The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Howard steals indigenous assets

Crikey’s Darwin insider Henri Ivrey writes about Howard & Brough’s latest indigenous policy abomination – a plan to seize all community assets valued in excess of $400k and rent them back to their communities, regardless of how well-run and effective they are. They are enacting their final solution for Australian Aborgines by stealing their land, undermining their fragile communities, and offering only mainstream assimilation in return. Are there no limits to the bastardry and ineffectual policy making of this morally bereft parcel of rogues? Apparently not.

At least Ned Kelly stole from the rich. Mal Brough is taking from the poor to establish a government-controlled property trust, from which he will then rent back to the dispossessed.

Organisational assets above the value of $400,000 are to be compulsorily acquired by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and transferred to a new entity, the Indigenous Economic Development Trust (IEDT), and then rented back at commercial rates to the same organisations from which the asset has been taken from.

In some cases this will make those organisations commercially unviable, leading to financial collapse and loss of Aboriginal jobs. Every reason for Aboriginal organisations for acquiring property as part of engaging with capitalism has been thrown out in favour of a centrally controlled government bureaucracy.

This is not about Aboriginal land in places like Arnhem Land: assets will be compulsorily stripped from Aboriginal organisations owning land and property up and down the Stuart Highway—Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs—no matter how well run, no matter what the level of services provided, no matter what those assets are being used for.

The sheer effrontery of it is extraordinary. The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), in at least one instance, will be “resuming” an asset from an Aboriginal business which is being offered back for commercial rental to the very Aboriginal business from which it was compulsorily taken.

In many cases the assets have been built up over many years—in some cases decades. Some are jointly-owned assets. Some are leased to groups such as health services; some provide low cost housing. Some are funded through a combination of commercial income, commercial bank loans, soft government loans and government grants.

Potentially, property and other commercial assets that are earning an income, and employing Aboriginal people, will be summarily resumed by a federal bureaucracy. At least one CDEP seems destined to relinquish the property it purchased, then lease it back from the IEDT.

John Howard visited the Aboriginal town of Ntaria (Hermannsburg) Tuesday this week.

“We have a simple aim,” he told the locals, “and that is whilst respecting a special place of Indigenous people in the history and the life of this country, their future can only be as part of the mainstream of the Australian community.

“But unless they can get a share of the bounty of this great and prosperous country, their future will be bleak.”

One can only assume the “special place of Indigenous people in the history and the life of this country” is something to do with continuously re-enacting those bits where land and property are stolen from them. Hard to work out where the “share of the bounty” comes in.

As I’ve said before, Howard is an unreconstructed methodist missionary assimilationist saving the souls of the colored savages when it comes to aboriginal affairs. Don’t believe anything he says as he tries to convince you otherwise. His impressionable formative adolescent years were spent deep in Methodist Youth Land circa 1950, channeling all that teen spirit into saving pickaninny souls for Jesus, make no mistake about it.


Filed under: Ass Hattery, Ideology, Indigenous, Politics, Wingnuttery

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