There has been some reaction to criticism of the ‘Emergency Taskforce’ that views it as ‘willing failure’ of the measures. This is a rather cynical response that ignores the fact that much of the criticism existed prior to this latest ill-conceived adventure.
The Governments own appointee to the position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, has been a consistent critic. He issued this statement, rather prophetically, just one week before the Mal&John Press Conference of June 22,
“Current federal Government policy treats Indigenous people as ‘problems to be solved’ rather than as active partners in creating a positive life vision for our communities,” Mr Calma said.
“The irony is that this fosters a passive system of policy development and service delivery, while at the same time the government is criticising Indigenous peoples for being passive recipients of government services.”
Direct hit. The ensuing debate couldn’t have shown him to be any more correct in his assessment.
The press release was titled “Government approach to Indigenous affairs seriously flawed“. It marked the release of the annual Social Justice Report which I’ll review it in some depth soon, to see just how far off track the NT Emergency Response Taskforce actually is.