Friday, January 18, 2013

Gas hub protesters vow to fight drilling decision at gravesites (video) GWN7 - Yahoo!7

Gas hub protesters vow to fight drilling decision at gravesites (video) GWN7 - Yahoo!7:

Protestors at the site of a controversial gas hub have promised to fight the latest decision by the State Government.

It's going to allow drilling in certain sacred sites that have been under protected status for more than two decades.


  1. I am going to post this article here because I think it illustrates perfectly the Barnett government's attitude toward Aboriginal people.

    'Broken' system fails juvenile offenders

    ABORIGINAL youth incarceration rates will continue to soar unless governments address the fundamental failings of a "broken" system that denies vulnerable children genuine opportunities for rehabilitation.

    In a stinging attack on the nation's youth justice system, Northern Territory chief magistrate Hilary Hannam said politicians were repeatedly opting for populist measures to deal with young offenders that pleased voters but ignored the need to deal with rates of recidivism.

    Ms Hannam said all jurisdictions were failing, but singled out her own for particular criticism.

    "It's a non-system, a system that's collapsing or broken," she said. "There's no one agency responsible for youth justice. It's fragmented across a number of departments and ministers.

    "There's a real paucity of people with the right expertise ... and extreme lack of specialist services, especially for the more difficult youths that are the recidivist offenders."

    The president of the Children's Court of Victoria, Paul Grant, has also added his voice to the national debate on juvenile justice, triggered this month by a series of reports in The Australian exposing the escalating rates of youth detention and the disproportionate sentences being handed to Aboriginal boys.

    Judge Grant said the idea that incarceration was effective in preventing recidivism was flawed. "All the research that I've read shows that we're going to get best value for money in supporting young people if we invest early and support families early," he said. "Programs that are designed to prevent abuse and programs that are designed to intervene early in families where there is abuse will pay a dividend down the track."

    As revealed by The Australian last week, one boy in Parkes in the NSW central west was given a 12-month jail sentence for stealing $70 of hamburger buns, while another was sentenced to 18 months in prison for possessing just over a gram of cannabis.

    Both sentences were later overturned. Aboriginal children are 31 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-indigenous youth, and detention rates have risen in recent years in most states.

    The NT has the highest youth incarceration rate in Australia. Last night, 61 children were being held. All but one was Aboriginal.

    The worsening rates of incarceration have prompted the unusual call from senior judicial officers for policy changes. But the comments have been offset by calls for a tougher approach from the NT and West Australian governments. NT police commissioner John McRoberts this week called for repeat youth offenders to wear GPS bracelets.

    NT ministers have this week accused magistrates of being too lenient and too inclined to grant bail. Ms Hannam rejected the claims, saying few magistrates' bail decisions were ever appealed.

    NT Attorney-General John Elferink rejected the claim the system was under-resourced.

  2. 'Broken' system fails juvenile offenders.....cont..

    "The federal government continues to underwrite the problems in our community with a welfare approach that exacerbates the situation," Mr Elferink said. "Until welfare reform is undertaken nationally we will have to continue to put Band-Aids on amputations."

    On average over the past three years in the NT, indigenous juveniles have comprised 96 per cent of detainees. The figure currently stands at 99 per cent. Aboriginal people make up about a third of the population in the NT.

    Mr Elferink said Ms Hannam was entitled to her opinion but "the position she holds only requires her to apply the law".

    "The chief magistrate continues to comment on social policy which remains the domain of policy makers," he said. "If the Chief Magistrate wishes to influence policy she has the opportunity to stand for parliament."

    Ms Hannam said detention rates were rising in the NT and elsewhere around the country because "all alternatives are being taken away".

    She dismissed calls for reviews of youth justice, saying there had already been review after review in "every single" jurisdiction, as well as a large federal review. "Politicians continue to ignore the research, ignore the reviewing and keep doing what seems to look like a good idea at the time, what the public finds attractive."

    She said that usually meant tougher sentencing, which had not been shown to work. "There has been no research anywhere to show that lengthy sentences or increasing sentences or mandatory detention decreases crime, but yet politicians continue to insist on it," she said.

    Ms Hannam said the NT had recently emerged from a major youth justice review but appeared to have "learned nothing".

    "We haven't got all the things that if you read the (youth justice) act you would think we had . . . it's a bit of a disaster, actually," she said.

    She said a range of services that were supposed to exist had not in fact been funded.

    She criticised the NT government, which took power from Labor in August, for axing the alcohol and drugs SMART courts in its December mini-budget.

    She said courts had no option but to send offenders to jail or release them on bail. "There's virtually no service that the court can order and be satisfied (it) will be provided," she said.

    The approach contrasts with the direction being taken in Victoria, which has introduced Koori courts in the children's jurisdiction and takes all steps possible to make jail an option of absolute last resort for young offenders.

    Judge Grant backed the view that jailing young people was ineffective in reducing recidivism.

    Despite Victoria's progressive approach to youth justice and its lower rates of incarceration, it also has the lowest youth crime rate in the country next to the ACT.

    "Victoria is geared towards using graduated and proportionate responses and we have a suite of supervisory orders we can use to support young people in the community," Justice Grant said. "Detention is the order of last resort, and that approach seems to be paying off."

    In contrast, Western Australia, where mandatory sentencing applies, struggles with higher rates of youth offending.

    1. Perhaps Carol Martin and Colon Barnett would like to chew on that.