Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Don’t mention the Anderson/Wild report

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-08-17

Don’t discuss the contents of the Anderson/Wild report, misrepresent (" verbal" ) most of those who made submissions, and give the report a different name from the inquiry: that’s the end result of the inquiry by the senate into the legislation "in response" to the Andersen/Wild report "Little Children Are Sacred".

The many abuses of the truth and parliamentary processes permitted by Liberal and ALP members of the committee are scandalous.

  • Nearly every submission I read (see my preliminary review) criticized the legislation for it’s failure to follow any of the recommendations of the Andersen/Wild report.
  • This overwhelming message from the people is not expressed in the majority parts of the report:
    • In the "Key Issues" section, there is no mention of the word "Anderson", none of "Wild" and only one mention of the phrase "Little Children" – but that was a quote from a submission:

      It would be easier to understand why some people argue so strongly for the permit system if these towns were well functioning havens. But the Little Children report clearly tells us this is not the case.

    • The "Committee View" section again doesn’t include the word "Anderson", doesn’t have the word "Wild" and only mentions "Little Children" once, in the opening paragraph, as the stimulus for action by the government:

      At the outset, the committee expresses its deep concerns in relation to the abuse and neglect of Indigenous children described by the Little Children are Sacred report as well as many previous government and media reports.

  • The title of the report on the parliament web pages has changed from "Inquiry into the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Bill 2007 & Related Bills" (on the main and information pages) to "Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Payment Reform) Bill 2007 and four related bills concerning the Northern Territory National Emergency Response" on the report page.  This is unusual as it can make things tricky for website searching.
  • Despite most submissions saying the package should have followed at least some the recommendations of Andersen and wild, and more urging rejection of at least most aspects of the legislation than supporting it, the Key Issues section states:

    Virtually without exception, witnesses and submitters welcomed the intent of the Australian Government’s intervention package and some were strongly supportive of the package itself.

    As we know, Howard uses the phrase "supports the intent" when criticizing the implementation of Rudd’s package for affordable housing.

Andrew Bartlett’s dissenting report is quite strong about the misrepresentation of the public submissions, essentially accusing the majority report of intentionally making statements it knows to be false:

Sadly, anyone who raises any concerns about the details of the federal government’s wide-ranging intervention into the lives and communities of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory is smeared with allegations that they don’t want anything done, or they don’t care about protecting children.  Similarly, people who call for consultation and cooperation in implementing the federal government’s measures are criticised as just trying to delay action.

The Committee was subjected to several examples of this form of verballing of those who raised concerns with aspects of the legislation, such as the following:

“We have heard a number of parties give reasons why parts of the legislation should be delayed or changed.  It concerns me that many would be happier—it would appear—if nothing happened."

The Liberal and the ALP committee members have effectively lied in the production of this report, indicating massive support for the package when almost all submissions were vehemently opposed to this.

The majority report, supported by Liberal and ALP, has been contemptuous of the Anderson/Wild report, the process of legislative review, the submissions, and perhaps, given the misrepresentation of documents having parliamentary privilege, those members of the committee supportive of the committee report should be guilty of contempt of parliament.


2 Responses to “Don’t mention the Anderson/Wild report”

  1. […] I’ve put a more extensive review here […]

  2. Balneus said

    […] Howard’s opportunism with Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle
    "Don’t mention the Anderson-Wild report" (2007-08-17) which covers my (angry) thoughts on the final Senate report, and links to other articles I’ve written on the issue […]

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