I am not entirely inclined to believe that everything about governmental response to problems in remote communities is just cynical politicking.
Though I was bemused to watch Minister Brough touring the Territory this week. I imagine that he would regard it as a (media) success.
At one point where he was trying to make the point about the denuding of the landscape that had gone on because of people congregating at the boundaries just outside where the dry zones are. Here the people sit, drinking booze, they chop down the trees and make fires.
Brough observed that this had denuded the landscape. It made marvellous TV.
The Minister in the bush totally exasperated, throwing his hands up in total despair.
Yes but....his aboriginal supporter was trying to say...
Helluva price to pay, the Minister declaimed.
Yes but ....the young guy tried to get his word in
But the Minister was having none of it. It was his moment.
As they all left the scene of this desolation. You could hear the young man still trying
Yes, but this didn't happen overnight. It's happened over thirty years.
But the Minister wasn't paying any heed at all.
It is not easy stuff. But let's not play the self-righteous game and assume that we have suddenly seen how awful this is.
Someone (us) needs to ask the question...If this has gone on for decades why has nothing been done about it before now.
I am not entirely cynical, just a little bit.