More questions from the state of national emergency – beginning with a quick one for Justice Minister David Johnston and the media-friendly AFP Commissioner, Mick Keelty: Have you cancelled annual leave and recalled officers to deal with this national emergency?

Now down to questions of real substance. Here’s some for the PM and Mal Brough: Where’s your set of practical criteria to define success or failure in improving conditions for indigenous Australians? Where’s your definite timetable? PM, you told Channel 9 this morning that this “could go on for years”. But isn’t it all just yet another round of rhetoric if these two crucial defining factors are missing?

Another for the PM and his Indigenous Affairs Minister: The Green Corps has been up and running for a decade now. It gives young people an opportunity to volunteer their time and effort to conserve, preserve and restore Australia’s natural environment and cultural heritage.

Have you considered establishing some kind of peace corps to assist indigenous Australians? Wouldn’t it get boots on the ground to help? Wouldn’t it keep folks in the cities more aware of progress? Wouldn’t it give them a greater feeling of responsibility and accomplishment?

To Treasurer Peter Costello – bridge-walker for reconciliation Peter Costello: Where the bloody hell are you?

And for the bleeding hearts, smug ideologues and dwellers on the grassy knoll bleating about uranium and Halliburton, new Tampas and black kids overboard. I know you don’t care about losing elections. That lets you assert your moral superiority, that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

But how do you feel about these comments from Noel Pearson on Lateline last night:

In my view, self-determination is about people taking responsibility for themselves, for their own families and for their communities and, you know, it’s an absolutely shameful hour that has descended on us, absolutely shameful hour where even an emergency intervention to protect the safety of our children is hindered, is hindered by people who supposedly have good will for Aboriginal people and in fact, those people are willing, they are willing the protection and succor to Aboriginal children to fail in the same way and as vehemently as they will failure in Iraq.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW