This week’s Koori Times front page is reporting ‘Scullion’s Pledge, saying despite initial appearances to the contrary, new federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion is keen to hear from community members. He says:
“What’s important is that we listen to Aboriginal and Islander people’s ideas and solutions..
If you have an idea, contact my office, and if I can’t respond, one of my senior members of staff will.”
Nigel Scullion is also asking people to hold off criticising the advisory council and the coalition’s appointment of Warren Mundine as key adviser, before its make-up has even been announced, though, as the paper points out, this horse has already bolted with a protest being organised at the tent Embassy in Canberra for 17-18 October.
Warren Mundine believes the advisory council will make a major difference in as little as 5 years. He says:
“You’ve got half a million Indigenous people in Australia. There’s only about a couple of hundred thousand of them who need support and help, and we’re spending $25 billion on it on an annual basis…
This just doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a businessman and if I ran a business like that I’d probably go bankrupt very quickly:
The approach is that it’s essential to work with the private sector to create job opportunities and match education and training, while at the same time boost Aboriginal childhood education.
Clearly the matching of training to possible jobs is hugely important and you would hope that efforts will be made to support Aboriginal and Islander people to learn how to carry out currently outsourced jobs in remote areas, such as the 4500 strong Fitzroy Valley, WA.
The wheel turns…