Wednesday, January 14, 2004


If we want to survive we must work at it Indigenous unemployment reaching crisis: welfare group Action to lower Indigenous unemployment rate Govt underspends on indigenous employment: dept Economic development: The outback malaise Call for end to Indigenous welfare cycle.

Djadi - Dugarang - (T a l k S t r o n g T a l k L o u d)


Another unemployable Federal Government job offer.


Welcome to Newsletter #4 and to 2004. We can only hope that this is the year that, finally, a true advance can be made in all areas, including Sovereignty, Treaty and Social Justice, for all the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of the Traditional Lands that make up Australia today.

Very much like Education, Employment, is a similar plank in the Practical Reconciliation example of wishful thinking that is spun to us by Howard as the only true way forward, a way that will lead Indigenous Australia to the Middle Class World of the white picket fence (and white history) view of Howard's Way. And, like Education the problems, and any positive results to those problems, is very much a mixed bag, a curate's egg.

Our job begins with news of yet another National Conference, albeit this one would treat the victims simply as that, victims. The Politics of Unemployment lie at the feet of the struggle between the ongoing push to lower wages versus the push to maintain a liveable wage. Profits over real job satisfaction.

Peter Botsman then challenges the King of the Verbal Vomit, John Laws, to stop "black bashing" and instead train an Aborigine to take his place. Sounds good to me and at least we would then get a more balanced view of the "Battlers of Struggle Street" so beloved of that other Paragon of Virtue, Alan Jones. Which bank?

Emeritus Professor Douglas, a medical epidemiologist, asks us to seriously look at the argument that "work" and what is seen to be "work" needs to be not only re-identified but also revalued as a Social norm.

The Federal Government's continuing underspending on Indigenous Employment Programmes is raised. Other National attempts to answer Indigenous unemployment are also looked at. Our review of the States and Territories will occur and, as usual, it is very much a parochial approach except for the CDEP Programmes that we will look at the completion of our working tour.

We begin in New South Wales, go to the Australian Capital Territory, on to Victoria, thence West Australia, the Northern Territory, and lastly a Report from Queensland . There are no Reports from Tasmania, South Australia or the Torres Strait Islands

Our way of teaching for employment is indicated in the Reports on the Tribal Warrior. Then comes the Final Word, a wrap-up from me and news of the next Newsletter.

So lets be at it. Unemployment has always been an important issue for Australians but especially so for Aborigines. When the 1968 Equal Wage Decision was handed down, Top End Aborigines and their Families quickly found themselves unemployed. This was a lash-back to those 'employed' on the Stations expecting to be paid the same wages as white employees. No job, no Land, their problem was the general view.

Aborigines in the larger country towns and the cities also virtually became unemployable, a situation that continues to this day. The Social 'Whammies' combined to totally work against Aborigines and led to them being always at the bottom of the pile for the positive outcomes but always the leaders in the adverse outcomes such as early deaths, high infant mortality, other health issues, gaols, etc. etc.

When I left school in 1956 there was what was considered to be full employment. One could virtually choose from a wide range of jobs, even 15 year olds such as I. Levels of 2% were seen as being far too high and all sorts of economic buttons were pushed, levers manipulated and wheels turned in an attempt to bring the numbers down. It was the age of working two or three jobs and being on the dole was a definite shame job. Except for a good chunk of us.

Now anything between 5 to 7 percent is considered to be 'full employment. Of course this is the grossly manipulated figure used by Governments. You are considered to be employed if you work 1 hour per week or are on a CDEP Programme. As we all know, the real unemployment level is at least 150% above the Government rate.

From about 1975 on, the unemployed level has been rising and becoming more and more entrenched. In answer to this problem there has been the seemingly endless Conferences on Unemployment and the search for the Fountain of Employment. A Conference at Newcastle University was part of that ongoing exercise. But the focus was different. It did not seek to cut wages, it did not seek to increase work hours, it did not blame the victims. What it also did not do was to applaud the fact that some 85%+ of the employable were employed.

Long ago, whilst working at the Shell Refinery we learnt that the structure of work was changing. More productivity with less workers. One Plant with a workforce of 15 per shift was reduced to 6 per shift whilst output more than doubled. We lost half of our Refinery workers. This happened in tens of thousands of workplaces and offices. We need to accept that our workforces will continue to be reduced by technology. There are answers but they are not conducive to the needs of Profit over People.

Enough! We move on.

Uni to host unemployment conference
THE University of Newcastle is hosting a national conference on unemployment this week, with delegates coming from countries around the world to discuss Australia's employment policy.

The director of Newcastle University's Centre of Full Employment and Equity, Bill Mitchell, says the conference will look at theoretical and applied approaches to reducing unemployment.

By Ray Jackson posted 14 January 04


O'Shane blasts constitution
Controversial New South Wales magistrate Pat O'shane has described the Australian Constitution as flawed and grossly inappropriate.

Demounting Auntie Isabel Coe
The information demountable and Auntie Isabel Coe's demountable were set alight at 3am last Saturday morning. The info demountable was completely destroyed- 31 years of photos and info on the grassroots Indigenous rights movement destroyed! Wilson Tukey (FUCKER)has wanted any excuse to get rid of the embassy for ages. This week he has been using the excuse that the burnt out shell is a danger to the community therefore the embassy must be removed.

Retrospective Laws: Mesmerised like a chook syndrome
What is it? This chook syndrome. Perhaps it is when we allow 800-year-old rule of law to diminish for a dictator like Bob Carr.