"The Government has tried many programmes in the past to address some of these issues," said a member of the taskforce. "I think the difference now is for the first time mainstream Australia has really understood that we have people living in third world conditions of poverty in Australia."
The commentator said: "Given the history of white and aboriginal relationships, when you turn up in your combat fatigues, can you understand why remote communities like this might feel a little bit intimidated?"
"I`m not a scary guy and most people when I talk to them, well we get past that ..."
"The government has retaken command of dozens of settlements. Alcohol and pornography have been banned. The taskforce has even taken control of how aboriginal people spend their benefit money."
John Pilger sees it differently:
"Assimilation remains Australian government policy in all but name. Euphemisms such as `reconciliation` and `Stronger Futures` cover similar social engineering and an enduring, insidious racism in the political elite, the bureaucracy and wider Australian society. When in 2008 prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised for the stolen generation, he added: `I want to be blunt about this. There will be no compensation.` The Sydney Morning Herald congratulated Rudd on a `shrewd manoeuvre` that `cleared away a piece of political wreckage in a way that responds to some of its own supporters' emotional needs, yet changes nothing."
"Today, the theft of Aboriginal children – including babies taken from the birth table – is now more widespread than at any time during the last century. As of June last year, almost 14,000 Aboriginal children had been `removed`. This is five times the number when Bringing Them Home was written. More than a third of all removed children are Aboriginal – from 3% of the population. At the present rate, this mass removal of Aboriginal children will result in a stolen generation of more than 3,300 children in the Northern Territory alone..."
"Most Aboriginal families live on the edge. Their life expectancy in towns a short flight from Sydney is as low as 37. Dickensian diseases are rife; Australia is the only developed country not to have eradicated trachoma, which blinds Aboriginal children..."
"Josie Crawshaw, the former director of a respected families' support organisation in Darwin, told me: `In remote areas, officials will go in with a plane in the early hours and fly the child thousands of kilometres from their community. There'll be no explanation, no support, and the child may be gone forever`..."
"The New South Wales parliament is soon to debate legislation that introduces forced adoption and `guardianship`. Children under two years old will be liable – without the mother's consent – if `removed` for more than six months. For many Aboriginal mothers like Pat, it can take six months merely to make contact with their children. `It's setting up Aboriginal families to fail,` said Shoebridge..."