Activist Noel Pearson’s accumulated, vast government funding has achieved nothing for the strife-torn Aboriginal community of Aurukun
Long-serving Liberal MHR Warren Entsch, himself a former grazier and Cape York Peninsula inhabitant tells it how it is today on the ‘Peninsula’ warts and all.
Most Peninsula communities are equal to third world countries; no jobs, no money, poverty, government indifference, no pride, rampant absenteeism, alcoholism, drug use, domestic and sexual violence and worst of all very poor diets because nutritious food is either unavailable or too expensive.
Diabetes is rife, and protein such as beef or pork is beyond reach in the few supermarkets that exist. All 14 Aboriginal communities on the Peninsula have similar issues, some worse than others.
Income is largely dependent on government welfare, or ‘sit down money’. Jobs are few and exist mainly in supermarkets, the burgeoning quasi-government support industries or local government councils which run the communities.
Health services are exceptional, well-funded and hospitals are as good or better than in the south.
Many of the older people from every community have experienced a disproportionate number of deaths since the Covid inoculation program began nearly three years ago.
Cemeteries are full of brand new headstones and their number, on appearance over the past two years seem to have almost caught up to the earlier numbers of graves for the preceding ten years or more.
Similar to the general population, excess deaths too have showed up in these struggling communities since the advent of mRNA, gene altering vaccination programs.
Indigenous activist Noel Pearson, a lawyer, trained in Melbourne years ago by the Jewish law firm Arnold, Bloch, Liebler has emerged as a capable advocate for Aboriginal affairs however his recent support for the UN Voice to Parliament campaign has exposed what could only be at best, hopeless mismanagement of half a billion dollars of government largesse handed out over nearly two decades or more, or at worst misappropriation which has achieved no tangible outcome for Aborigines.
Warren Entsch best sums it up in a speech to parliament in May. He argues why set up yet another Aboriginal bureaucracy of which there is scant detail, when all of Pearson’s pet projects ostensibly have failed.
The disbanded ATSIC, not of Pearson’s design, was a bungling bureaucracy run by elite Aborigines, or those claiming to be, with a huge budget which achieved little benefit for rank-and-file blackfellas.
Many commentators claim the Voice campaign to be a reincarnation of ATSIC. Here is a part of Entsch’s speech to parliament:
“Many people on both sides of the parliament have long hailed the work of Noel Pearson in advancing Indigenous policy. They’ve held him up as a messiah—like a figurehead for Indigenous Australians. He is acknowledged as one of the architects of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to the Parliament that we’re debating here today. There is no doubt that Noel has significant influence over Indigenous affairs, but I, like many others in Cape York who have seen the reality of his influence, have long been critical of governments and bureaucrats that only care to listen for his voice. Over decades, Noel Pearson and his organisations and policy initiatives have exerted growing influence over governments of all persuasions. They’ve received hundreds of millions of dollars over many decades for his pet projects. And for what? Many of these remote communities that Noel has used as policy experiments remain dysfunctional, whether it’s Cape York welfare reform, Cape York Employment, Good to Great Schools or a range of other concessions—the list of Noel’s entities and programs just goes on and on.
With great difficulty, I’ve been able to ascertain that since 2005 Noel has accumulated something like $550 million of Australian taxpayers’ money—and that’s only what I’ve been able to find—and subsidies for his entities and policy initiatives. The vast majority of these have been in remote communities in Cape York. Noel comes up with the policy ideas, the government give him the money, he runs the program, and God help anybody who stands in his way. It’s evident to me that these funds are a lot more than that and go back further than 2005.
I ask the question: is there value for money? In my view, it’s always been a ruse. I challenge anyone to come up and have a look at what influence he’s actually achieved. The communities in Cape York who have, effectively, banned Noel—like Mapoon—are doing exceptionally well. Those who’ve let Noel’s influence into their communities remain dysfunctional, and I’m sure the House is aware of the well-known example of Aurukun in Cape York.
[Lockhart residents too have warned Pearson not to visit their community. Cairns News]
Noel has been in the government’s payroll for decades, advising and influencing Indigenous policy, and I say to government: do we really need the architect of so many policy failures involved in producing another one? While he identifies himself as a Cape York Indigenous leader, Noel Pearson has never stood for an election. He certainly wants to lead—and should face the community. Let’s see where he goes, then, on polling day.”
Here is a link to the entire speech. Upon reading its content one can only wonder how Pearson has so much influence over government policy and the media:
-from our Cape York correspondent