August 19, 2007

Mal Brough's 1st 'good work' sticker

At Ngukurr, there is a community swimming pool. It is clean, free and provides great fun for dozens of kids each day who go there after school and on saturdays to have a good time. the place is run and supervised by a team of local workers who are employed by the CDEP program. When the health dept came to look at the pool, there were no problems found - it was clean and well maintained. The benefits to the pool at Ngukurr are:

-keeping kids amused and entertained thereby giving parents and grandparents who look after big families in overcrowded houses and little bit of respite
-improving kids health - swimming in the chlorinated water keeps kids' skin clean and thereby reducing the stress on the local clinic for treating scabies, skin sores etc. which can be common problems in communities
-employment and training for local ppl on CDEP who work in the pool, many of whom now have their bronze medallion, a bit of training that comes in very handy.

So why does Mal Brough get a good work sticker? Cuz he's scrapping CDEP, which means there will be a lot fewer workers to run the pool (decreased employment). This may mean reduced opening hours. It may also mean that kids will have to pay to use the pool so that workers can be employed to work at the pool. This will reduce the number of kids using the pool, which will increase skin problems/health problems, thereby increasing the demand on the local clinic (greater health costs) and there is potential for greater boredom and less activities for kids who live in a community where there are already much fewer things to do for entertainment than there are in towns and cities. So maybe they'll just start smoking marijuana younger!

Good thinking Mal. Very wise.

Sadly, I can come up with dozens more examples of how ridiculous some of the govt. new laws are. Stay tuned for more!


Jane said...

Has Mal Brough got an offer for YOU... give a tax incentive to private enterprise to run the pool, in line with the Green Paper..

Note that CDEP-funded art centres and art advisers are right now scrambling to find some way to stay open, going begging to their governments. The most lucrative community industry, and instead the artists will be going around picking up litter under Work for the Dole schemes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gregory
We have been getting snippets down here (NSW); so it's excellent being able to hear/see with a bird's eye view.

Are you fellas on the six month grants as well?

I was at Garma this year. There was a crack of emotion in the voices of many who spoke.

I hear the permit system laws take effect from today. Too sad.

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg the child protection myth is just masking a land grab same as the stolen generation/child protection myth was masking genocide. The can't win and laws will change again - lets focus on that. Human rights issues in Australia are being scrutinised by the rest of the world. Love your blog. Jo xx