One of the major Aboriginal-community controlled organisations in the Barkly says it has lost any confidence in the NT Government’s ability to govern the Territory following the fallout from this week’s 4 Corners program.
Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Mr Ross Jakamarra Williams said the Giles Government had shown it was not fit to run the Northern Territory.
“The Chief Minister has conducted himself shamefully since the horrific revelations on 4 Corners by refusing to take responsibility, shift the blame and continuing to try and demonise our children,” Mr Williams said.
“This is a Government that has shown itself to be incompetent, inhumane and disfunctional. We do not trust them to play any sort of role that involves caring for Aboriginal children.
“We call on Prime Minister Turnbull to take responsibility for children who are in detention, in the care of the Government, as we don’t trust the NT Government to not further damage these children.
“We commend the Prime Minister for moving quickly to establish the Royal Commission but ask him to make sure the current NT Government is not involved in setting the scope or Terms of Reference.
This would be a complete conflict of interest.”
Mr Jakamarra Williams said AHAC was calling for a new model of providing services to children in the NT’s juvenile justice system.
“The lock them up mindset of the current Government can’t continue.
“We have seen the harm this is causing, it’s hurting our kids and it’s hurting our community. It’s
doing nothing to make our communities safer.
“There are better ways of caring for our young people and Aboriginal community controlled
organisations must be involved in implementing these.
“There are successful program models that involve young people going bush on country, learning from elders, gaining skills and respect for themselves and others.
“These programs should be supported and dreadful places like Don Dale closed immediately.”
July 28, 2016