Broken – What Detention Now Means for School Children in Australia

In July 2016 the Government announced the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. The Royal Commission has been established to enable the swift inquiry into the treatment of children in detention facilities and child protection in the Northern Territory.

I gather the inquiry will be looking at how competently the bureaucrats have performed in executing their ‘duty of care’ to the children in Government custody.

I think it’s reasonable to assume that a number of these children are indigenous (97%) as now we are hearing that the Government is looking at a new inquiry into Aboriginal Incarceration Rates and/or a new Royal Commission into Juvenile Justice in the Northern Territory.

How about a little less conversation, a little more action, please!

If only Governments had adopted the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1987-1991) there would be no need to repeatedly have the same expensive talkfests, just because as a nation we are incapable of executing ‘action’ when it comes to the Indigenous community.

We just keep doing what we did yesterday and wonder why nothing changes; no wonder there is so much despair in Indigenous Australia.

To be seen to be doing something, Government’s only solution is to ‘spend more’, $5.9 billion per annum and essentially on more bureaucrats. The problem with more money is that it just makes an incompetent system incompetent on a larger scale, while nothing actually changes on the ground.

God help you if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in custody, under the jurisdiction of these incompetent bureaucrats, because there is no chance of ‘breaking the cycle’ unless of course Governments adopt the same level of commitment to Indigenous affairs as they do to stopping boats.

2nd November 2016

Advertisements

Unroyal Abuse Commissioned – Good for $ome, Your Honour

There are some things that are so wrong that it’s just easier to ignore; dare we risk feeling that deep nausea stemming from our moral conscience. A bit dramatic, but our Government and the bureaucrats that they appoint represent us and we cannot abrogate our responsibility with silence.

Example:

The Government recently appointed the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. While the ‘terms of reference’ start out by saying that ‘all children deserve a safe and happy childhood’, it’s basically a historical investigation into sexual abuse in Australian Institutions over the last 50 years where the perpetrators are now either dead or in jail.

So why has the Government spent $502,800,000.00 on a Royal Commission that does not even address the horrendous crimes being inflicted on children right now? Why are we excluding the most vulnerable people in society just because they weren’t abused in an institution?

Some would say that the most vulnerable are those Aboriginal children in remote communities, conveniently outside the terms of reference of the Royal Commission.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies publication (October 2016) estimates that less than 30% of all sexual assaults on children are reported and that the reporting rate is even lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. In some states, it was concluded that the sexual abuse of Indigenous children was widespread and grossly under–reported, with an estimated 88% of all sexual assaults in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities going unreported.

So, not being able to accurately define the extent of the problem is apparently a good enough reason to exclude the most vulnerable from the Royal Commission’s terms of reference even though they advocate that ‘all children deserve a safe and happy childhood’.

So do taxpayers think they are getting value for money ($502,800,000.00)? Like most things involving Government, all the budget goes towards administration costs (the bureaucrats) and very little gets to the pointy end of the problem.

Perhaps another Royal Commission in 50 years’ time will adequately explain to victims why we did nothing while they were being raped, only this time we can’t pretend we didn’t know about it.

31st October 2016

Why Are Government Regulators Not Working?

Why is it that the ‘bureaucracy’ in this country is failing us all so miserably?

For example, I keep hearing from the press and politicians that we need a ‘Royal Commission’ into the Banks. If this is true, is it because the bureaucrats have failed to do their job to enforce standards in the financial services industry?

We are all burdened with and pay for multiple layers of heavily duplicated, bloated, inefficient and costly bureaucracies that are responsible for monitoring the behaviour of financial institutions.

So why is it that the bureaucracy has failed to proactively protect consumers? Is it because they continually align themselves with Government as they blame ‘industry’ for their incompetence, even though ‘enforcement’ is the purpose of their existence?

If these reactive governmental ‘corporation police’ are responsible for the governance, compliance, licencing, protection, implementation and enforcement of legislation, then apparently their political masters don’t think they are doing a very good job.

I don’t know what the likes of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have been doing. Are these agencies so incompetent that a Royal Commission is warranted?

Perhaps a Royal Commission into the Banks might expose the bureaucrats for what they ‘are not’, although I doubt that would happen as it appears that the public sector’s inefficient and incompetent structure is by design, as governments choose to maintain the unsustainable practice of over-staffing and charitable employment policies, to reduce the official unemployment statistics, rather than be serious about proactively protecting consumers.

So a Royal Commission will achieve what? History has shown that recommendations from Government Inquiries or Royal Commissions are rarely adopted and mostly ignored by the politicians who appoint them in the first place.

In the final analysis, a Royal Commission is just another expensive exercise that allows politicians to be seen to be doing something without changing or achieving anything, other than further increasing the size of the bureaucracy.

Perhaps the real rort isn’t what banks do with shareholders’ money, but what the bureaucracy does with taxpayers’ funds! I don’t know anyone who thinks we are getting value for money.

Perhaps politicians should appoint a Royal Commissioner to have a look into the misappropriation and squandering of millions of dollars in public funds by the likes of APRA, ACCC, ATO and ASIC?

29th October 2016