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Barnett warns evidence of remote child abuse will shock

A house at Oombulgurri after the government closed the community down.

You do not ever permanently close down the whole community because of criminal allegations relating to one or more of it's citizens - unless it's a First Nations community, of course.

Here we go again - WA Premier Colin Barnett is looking for dirt in the poor under-resourced communities of remote Western Australia. He's peeping under every bed and under every tree searching for evidence to improve his argument to close down remote Homeland communities. The Western Australian government has done this at Lockridge in Perth's Swan Valley and then more recently at Oombulgurri in the North Eastern Kimberley.

Although most of government's arguments do not have any proof (look at the NT example for instance), you do not ever permanently close down a community because of the criminal allegations regarding one or more of it's citizens - unless it's a First Nations community, of course..

With all non-Indigenous communities around the country, when there is serious issues, you address the issues, you don't close the community down. This is one of the many lies the government's of Australia use, when they don't want to pay out money to the poor or need the land for their 'Big business' mates who fund their political campaigns - not to mention paper bags.

Barnett warns evidence of remote child abuse will shock
Sonia Kohlbacker The Australian 6 March 2015

Officials have begun what Premier Colin Barnett says is a comprehensive audit of the ­­­­­via­bility of Western Australia’s rem­ote communities, warning that people will be shocked by the emerging evidence of appalling mistreatment of children.

Mr Barnett confirmed for the first time yesterday that an official investigation had begun into precisely which communities will close, headed by himself, Deputy Premier Kim Hames, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.

We remember the allegations made in the Northern Territory before the NT Intervention - and after millions spent to justify the allegations, no prosecutions followed - but it worked, the media were able to convince a very large majority of the country's population that every community was littered with paedophiles, and many people still do.

Mr Redman, the Nationals leader, was last year reported to advocate raiding the state’s $1 billion royalties scheme to prevent the closures, but last month said he supported Mr Barnett’s belief some communities must close.

“This is going to be a very difficult issue,” Mr Barnett said yesterday in a regular session with website PerthNow, in which the he takes questions from the public.

“I won’t walk away from this issue, I will probably get criticised, but there will be evidence come (out) about appalling mistreatment of little kids.

“That’s going to be the reality. I cannot sit by as the Premier and see kids not being educated, having poor health, being abused, high rates of domestic violence.

“Now, I do not want to demonise the Aboriginal community ­because there is some great communities doing great work, but there’s a lot that aren’t.

“It will come out because we are going to be going through all those communities very carefully and seeing exactly what’s going on. People aren’t going to like that, they’re going to be shocked by it.”

Mr Barnett announced his plan to close up to 150 of the state’s 282 remote communities in November after accusing the Abbott government of walking away from the responsibility of funding their ­municipal services. In exchange, Western Australia received a one-off payment of $90 million.

Asked yesterday when officials would begin entering communities, Mr Barnett said: “It’s happening now … The issue is will the taxpayer provide municipal services: power, water, cleaning, waste disposal. We’re not going to do it across 282 communities.”

In 2011, the state effectively closed the remote East Kimberley community of Oombulgurri after it was blighted by child-sex abuse.

Four years earlier, an inquest exposed a community crippled by alcohol and suicide.