Aboriginal Issues

How about asking Tent Embassy why they’re so angry?

Why do so few of the media reporters actually ask the Aboriginal demonstrators why they are so angry with being told to change tactics? Maybe the poor record of the past decades of more polite advocacy discourages beliefs that main party politicians listen to their needs and what works.

Government ignores evidence of policy failure on Aboriginal issues

The government is ignoring evidence that income management in Aboriginal communities isn’t working. Despite a raft of studies showing it isn’t changing behaviour or significantly improving people’s life chances, the Commonwealth is determined to press on with expanding the policy. Another disappointing Productivity Commission biennial report on Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage shows limited improvement and, like the recent Finance Department report, suggests much of the government’s Indigenous policy is neither effective nor appropriately assessed.

Strong Futures demands are un-Australian

How un-Australian is it for the federal government to invite submissions and input from an affected population and then expect them to spend Christmas doing the submission?

Does new evidence from NT women undermine supposed benefits of income management?

The stated intentions of the income management program, as part of the Northern Territory Emergency Response and the more recent revived program, were clearly aimed at better family functioning. Some surveys and statistics are quoted by the government to support the program and its various extensions but these give no statistically valid indicators  of  recipient benefits.

New intervention proposals … same old, same old

A new consultation process on more intervention proposals does not please the many critics of the current version’s costly failures.  The government’s discussion paper, Stronger futures in the NT, sets severe limits on the topics to be discussed and the issues to be raised.

Questions Gillard should ask in Alice Springs, but probably won’t

1. What is the hard evidence that our interventions over the past four years have improved the well being of children here?

2. Why does the latest implementation report show that school attendance is down in the NT, despite income management and more teachers?

NT Intervention: the divide between opinion and evidence

Opposition leader Tony Abbott appeared on The 7.30 Report, interviewed by Chris Uhlmann against the backdrop of the NT:

CHRIS UHLMANN: I spoke with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott earlier today and asked if the intervention had achieved its primary aim, protecting children.

Ignoring evidence may explain why the gap does not close

Today the Productivity Commission releases its latest report on overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage, which shows only 13 of 45 measures showed any improvement and seven went backwards. The dismal results, following the recently released finance report on non-progress may add to more blaming of Aboriginal communities but experiences detailed below on the income management program suggest the cause may be government failure to accept evidence or advice that runs counter to a long pattern of inappropriate policy making.

Whatever happened to evidence-based policy making?

Prime Minister Gillard in parliament yesterday:

Because I believe in tackling the big challenges in the national interest… I see Closing the Gap as a way of understanding the problems.

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