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NEWS: Australia to require Aboriginal communities sign welfare "contracts"

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posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 06:53 PM
The Australian governments plans on requiring Aboriginal’s that receive government assistance, to sign a behavior contract. The assistance from health care to unemployment benefits would require that people give something to receive the welfare. Indigenous Affairs Minister Amanda Vanstone was quoted as saying "Passive welfare is over, but we want to work with communities to meet what are their obvious problems and needs". Aboriginal rights activists are up in arms and one labeled the plan as "fascism gone mad." SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's government plans to make Aboriginal people sign behavioural "contracts" in order to receive state health care, unemployment benefits and other social services, a report said.

Families and communities would be rewarded for such things as ensuring their children are washed, clothed and go to school, The Australian newspaper said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Amanda Vanstone told the newspaper that under a radical shake-up, so-called "sit-down money" would end, a euphemism for receiving generous state handouts in return for doing little.

Aboriginal communities would sign contracts with government welfare officers, she said, in a bid to ensure the principle of mutual obligation -- the idea that people must give something in exchange for welfare

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

As the article points out, is this an attempt as social engineering? The requirement of conformity on the surface seems like it too me. However, I freely admit that Aboriginal’s and the issues surround them and the Australian people are not my strong suit. I would be interested in our strong Australian contingent to chime in on their thoughts and experiences with this issue. Perhaps an interesting parallel can be drawn with the Native American Indians?

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 06:58 PM
They would be forced to bathe and clothe and school their children?

What kind of fasicim is that?

I am forced by law to do that now, whats the problem?

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 07:00 PM
This is a great idea, and one we should have in America. Too many people are on welfare doing nothing and living off of everyone else, so go do something. If your so worthless you can't make your kids go to school and behave yourself, then the good Australian citizens shouldn't have to pay for future criminals and more future children that contribute nothing, which is what's happening here in America, which is why we should have it too.

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 07:02 PM

Originally posted by Ruggeder
This is a great idea, and one we should have in America.

I cant talk for everywhere but here in Arkansas we DO have a program a lot tougher than that. Its called workfare, dont come here looking for a handout, a HANDUP we will give you but not a handout.

You can only go for 5 years total in your life.

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 07:56 PM
A laymans view

Its a devisive issue here in Australia at the moment.

Aboriginals got the vote in Australia after a national referendum in the 1960s.

Land Rights and the definition of it has caused a lot of arguments.....some people think it ranges from just convincing John Howard to say "Sorry" publicly for past injustices, to those who either push or fear wholesale claims against the homes and businesses of the majority properties.
Lets just say its got extremes on both sides and the truth must lie somewhere in the middle.

There are a whole range of issues in there like the higher infant mortality rate, higher unemployment and alcoholism and violence, and in this case high absenteeism from school, to name a few.

The Howard government recently made radical and in some case severe changes to the Aboriginal run Agencies and authorities here following allegations and evidence of graft corruption and embezzlement by some of its senior appointees. Some say the Government took advantage of an opportunity, others say it was only given to them.

Our present government is neo conservative. That said even some aboriginals ( I am not one) agree there are serious problems in need of radical approaches.....Black and White authorities have been banging thier heads against walls for years.

Our unemployment and welfare systems (Jobstart, Newstart among others) are based on what is called "Mutual Obligation". Those who can, and want fortnightly payments and assistance, sign on to it. We have no cut off period in Australia for long as you need it you get it. We fear the US model.Its not "A fair Go" as we like to say.

Under our system the unemployed are expected to apply for ten jobs per fortnight, keep a log with details, and accept that these may be checked up on to ensure compliance. For longer termed unemployed MO may include attending training and self help programes or what we call "work for the dole" programes, the idea being (if you support it) that it is vital to put peoples dignity to get into some kind of work, even if it is only planting verge side trees, in exchange for payment.

There is a trend to means testing for some catagories of age and disability pensions to see if a form of MO should apply.

The problem with Aboriginal education, especially in country and outback areas where there is little if any work is that some parents are unable or diinterested in getting thier kids back into school and off the streets.
We have similar problems in parts of white and other ethnic communities but not to the same degree.

If you dont want to force people away from thier traditional homes, if you can't create jobs magically for them where there are none (and modern society is making them that is) then you might as well use MO welfare to get them to get thier kids into the classroom and give them a chance at something better. They may not take it but at least they can change thier minds then.

I wish they'd apply it to some of the welfare families who have this same problem. MOST WELFARE AND ABORIGINAL families who are doing it hard and doing thier best to get thier kids in, but it's a case, as usual of a minority making it hard for the rest.

People may not like that kind of "interference" but I prefer the option to the system that seems prevelent in the US of "youve had too long good bye".

I am white unemployed and my wife insists we manage off welfare, although we have been before, so I feel partially qualified to talk about it, and have had many Aboriginal passengers in the car who were concerned about the same issue when I drove cabs.

It may not be the perfect solution, but its not the worst solution.

[edit on 10-11-2004 by craigandrew]

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 10:02 PM
[edit on 21-11-2004 by jimmyhellfire]

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