If Abbott had been in power last Friday he would have in all likelihood made a better response than the equivocation from our current leaders. Neither Turnbull or Shorten have the wit, interest or political savvy to get a treaty—or the other proposals in the Uluru Statement—past their respective right wings, who as my colleague Bernard Keane stressed in Crikey yesterday will—with their fellow-travellers—be more than willing to employ dishonesty and deceit to push back on any proposal for a treaty.
"Territory Parliament was in an uproar. The government said the new owners would ruin Elsey as a cattle station and cause untold damage to the Territory economy. Aborigines were taking over the land at a terrifying rate, a sure sign of the imminent death of the cattle industry." Background Briefing, 1999.
The problem for the Australia Government now is that it appears that the public version of the Crime Commission report is just the tip of the iceberg. The Government and ASADA are in damage control and the countries top football leagues (Australian football’s AFL and Rugby League’s NRL) are in crisis.
At the time I came to the conclusion that the ‘cooling-off place’ had been designed by the same architect that had designed Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay. The several strands of barbed-wire at the top of the chain-wire mesh fence, the padlocked chain on the gate and the spotlights surrounding the Spartan building are reminiscent of TV images I had seen during the time that David Hicks was receiving similar consular assistance from the Australian Government as Julian Assange is currently receiving.