Indigenous Australians

Warren Mundine on the latest Indigenous inquiry

So often, we’re told that as ‘white people’, that we should listen to Aboriginal people more often, to pursue appropriate policies towards their communities. Well now there is an Indigenous person speaking on Indigenous matters, Warren Mundine, and we could do far, far worse than to listen to him.

Rational, intelligent Australians, realize that governments who seek inquiry after inquiry into the over representation of Indigenous people in our prisons, are nothing more than virtue- signalling hypocrites promoting the same, old, tried and failed policies that have gotten Aboriginal people nowhere for decades, despite them being fashionable and emotive to the electorate.

But most importantly, these bureaucratic, dawdling inquiries, that endlessly perpetuate notions of Indigenous victimhood, will do nothing to solve the real problems in communities, which include welfare dependency, drug abuse, alcoholism, crime and domestic violence.

Instead, an elite few will have a wonderfully crafted inquiry to showcase to middle Australia, while Aboriginal people remain abandoned in squalor.

“Warren Mundine rips into ‘dickhead’ behind new enquiry on Indigenous imprisonment”, abc.net, October 27 2016:

A top Indigenous advisor to the Prime Minister has launched a vicious tirade against the Federal Government over its announcement of a new inquiry into Indigenous imprisonment, querying which “dickhead” thought it up.

Attorney-General George Brandis has announced plans to hold the inquiry through the Australian Law Reform Commission, to address the “national tragedy” of Indigenous Australians being held behind bars.

The head of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council Warren Mundine said work to highlight the massive overrepresentation of Indigenous prisoners in jail had already been done.

He told Sky News that holding another inquiry — rather than acting on the reports that have already been conducted — was a joke and reflective of the poor performance of the Government.

“I don’t know who the dickhead is who actually thought up this incredibly brilliant idea. It’s just a total waste of taxation money,” he said.

“It’s going to have no end. I actually could tell them what they need to do.

“I just find this a joke, and I’m getting sick and tired of the crap that is coming out of this Government in regard to Indigenous Affairs.”

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion retaliated by suggesting Mr Mundine was “having a bad hair day”.

“I’m going to have to stand close and talk loud to him,” Senator Scullion told ABC local radio in Alice Springs.

“What he said is complete and utter garbage.

“Now, Warren and me are good mates and we like having robust conversations, and I can see we’re going to have one.”

Senator Brandis announced this inquiry on Thursday morning, arguing a fresh investigation into Indigenous imprisonment was necessary to “help ameliorate this national tragedy”.

“The Commonwealth will collaborate with state and territory governments, as theirs are the jurisdictions of course with primary responsibility for our criminal justice frameworks, including policing.”

It follows the decision to call a royal commission into the Northern Territory juvenile justice system, following the Four Corners report into the treatment of children at the Don Dale detention centre.

More than one in four Australian prisoners are Indigenous, despite making up just 2 per cent of the overall Australia population.

Indigenous young people are 24 times more likely to be behind bars than their peers.

The government has not provided a terms of reference for the inquiry or a timeframe for the inquiry.

Legal and human rights groups have been campaigning for the Federal Government to intervene, but the Coalition has previously sought to highlight the lead role of the states and territories.

The announcement about the inquiry comes 25 years after the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

Labor senator Patrick Dodson, who was one of the commissioners at the time, told a Senate hearing last week there was “appalling” ignorance about the years of lobbying to put the recommendations in place.

Australian Bar Association president Patrick O’Sullivan welcomed the inquiry in a statement, describing the rate of Indigenous incarceration as a “national disgrace”.

“This announcement [is] a significant opportunity to make informed and practical changes that address this problem and deliver better justice outcomes for Indigenous Australians and the country as a whole,” he said.

Rod Little from the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples said the Government should start by looking at the findings of the 1991 Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths in Custody.

“If there was a thorough analysis of what had been implemented and not implemented, to see what the success of those would be, it would be a good start point for an inquiry,” he said.

Northern Territory Law Society president Tass Liveris welcomed the decision but said many of the problems had already been canvassed in previous inquiries.

“It’s extremely important we break through that, that we don’t fall into the trap of having inquiries looking at the same things and reinventing the wheel … but then not do anything,” he said.

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2 thoughts on “Warren Mundine on the latest Indigenous inquiry

  1. Tubularsock sees all this as “kicking the can down the road”. It is amazing just how many “studies” and how many “suggestions of improvement” it takes to do nothing. However governments are good at it because then they can point to a 500,000 word document on the library shelf as an accomplishment and then go off to the club.

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