Many will be, if not pleased then, interested to hear that the dreaded health checks of aboriginal children will not be compulsory. (see Minister Abbot's comments here)
Threats of these checks have allegedly sent mothers scurrying with their children into the bush, fearful that those who 'fail' their tests will be removed from their parents. This, after all, is a strategy used throughout Australia, not just in aboriginal communities...children 'at risk' are placed in care. It is difficult to know what else to do, since child abuse situations clearly demand prompt action.
What, too, if checks actually uncover child abuse and promises have been made that children will be left with their families...whilst the spectre of removing children from their parents looms large in aboriginal communities, nevertheless what to do?
All this stresses the need to have a properly resourced (and highly resourced) totally independent body that oversees this. That is totally free of political interference.
Maybe this is just vain hope and naivete on my part. As each decade goes on this problem get worse, and more expensive. At what point will we bite the bullet and say this is actually more important than being in Iraq. Or maybe I just have unrealistic expectations of what governments and politics can achieve.