WHO SAID WE CAN’T DISCUSS THIS ISSUE IN THE LOCAL PAPER?

IT EFFECTS ALL OF US…

AND WE ARE PAYING FOR IT…

SO, WE SHALL DISCUSS THE FACTS SURROUNDING THE ISSUE.

THE ISSUE IS : “ BLACK LIVES MATTER “ IN THE AUSTRALIAN CONTEXT.

Discussing these facts and forming an opinion about them is not hate speech – it is a normal, rationalized, civilized debate.

And.

If we have any chance of dealing with these significant matters, then we must deal with the facts, ugly or not, to arrive at a sensible conclusion. It is the Australian Community which must deal with these matters – we cannot shove this onto a politician’s lap and walk away.

We have done this since the early 1970s, and we, as a community at large, have achieved nothing, absolutely nothing!

Right from the start, we should get some matters clarified, so we are all talking about the same thing.

Cranky Lizard claims we are paying for it; well, we are. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has recorded that 780,000 people in Australian are accepted as aboriginal people. That is about 3% of the population of 23 million. In each annual Federal Budget, thousands of millions of taxpayer dollars are allocated to Aboriginal people, and Aboriginal related matters, such as Aboriginal Health Services, Aboriginal Land Councils, Aboriginal only Boarding Schools, Aboriginal Land Management trusts: it is a comprehensive list.

The allocation of these funds is not an issue for Cranky Lizard; they provide a means of access to education and health resources, which would otherwise be denied for many Aboriginal people.

It is not the funding that is the problem, although the manner of the use of the funds may well be of much interest, this issue is much broader than mere finance.

There are many Australians who accept that Australian Aboriginal people are disadvantaged in our society in terms of opportunities for education, employment, housing, and health – to mention a few!

So, ask yourself, why is this so?

Cranky Lizard suggests that in seeking the answer, there are a couple of points of fact that should be acknowledged.

The first point is that not all Australian Aboriginal people see themselves as disadvantaged. Cranky Lizard has worked and lived with tribal and rural dwelling Aboriginal people in the Top End of Australia for many years. Experience gained in Western Arnhem Land, the Tiwi Islands and the Finnis River Region plus experience with Eastern Arrente people in Central Australia provides Cranky Lizard with a reasonable platform from which to speak.

Aboriginal people living in Arnhem Land in Northern Australia do not consider themselves disadvantaged at all. They have, since Federation in 1901,dwelt on their own land, lived their lives according to their customs and traditions whilst having the benefits of the latest medicine, education and administration systems available to them. These are proud, dynamic and innovative people who know how to live well off the country they inhabit. They are not mendicants; they do not complain, they live their lives quietly with dignity, and they relate to their fellow Australians positively.

The second point is that the vast majority of Australian Aboriginal people live in settlements and towns, located in some of the most remote areas of Australia. Do they do this by choice? Well, there are not many options available to them. But by living in these remote areas, they are removed from all sensible employment opportunities. The degree of isolation impinges upon the standards of health, education, administration, and social interaction available to them. Simple commonsense will tell you that if you want to work in the Australian context, you must be where the jobs are – and there are not many jobs in these remote communities.

Some years ago a Western Australian Premier tried to address this obvious problem of isolated communities and the lack of opportunities; he was howled down by the emerging ‘ woke ‘Community and the remote towns and settlements remain.

In the recent street demonstrations regarding the Black Lives Matter phenomenon, which was deemed important enough to disregard the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, much was made by the compliant and sympathetic media of Aboriginal deaths in Police custody. Data available to anyone who wishes to inform themselves of the facts will see that the claims, made by the ‘ woke ‘ mob of Aboriginal people being murdered whilst in Police custody are just nonsense. The Australian Police Services do not conduct institutionalized murder campaigns of Aboriginal people or any people for that matter. The data shows that Aboriginal people do die in custody, suicide and sickness are the cause. Proportionately many other Australians die in custody as well, suicide and sickness are also the causes.

Then there is the matter of the number of Aboriginal people in custody or in jail, and it is disproportionate for the size of the Aboriginal population – no question about that.

But why is it so?

Well, if you continually break the law, you will eventually finish up in custody or in jail.

That is a fact.

It is also utter nonsense and an irresponsible denial of the facts to say that the large population of aboriginal people in custody or jail is the fault of other Australians.

It is not.

The available data shows that other Aboriginal people commit most violence against Aboriginal people. The level of domestic violence is truly shocking, with Aboriginal women suffering terribly.

Rather than looking to sheet the blame for this violence on other Australians, perhaps it is time that Aboriginal people looked at themselves?

Cranky Lizard knows many Aboriginal Australian people who work and live in our society peacefully, happily, productively employed, and enjoying life with their families. They consider themselves Australians and proud of being of Aboriginal descent. They are clear in their views that the aboriginal industry needs to look hard at what it does. How can you expect to be a part of Australian society if you live in remote settlements far away from the major institutions of modern Australia? You cannot have both.

You are either part of it ; or you are not part of it.

Constant academic noise about ‘ voices ‘ in Parliament do not resonate with Australian people who do wish for all Australians to have a fair go…they voted in a referendum for that!

It will not work to continue to blame everyone else for your troubles.

Australian aboriginal people hold Australian passports; they vote in our elections, the laws that apply to them apply to all of us, they have access to the same financial benefits that the social security system in Australia provides, how much more equal do they want to be?

Cranky Lizard knows that these words will infuriate a number of people.

So be it. What is written here is based on fact, not emotion. If we are going to deal with the issue at all, we must have conversations based on facts, and the conversations must be respectful.

Cranky Lizard knows that this is not an easy matter. There are no simple solutions.

If you think you have a solution, then here is an idea.

Cranky Lizard proposes a challenge to you.

Here you are: You have a position of unchallenged political authority, and you have an unlimited budget. What are you going to do to address the problems of the Aboriginal Community in Australia?

Perhaps, in 100 words or less, you could give us all an idea of what you would do by listing a series of dot points of an action plan.

Send your ideas to us to the editor Belinda Ferguson at belinda@islandandsurrounds.com.au . We shall publish the three most interesting and practical plans.

Life is good. Enjoy your days.

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From the Editor

Welcome to issue 57, Phew! The election is over. 😊 The LOCAL News would like to congratulate Ali King, Labor Member and MLA for Pumicestone, Ali made quite a lot of promises to our electorate and so

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