Indigenous communal despair begins with alcohol abuse

The Australian: Having agreed with East Kimberley leaders to implement the cashless welfare debit card, the government is now receiving ­requests across Western Australia for its introduction. In most cases the requests are from council or community leaders who are desperate about the situation of their community and hope the card will provide a breakthrough.…

The Tide is Turning for Indigenous Australians

The Australian:  The overwhelming feeling from the Prime Minister’s visit to indigenous communities late last month was optimism. That the tide may be turning and conditions slowly but steadily improving. In the seemingly intractable area of remote indigenous disadvantage, have we turned the corner? The week was spent in the Torres Strait Islands and northern…

Solution to grog on the cards

The Australian: What responsibility should we have over how welfare is delivered to those in need? Since the introduction of federal unemployment benefits in 1944, the government has provided welfare in cash. The reason is expedience: dropping cash into an account is simpler and cheaper than the traditional church welfare of providing clothes, food or…

The case for indigenous constitutional recognition

The Australian: Greg Sheridan provides a seductively simple argument why indigenous people should not be recognised in the constitution: we are all equal citizens and no one should be recognised constitutionally because of their race or heritage. We must move beyond race and treat people as individuals. Sheridan’s argument is based on important liberal principles,…

Cut debt or face a Greek future

The Australian:  Earlier this week, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen again sought to “inject some context into the budget debate” by comparing our relatively low debt levels with those of other countries, particularly European ones. This is the constant argument from those who dismiss Australia’s debt as a problem:  debt levels in places like Greece are…