Saturday, March 15, 2008

it's beyond bad in Aurukun

Australian people know that things are bad in many aboriginal communities but do they know how bad?

This Sydney Morning Herald article We need to get the children out of here describes the terrible extent of the problems in Aurukun, in far north Queensland:
Elders are calling for the children to be removed from the community at age nine, for their safety and education ...

... Recidivism rates for teenage boys run at 90 per cent, some having served up to eight terms for offences from stealing cars to assault by the time they are 15. Close to a tenth of the community's adults and teenagers are either on parole, a suspended sentence or community service orders, but the latter are rarely enforced. Another tenth is revolving through jail or juvenile detention.

One in three children are not enrolled at the school, which notionally teaches to year 10 level. Of those who are, they attend two days a week on average. Nine in 10 children do not turn up on a Friday, regarded by most parents as a holiday set aside for gambling the week's "sweat money" (work-for-the-dole payments) and "child money" (family tax benefits)...

There have been two alcohol-driven street riots this year, involving 50 people or more armed with iron bars, knives and hammers, on top of three last year. The past week has seen an influx of sly grog by sea, a stabbing, nightly assaults and the near-sacking of the chief executive officer for his efforts to apply general administrative standards to council business.

Tomorrow's local government election is largely being fought over the community's "right to drink" in the face of recent restrictions on the serving of alcohol at the local tavern by the Liquor Licensing Board.
Clearly, we have to do a lot more than say sorry. Read the article in full and search this blog for "pearson" for further information about possible solutions.

Step one: face reality

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This morning 3.30am locals broke into yard and undid all repairs completed on vehicles done on thurs.To date have fitted 54 ignition switches.In five months have had 32 vehicles stolen,6 written off,15 windscreens smashed,workshop broken into three times. Depot broken into and keys for all vehicles stolen.Every night yard broken into.Damage done to property inmeasurable. Politicians dont care and hide. When politicians visit they spend a couple of hours on the ground then fly out without seeing the real aurukun where violence,stealing and social skills have been put on hold for survival.Most aurukun locals are wonderful people fighting to survive. A culture long forgotten by colonial australia and left to make its own rules for survival.Do-gooders come and go.Rip off merchants run rampant intent on lining their pockets with projects that have no hope of long term viability eg Resort never completed cost 2.3mil, comercial fishing cost $ ?,Fishing vessel cost $ ? money being pocketed by outsiders.Grand plans being put to federal minister to help local community just a ruse to line someones pocket.Senior local politician letting family run sly grog in council vehicle.Senior politician son covicted of complicity in rape of 10 yr old.Another son allegedly involved in stealing fuel from council vehicle while driving council vehicle on council time.Trying to pressure senior council staff to allocate precious work to private companies then trying to explain the meetings away by saying he just happened to be passing and sat in on meeting even though he gave represntatives a ride to meeting. Police underresourced and overworked.