The appalling health statistics of our remote tribal traditional countrymen ought to shame this country in the eyes of the world. P.M. Turnbull, in presenting the latest “Closing the gap” report spoke of doing “things” with Aboriginal people instead of to them! No “thing” as a way forward was presented.
What I propose is self-sufficient agriculture in all occupied outstations and Aboriginal communities, urban and remote, as the only way to start dealing with the most fundamental requirement of good health: a balanced diet.
The nomad is now sedentary.
Aboriginal communities are flooded with sugar, white flour and saturated fatty foods, with little prospect of obtaining fresh produce of reasonable quality or cost, other than what they hunt, fish or gather themselves. Aboriginal people need to grow their own food where they live and if you believe them incapable of doing so, think again! With “adequate supervision”, when missionaries were in control at Ngukurr and Numbulwar, while myself with a green thumb instead of a bible at Kybrook and Jilkmingkan in the mid to late 70’s, self-sufficient agriculture/horticulture can be implemented with great success.
To the bigots, racists and nay-sayers who decry any money at all being spent on Aboriginal people, I say this: Improving the health of our indigenous countrymen is the only way that the burgeoning health budget costs can ever be reduced. We need to invest in Aboriginal health to produce potential tax payers instead of more cradle to the grave welfare recipients, many needing medical attention all their life! We need to see this expenditure more as reparations than hand-outs or charity.
If we look at things from an Aboriginal perspective, your lands have been invaded, your children stolen, ancestral homelands alienated, your bodies laid waste by imported and new diseases, malnutrition, alcohol and nicotine decimate your health and wellbeing, with health and education outcomes that wouldn’t be out of place in third world countries. Overcrowding, incarceration and suicide rates are abysmal and your prospects for meaningful employment are dim. You’re in the “Lucky Country” but lucky for who? Out of sight out of mind has much to do with our collective apathy and begs the question: Who cares?
Candidate for Solomon, NT – House of Representatives
Federal Election 2016
Authorised by Lance Lawrence, Marijuana (HEMP) Party
Sent to the Koori Mail, National Indigenous Times, Brisbane Courier Mail, Hobart Mercury, Adelaide Advertiser, The Canberra Times, The Herald Sun, The Age and The Australian on 17th June 2016.