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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Our Most Vulnerable Community?

Their numbers dwindling, they eke out a bare existence in marginal land, often in remote and isolated communities. With little prospects of participating in the real economy - token cottage industries aside - they subsist on government patronage, doled out by a mainstream wracked by guilt at their elevated rates of poverty, hardship and ill-health (including suicide and substance abuse).

The government uses them as a political football, occasionally playing on their special cultural status, valued role in the nation's history or unique "Aussieness" - for marketing and tourism purposes. But there is no real effort to tackle the fundamental problem: exclusion from the productive economy and reliance on welfare.

Yes, our 21st century farmers won't have a lot to look forward to if they can't shake their hand-out mentality.



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