed in their duty of care to the Australian people, present and future.
They are intentionally repeating a flawed set of polices ( forced income management and unfounded interventionism) that have not worked in centuries let alone in the past 13 years. They are ignoring the fact that they have intentionally created wholesale despair and community destruction. And in ignoring these consequences to continue to rush out yet another, illconsidered ultimately racist and classist policy, they have overstepped any mandate or right they may ever claim as national governers and must be held to account.
In moving forward, we must first admit and accept that we as a community, have been permissive of the actions of Human Rights abusers. We need to educate ourselves, be better informed in order to come together meaningfully and be willing to stop allowing these abuses of Human Rights to continue.
We do not and would not disrespect First Nations peoples by speaking for them. This has been our commitment since the onset of our campaign – that we would only ever amplify those First Nations voices that are speaking out for themselves, unless directly asked. These human beings, are the experts about their own lives and their reality on the ground. Not us.
So we will simply offer this succinct summary of the current situation, clipped from the film itself, where one First Nations speaker quietly and wisely states: “We are refugees in our own country….” – a statement that we felt, strikes at the heart of what has happened, what it is like now, and what many more can expect their own futures to look like if we do not act together, now.
Make NO mistake:
The SAME fraud, the same closet agendas, the same propaganda and lies used to justify the NT Intervention are being used right now here TODAY to justify the Indue Cashless Card roll outs.
We can’t let them do it and get away with it again. We must not.
As John notes in the film attached, the author of this report, “Office of the Northern Territory Coordinator General for Remote Services June 2011”
[ http://www.territorystories.nt.gov.au/…/NTCGRS_fullreport_2…], Olga Havnen, was sacked by the NT government soon after it was published.
The report revealed that the government had spent over $80 million dollars on surveilence and removing children from their homes, while spending just $500,000 dollars on actually supporting and helping families directly. The report further revealed that despite all the lies and media, all the government ministers and their tearjerking pressers, actual rates of child abuse in the NT are in fact the LOWEST in Australia.
This report above, along with the three-year “Evaluating New Income Management in the Northern Territory” report, [ https://www.dss.gov.au/…/evaluation-of-new-income-managemen…] a report commissioned by the Department of Social Services itself under the previous Labor government, both found “no substantive evidence of the program having significant changes relative to its key policy objectives, including changing people’s behaviours”.
In what has become a revolving door of political mistakes and failures [http://www.abc.net.au/…/govt-flags-more-income-mana…/5975832] forced income management remains the tool of choice for active despotism and Human Rights abuse in Australia.
It’s beyond time that ended.
**A warning to our First Nations readers this film depicts people who have and may have passed**
* [There is no legal ‘term’ available that describes the insanity of piling more human rights abuses on people who have already had their Human Rights systemically abused.]