Aug 2020

"Australia is sitting on a time bomb" - Katter on Closing the Gap

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The re-issued ‘Closing the Gap’ agreement announced by the Prime Minister and Indigenous Affairs Minister in Canberra, has been dismissed as “a time bomb” by KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter who warned successive state and federal governments’ continued failures of First Australians will not be tolerated on the global stage.

“The statistics of the First Australians, who live as an identifiable group in community areas or isolated towns are horrific and they will become international knowledge. And the ramifications here are serious beyond belief because there isn’t a world that isn’t going to brook a continuation of this situation,” he said.

“We know that if you put the market gardens back into the communities it will have an – albeit small but very significant – effect on diabetes and malnutrition.

“The people in these communities cannot afford to buy fresh fruit and vegetables that by the time they hit grocery shelves, may have gone from Cairns to Brisbane and then back to Cairns. By the time they arrive, they are at best, overripe and mostly unpalatable. And the cost with all this transportation added onto it is horrifically high.”

Mr Katter said whether you are talking about life expectancy or incarceration rates or stolen children, the view is depressing.

“The supreme hypocrisy here is for the Parliament to infamously move a vote of apology for stolen children when they “the government” are “stealing” the children at almost double the rate then during the stolen generation years,” he said.

“The same can be said with the market gardens. Who the hell is to blame when you have $6000 m dollars sitting in a fund which will deal seriously with the issue of malnutrition but you do nothing?

“We as Australians are sitting on a time bomb through a serious absolutely incompetent state and federal administration.

“So instead of Canberra crying the corrosive, paternalistic crocodile tears from the lily pad left in the Liberal and Labor party, maybe you should read Sarah Maddison’s book, ‘The Colonial Fantasy: Why white Australia can't solve black problems” which in my opinion is a landmark in the field of aboriginal affairs in a century of depressing and dreadful decline since the withdrawal of the missionaries.”

KAP’s State Candidate for Cook, proud Guguu Yimithirr woman Tanika Parker said that it was disappointing no targets have been met since the first Closing the Gap report to Parliament more than a decade ago.

“Now, the Prime Minister has finally acknowledged that past approaches have been wrong-headed because Indigenous communities weren’t consulted in framing the targets,” she said.

“The only way there’ll be change is if the very people who are suffering - us - are part of the solution.

“Politicians have talked the talk for a long time. It’s encouraging that they’re now seeing that the only way to walk the walk and get real results is to partner with Indigenous communities. But we need to see a bit more meat on the bones of the Government’s proposal.

“Expanding the targets is also a good thing - housing, the importance of languages and land and sea rights are important to communities.

“I just hope the 2021 report to Parliament is better than what we’ve seen to date.”


Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au