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The Forum > Article Comments > Too chicken to realise Opalís a gem > Comments

Too chicken to realise Opalís a gem : Comments

By Graham Ring, published 7/4/2006

Tony Abbott could be saving taxpayers money and saving lives by rolling out Opal, the unsniffable fuel, across central Australia. So why isn't he?

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Graham,
This is a tired old government, and a tired old minister, who is responsible for the Health of Australians, which is why he and JWH cut almost $1 billion from State Health Depts in 2004. In other words, hospital funding, who else but Tony Abbott, I am beginning to think he and JWH have small man's syndrome.
Posted by SHONGA, Friday, 7 April 2006 1:05:54 PM
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If every boarding school outside central Australia where this problem is confined were to make space for a dozen currently/chronically bored indigenous boarders for the humane learning experience of a lifetime...what chances this expensive problem could be solved. The chances of it happening in today's political correctness, probably nil.
Posted by jup, Friday, 7 April 2006 3:04:36 PM
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Opal will be delighted with the effect on company accounts. But what about the addicts?

If the g-nome theory of addiction is true, and itís looking that way, the addictive personalities of the people now sniffing well ensure that they will have to resort to more mainstream drugs (if they are not already using them too) like weed, hard drugs and alcohol.

What will Mr. Abbott do then? Supply them with unsmokeable bongs, unsmokeable cigarettes, undrinkable VB stubbies and rubber needles?

Thereís something surreal about the whole thing.
Posted by Leigh, Friday, 7 April 2006 3:25:07 PM
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If it was white kids in the suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne sniffing petrol ( and I am sure some do but not to the same extent) the money would be found in a flash. But because it is Aboriginal kids in the outback, well not many votes there so we can just blame the parents and ignore the problem.
Posted by rossco, Friday, 7 April 2006 3:25:54 PM
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Leigh,
There is nothing sureal about the situation if you happen to be living the nightmare. With a projected excess of$14 billion why is Tony Abbott not coming up with humanitiarian solutions to this devestating problem? Answer, he is unable to think in a humanitiarian way.
Posted by SHONGA, Saturday, 8 April 2006 10:45:19 AM
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At the moment there are a lot of white kids chroming with aerosol paint. The young man who committed suicide whilst in custody somne years ago for stealing some 'crayons' was actually stealing, amongst other things, texta type markers....

Was he intending graffiti? No, the intention was to sniff the contents.

As someone else has already said, rolling out opal will not solve the problem: Other substances will be found and used in place of petrol. Addicts will always find a way to get a fix.

So, what is the solution? I cannot see one - and don't think throwing money at it will help. At the moment it has been argued that government spends less on indigenous health than on non-indigenous, this argument fails because it implies that there is a bucket of money labelled 'whites only' and another bucket labelled 'Aboriginals only', which is not how it works. Medicare is available to all, and there is a bucket of money, on top of Medicare, specifically targetted at Aboriginals. The Health Insurance Commission has employed specialises Aboriginal staff to try to get Aboriginal people to use the health system that is here for everyone, with all its faults.

Perhaps the problem is that Aboriginal culture is not well adapted to 21st century life. I have had an female Aboriginal friend tell me that the currently dysfunctional principle of Reciprocity, necessary for survival in pre 1788 Aboriginal culture, is the ruination of many efforts to improve the lives of Aboriginal people.

Another example is the Aboriginal man who said in 2004 that he didn't know that hitting a 14 year old girl over the head with a boomerang and then anally raping her was wrong...and he only received 18 months in gaol. What century are we living in?

Here in NSW four brothers who claimed (wrongly) cultural factors as mitigation in a series of sex attacks have been sentenced to long periods in prison.

Do I see a double standard here?

As I said, I don't know the answer
Posted by Hamlet, Saturday, 8 April 2006 11:04:59 PM
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