Thursday, June 28, 2007

No! It is nothing like New Orleans!

Re: Australian outback alcoholism, child abuse in remote communities.
The comment by the prime minister is quite irresponsible. Let's see, Sending the army and police whom know little about the regional culture, don't really know which are the worst criminals because most crimes have been done in high secrecy; The problems are not amenable to "one-off" surge of interest, intrusion and intervention. Really, the only hope of "fixing" the problem would take 35 years and billions of dollars. This is more like IRAQ than New Orleans! I guess the political technique is, move out after a few months, claim victory, then re-bury our heads in the sand.


Dr. Clam said...

But it OUGHT to be just like New Orleans! In both cases the problem is essentially the same: an economically superfluous population in a vulnerable situation where it is difficult to provide them with essential services.

It will always be prohibitively expensive to provide security and medical care to these remote Aboriginal communities, so if they have no economic rationale for existence, they should be evacuated back to Alice Springs or whereever, where their residents can access support systems and will be harder just to ignore. I am sure life is much better in the miserable shanty towns outside cities than it is out in the middle of nowhere.

Marco said...

I must disagree. In some ways, I am jealous of the "simplicity" of life in the outback. A permanent camp-out. The trouble is, it is impossible to get the benefits without the drawbacks either way. Provision of anything denies the tradition of fending for oneself, and breeds dependency. The real economic problem starts with a basic cultural issue with the concept of property. Palm Island is rife with million dollar views, plenty of money to build nice houses, but no tradeable rights of ownership of property. There needs to be experiments amongst aboriginal communities to see what happens when property rights are instigated.

Dr. Clam said...

And I do believe your experiments are underway on Cape York! I guess fully tradeable property rights are problematic, as historically these have usually resulted in those million dollar views being bought by Whitefellas for a song.
Anyway, property is theft. (Said Dr Clam, deciding to enter a Marxist phase until lunchtime.)