NT in­ter­ven­tion road warn­ing

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Fed­eral Se­na­tor Pat Dod­son has warned WA may be headed down the same line as the NT in­ter­ven­tion, be­cause of the pub­lic sham­ing of Roe­bourne and rhetoric around the cash­less wel­fare card.

Mr Dod­son last week at­tended the Yule River bush meet­ing, where de­scribed how fa­thers in the top end be­came too scared to let their chil­dren sit on their knee be­cause of the risk of be­ing ac­cused of be­ing a per­vert when the in­ter­ven­tion was an­nounced.

“It was ter­ri­ble when NT in­ter­ven­tion took place and all men were deemed to be child sex of­fend­ers,” he said. “Of course peo­ple have to be charged if they are guilty of crimes against chil­dren, but un­less lead­ers in the com­mu­nity are sup­port­ive, all the bu­reau­crats and Govern­ment min­is­ters in the world will not solve the prob­lem.

“It is un­just to let this linger as long as it has and for the press to have had a field day with the in­no­cent peo­ple who live in Roe­bourne.”

Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ben Wy­att crit­i­cised the former Po­lice Com­mis­sioner for his role in the pub­lic­ity around is­sues in Roe­bourne.

“One thing that is not ac­cept­able is the hu­mil­i­a­tion and de­mean­ing of the en­tire com­mu­nity that has hap­pened to Roe­bourne,” he said.

“The new Po­lice Com­mis­sioner has a much bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of that than the last one.”

Ya­matji Marlpa Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Simon Hawkins said re­cent rhetoric was paint­ing all Pil­bara Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple with the same brush.

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