Abbott picks his priorities


I would like to start by wishing everyone a very Happy 2014.  This year, and hopefully not too far beyond is certainly going to be a challenge.

Shall I say it; Tony Abbott has exceeded expectations.  I think that all know from Abbott’s gilt-edged promises that “the Abbottoir” would fulfill his destiny and do his best to dismantle anything and everything which does not fit in with his perception as expressed in Tony World.  In Tony World for example, women of calibre are worth every single taxpayer dollar to enable them to employ au pairs and live in nanny’s.  In Tony World one visit to an indigenous community once a year means “taking an interest”.

Tony World is superficial.  Tony World avoids anything awkward such as having to provide truthful answers.  Tony World runs and hides, and hopes that it will all go away.

It was therefore shortly after the election, and with some feeling of dread that I read the announcement that Abbott had decided to take control of both indigenous and women’s issues, both of which require avoidance of the superficial, a commitment to provide truthful answers, and a determination to NOT run and hide.  These qualities being the antithesis of what all have come to expect from the person Tony Abbott.

My immediate impression was that by taking control of these two very important and to Abbott, somewhat vexatious issues, that he could grandstand – take the high moral ground by claiming that these issues were “so important to him” that he had decided to take direct control, whilst at the same time not have a minister who had to answer questions.

Almost two years ago, I wrote this article:  A Stint in Jail which in part reads:

Late June last year a report was tabled to the House of Representatives:  Doing Time – Time For Doing.  As well as the above, this report includes that:

  • Between 2000 and 2009, the incarceration rate for Indigenous Australians rose by 66%.
  • Between 2000 and 2010, the actual number of Aboriginal men in prisons rose by 55%, and the number of women rose by 47%.
  • 70% of remote Indigenous adults have hearing loss or problems, but that Australian Hearing, “which provides free treatment for children under the Hearing Services Program, doesn’t visit juvenile detention centres”.

So why are Indigenous young people imprisoned at 28 times the rate as white kids?  Creative Spirits provides the following:

Non-Aboriginal indifference

Police remain hard-hearted and indifferent to prison rates and, in some cases, to Aboriginal prisoners themselves. The Children’s Court is often being told imprisonment is the only option due to lack of accommodation.

“Incredibly trivial offences”

There is evidence to suggest that police treat Aboriginal people differently for trivial offences, for example some Aboriginal people end up in jail because they did not get the postal notifications of court dates after which bench warrants are issued and bail is unlikely.  Another example is being caught with 1.5 litres of any alcohol including beer in a restricted area carries with it a 18 month jail term.

Peter Collins, Legal Director of Aboriginal Legal Services in Western Australia (ALSWA):

“Every day of the week we act for Aboriginal people who’ve been charged with disorderly conduct. “Their crime: To swear at the police. They use the F word, they use the C word. Often they’re drunk or affected by drugs or both, or they’ve got a mental illness or they’re homeless or whatever. But it seems to me the only people in this day and age who are offended by the use of the F word and the C word are police. And so these [Aboriginal] people are hauled before the courts for these incredibly trivial offences.”

Lack of understanding of white law

More than 90% of people in Arnhem Land, NT, could not answer basic legal questions.  95% of Yolngu people could not explain the 30 most commonly used English legal terms, such as ‘bail’, ‘commit’, ‘arrest’ or even ‘guilty’. Even 90% of community leaders, school teachers and council representatives had no understanding of these legal terms.

This might explain why in 2008 over 80% of the Northern Territory prison population was Aboriginal. Many of them might as well be innocent because they didn’t understand what ‘guilty’ meant.

Richard Trudgen, CEO of the Aboriginal Resource and Development Services:

“People thought that pleading guilty actually got them through the court quickly and they didn’t go to jail. When they realised what the term guilty meant they were able to identify some of the things that they were convicted of that they never had anything to do with.”

Another reason why Aboriginal people make ‘false’ statements in court is that they are hearing-impaired through a cycle of poor health. There is a clear relationship between hearing loss and early Indigenous justice problems – 90% of Indigenous inmates in Darwin Correctional Centre suffer from hearing loss.

Priscilla Collins, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA):  “Half the time our clients break the law because they don’t understand it”.

*** Note:  this young offender was given a custodial sentence, was raped while in jail and killed himself upon his release.

The horrors experienced by many young inmates, particularly those who are convicted of non-violent offences, border on the unimaginable. Prison rape not only threatens the lives of those who fall prey to their aggressors, but it is potentially devastating to the human spirit. Shame, depression, and a shattering loss of self-esteem accompany the perpetual terror the victim thereafter must endure.

Ref: Heilpern, David M, “Sexual Assault of Prisoners: Reflections” [2005] UNSWLawJI 17; (2005) 28(1) University of New South Wales Law Journal 286

Tony Abbott as Prime Minister: Indigenous legal aid to be cut by $13.4 million

The biggest blow toIndigenous funding was to legal aid – $13.4 million will be taken out of the sector over the next four years.

But the treasurer says it is part of returning the budget to good health.

“Much of the projected growth is from social programs, including welfare, education and health. Spending reform will inevitably require difficult choices about the policies that Australia needs now and in the years to come,” Treasurer Joe Hockey says.

As an example:  Those services cut (will) include the $45 million that was promised during the election campaign to set up four training centres that the government is hoping will train 5,000 Indigenous people.

Tony Abbott however will, set up a committee which will “meet three times a year with the Prime Minister and senior ministers, starting next month, and will inform the policy implementation of the government”.

I am highlighting just one of Tony Abbott’s delusions, that he intends to help indigenous people.  I will give him the benefit of the doubt, that he is delusional rather than stating specifically that he has lied.

59 comments on “Abbott picks his priorities

  1. But why on earth give him the benefit of the doubt? – has he done anything at all prior to now to indicate he deserves it? I don’t think so …

  2. Abbott has yet to learn, when it comes to our indigenous people, they are wonderful at telling one, what one wants is to hear.

    Yes, and they are just like us causcasins. Yes, they come in many colors of political and other beliefs.

    There is not, cannot be or never will be, one answer to the problems they face. They do he not all face the same problems.

  3. Smug white anglo more like Fu.
    Every RWinger I know has a detrimental view in regards to the first people(s), Min.
    As you have stated, it would seem that their are two sets of rules.
    One must also remember that most of the Police Forces lower ranks are just basically labourers with guns….. i.e. dumb white idiots with to much power …… and don’t they abuse it 🙄
    On an unrelated point ‘woo-hoo’ ” Welcome back Migs n’ Min ” 😀

  4. LOVO, I must admit, among the younger ranks, there are many caring people.

    I know, for during my working life, I worked dloselky with many.

    Still, I suspect there are still too many of the old school.

  5. I’m sure I remember hearing Tony Abbott saying he would be spending a week in an Aboriginal Community each year. What I had not realised was that there is an Aboriginal community in Switzerland.

    Good to see you and Michael back in the blogosphere. I hope it is a Happy New Year for you both

  6. I’m in agreement with M.R. Carol. Why give the bastard anything? Personally speaking, I wouldn’t give him directions to the nearest lavatory and that’s putting it very politely (normally I’d use a metaphor regarding urination and flammable material – but after all it is New Years Eve). Hockey’s vile mendacity in claiming to return the budget to health is typical neo-lib lies which try to confuse real situations by masking them as financial problems. Any government which has sovereignty over its own currency as Australia does, need not worry about where the money is coming from – it comes from themselves and is accounted as a deficit (this is not to be confused with actual debt in the sense of the householder owing on their bills).
    The simple fact is that the NLP don’t want to spend on Aboriginal legal aid because they can’t privatize the service or make a profit out of it and therefore regard it as a worthless exercise.

  7. Everybody, every issue & everything is viewed by Abbott as being there for his own personal use & advancement. As I type this I recall making a similar post about Howard. Howard was John the Baptist in comparison to Abbott. Off spending a nice Chrissy in France when last year his lot ripped into Gillard for spending Christmas with her mum after her dad had died. Fuck him. Give him nothing.

  8. Michael
    Grist to his mill those indigenous folks are. I’m a bit taken aback to see a nice guy like you indulging in sarcasm.

  9. Michael, I am sure those people have his measure. Maybe that is the reason he has not visited.

    There must be a reason, as this is day 104 of his government,

    Mr. Abbott’s women seem to have deserted him. None has been seen, including the lovely patio, since the fay, she sat defiantly behind him, at the meeting with the states premiers.

  10. Migs and Min, hope the break went well, and I wish you and your family and all the fine contributors here at CW a very happy and prosperous new year. 😀

    Stay safe and well 😉

    Cheers 😀

  11. Sadly while the current government screamed we are broke and going down the gurgler their priorities to turn the boat around are as follows.

    1) Remove taxes for the wealthy and polluters. Carbon Tax, MRRT. (The Rich)
    2) Remove tax free threshold of $18,000 and reduce back to $6,000. (The Poor)
    3) Increase maternity leave payments for wealthy women. (The Rich)
    4) Charge $6 per visit to Doctor and Hospital for those on bulkbilling. (The Poor)
    5) Remove taxation on those earning over $100,000 from their super (The Rich)
    6) Remove Super benefits for those on low incomes (The Poor)

    USA here we come !!!. Why are we not wishing to become like Norway, instead of the most indebted nation on the planet with some of the most inequality in the world. Could it be that greed of big business is more important and they are being rewarded for their partisan support. I think even blind Freddy will be waking up.

    It is so easy to see where the working poor and those less fortunate will end up at the end of 2014. When we are in a so called budget crisis, why is it only the benefits of the poor and working poor that are slashed and burn’t. History shows that if you treat the majority with contempt and reduce them to serfdom they will eventually fight back by either electing extremists to power, or kill those at the top with vengeance and hatred.

  12. I am surprised that people are surprised that it turned out this way. The LNP & Abbott have Howardesque philosophies, rooted in the Menzies era. There is no other way

  13. Carol, this post seems popular on Twitter. Seems to have hit a nerve. Could it explain the sudden lift in numbers on that graph above.

  14. According to the Abbot’s letter today, he is giving us freedom. Wonder where that fits in with being liberated from one job.

  15. I thought he was going to be really bad , but he is way past that. No attempt to conceal his hypocrisy. No shame at deceiving. Any recovery will be at the expense of the already needy and poor. Australia being TRASHED in record time. IF there is no significant people with disposable income out there how will his business friends fare? They will feel the recession too.

  16. How else could he reward his hard working electorate with a $10,million gift to the Sea Eagles Rugby League Club? It is all a case of priorities.
    One Term Tony – sounds good.

  17. Gainore Atkins I think Menzies would have turned in his grave at what Howard did to his Liberal Party, and he would be ashamed of it now that Abbott has well and truly trashed it to a low Menzies would never have contemplated.

  18. It appears Abbott is back in the country. At Kirribilli House with the cricketers. Did not see his better half.

  19. As we have seen as an excuse for charging a gap fee for bulk billing, the excuse will be that it’s all about *personal responsibility*. I read, somewhat stunned that a particular right wing Lobby group has advised the PM that it is their opinion that it’s all your fault if you become ill and therefore $5 will encourage people not to develop illnesses. 😯

    On the issue of incarceration, especially of juveniles..all studies indicate that this does not teach ’em a lesson, but that jail is where young people learn their trade from those more experienced..these being the only lessons which they will learn in jail. The job is NOT punishment but the protection of society and to educate and provide opportunities – to set an example of how life can be lived differently.

    Those without legal representation have a far greater chance of receiving a custodial sentence – it seems that Abbott wants young people in prison..or maybe he just doesn’t care.

  20. Did not see his better half.

    She was with him and specifically mentioned in the Channel 9 News piece on Abbott meeting the cricketers.

    Two things struck me with Abbott in this piece.

    He’s now PM but still engaging in inane media stunts and slogans. I guess that’s easier than actually running a country.

    He’s a cringe worthy embarrassment.

  21. The ABC only shows him.

    I notice MSM Are condemning the ABC for last night. I thought it was not too bad. Maybe they did not like the fact that the comedians sent this government up all night.

  22. Wonder how long Abbott as Abbott been back in town. Kirribilli House looked deserted last night,.

  23. They use to say, one is judged by the company one keeps. Where does this leave Abbot and his cronies?

  24. In my humble opinion, it’s evident in the last 3 Months of Abbott’s government is more than a proof: PUPPET IS NOT A LEADER, he is steel sloganeering as in opposition, INCAPABLE of running a country, for that he employs Ms Credlin.

  25. Yes, and the lecture that we had to have faith in him, and work harder, all will be well.

    Also, it is not all about money. Well it appears it is, when it comes to upper income earners.

    Those at the bottom, should be glad they have a job, regardless of the pay.

    Not sure why Shorten seemed to give the same message. At least he did say, keeping people in work is the main thing that needs to be dealt with, in the coming year.

    I fear that many more workers will be liberated under Abbott. How that fits in with creating a million jobs, is beyond my understanding.

  26. ….By the way, David Karoly is Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Climate Change Authority, which provides independent advice to the government on Australia’s emissions reduction targets, and other climate change initiatives.

    But what would Karoly know in rebutting every one of Newman’s incorrect assertions as myths, misinformation and ideology? After all he is only a world renowned scientist, while Newman is a businessman and adviser to the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

    It is not just Newman who thinks like this. Abbott is himself a climate change denier in both word and, now in power, in practice. Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian is the home of anti-science on climate change.

    At first blush………..

    I read somewhere this morning, advising to Labor that they should let go of CC and CEF. Let it drop off the radar.

    I bet that is what abbot and his cronies would love.

    I suspect, it will not drop off the radar.

    Somewhere along the line, Labor has to stand up for what it believes in.

    Carbon emissions are not going to go away.

    Chris Bowen out, asking Abbott where he is going to get his million jobs over the next five years. I believe the most expected are just over 500,000.

    Cormann, acting treasure is out today, still blaming Labor.

    Yes I believe that Abbott will liberate many from the workforce.

  27. Tony Abbott I Represent the LNP (Lying No Problem ) and I am also responsible for putting the CON into the conservatives, Ps I claimed my French jaunt on my fact finding mission looking at bicycle seats,( Tandem seat covers for me and Peta ) Eat cakes you peasants , love “The Glorious Leader”

  28. ME @ 4.11pm

    The whole political spectrum has been “blue shifted” so far to the right that Bob Menzies would be looking decidedly “pink” these days.

    I reckon he’d be uncomfortable in one of the Labor party’s right factions.

  29. I fear that many more workers will be liberated under Abbott. How that fits in with creating a million jobs, is beyond my understanding.

    Ideology doth make imbeciles of us all.

  30. Yeah . we are all moving to the extreme right , so that anything half reasonable is written off as looney left. You are being conned. Tell Murdoch to get stuffed. He is not even an Australian, by choice, and when the rest of the world rejects him WE should not welcome him back here. Every thing he does is self serving.

  31. Zach Passero
    4 Ways The Australian Gambling Industry Quietly Hit The Jackpot This Year
    By StaffJanuary 2, 2014

    Finish the saying: The House always…

    1. James Packer sweet-talked his way into building Sydney’s second casino at Barangaroo on Sydney Harbour.

    Packer says the casino is his “gift” to the people of Sydney.

    Thanks bro.

    2. Facing a deep budget deficit, Queensland turned to gambling to make ends meet. Premier Campbell Newman said that up to three new casino licenses were up for grabs, in a bid to lure middle-class Chinese tourists to the Sunshine state.

    Because what else does Queensland have to entice people to visit, apart from the stunning weather, beaches, rainforests and a barrier reef so nice that “Great” is actually part of its title…?

    3. The new Coalition government is rolling back the previous government’s poker-machine reforms. The measures were designed to blunt the amount of money addicted gamblers pour into the pokies. Problem gamblers make up around 40 percent of the pokies industry’s annual take.

    One of the reforms on the chopping block is a law that all pokies be eventually fitted with pre-commitment technology (allowing punters to nominate how much they can afford to lose in one sitting, and then locking them out when they hit that limit).

    All good though. In place of a policy, the Abbott government has passed a statement, affirming its commitment to implement pre-commitment technology later on, sometime. A really well-written statement. I’m talking zero typos.

    4. In NSW, home to nearly 100,000 poker machines — more than Mexico, Canada, or Portugal — the state government continued to roll back regulations and reduce taxes on pokies operators. The impact is being felt in suburbs such as Sydney’s Fairfield, the most pokies-packed area in Australia. It’s the sort of place where a local club boss doubles as the chairman of a problem-gambling clinic.

    What’s playing out in Fairfield might just be the future of gambling help in Australia. The Abbott government’s gambling policy will hand responsibility for addicted gamblers over to big clubs and pubs.

    Wondering what’s behind the industry’s run of good luck? We’ll just leave this chart here.
    2 comments on this story
    by Loretta Dunn

    What can be expected when THE PEOPLE elect conservatives.
    January 2, 2014 @ 1:09pm
    by John Fraser


    Never give a sucker / punter an even break.

    And "Slick" Abbott, Packer, Rinehart, Murdoch all sing from the same song sheet.
    January 2, 2014 @ 2:59pm
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  32. Crowey, thanks for reminding me we now have the Global Mail.

    I’ve signed up so I’ll get a reminder once a week about the latest articles.

    With journos like Mike Seccombe it’s too good to miss.

  33. Welcome to the New year Whisperer’s. Hope you all had a great one.

    I see tabot had a great one on the slopes of France (imagine the OUTRAGE had a Labor PM attempted this. They were put out enough when Gillard visited her Family in Adelaide)

    One does wonder if this trip was booked when tony was running around threatening to have Parliament sit over Xmas. Perhaps this was one bluff the ALP should have called him on?

  34. Mods, I find Tom R’s last comment most distasteful and utterly repellent. 😮
    I ask that it be removed and that a much more respectful ‘ CAR’N CATS’ be used in it’s place 😈 😀

  35. I find Tom R’s last comment most distasteful and utterly repellent.

    Just my last one ❓

    I must be losing me touch 😯

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