It is early Sunday morning. I’m reading the paper while drinking coffee. It’s calm and nice, the sun is shining through the balcony window. I know I shouldn’t do it, but it is important to me. I turn to the page with Indigenous News.This is a short re-cap of the top three stories from The Australian:
1. A mine at Bootu Creek in the Northern Territory has blown a sacred Aboriginal site called Two Women Sitting Down. “The company rejected claims its drilling and blasting caused the site to collapse. It said the collapse was due to geotechnical factors, including earth movement and weather conditions.” I wonder who it was that moved the earth?
2. Treasurer Wayne Swan is in the process of cutting the federal budget. He has flagged to the states that this could be by cutting basic services such as garbage collection, water supply and sewerage in remote Aboriginal communities.
News like that leave me breathless. We are supposed to ‘Close The Gap’ on Aboriginal health; cutting the water supply and leaving the trash in the communities… don’t get me started! How about we cut garbage collection, water supply and sewerage in Canberra?
3. South Australia: A government report has found that food prices in remote communities are prohibitively high. The people in the communities cannot afford to buy nutritious food. Prices in the APY Lands are often 50 per cent higher than equivalent prices in the city.
After reading these stories, would it be fair to say that the sun suddenly rose in a different way and my coffee tasted different? I think it would. I wonder how the local residents here in Cairns would cope if the food prices were 50% higher than the rest of the country, the government let a mining company blow up a local church and then cut their water supply, sewage and garbage removal.
Would you be angry? Would you want to shout a few words at your prime minister?