Violent video backs welfare card
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has used footage of violence in Indigenous communities as part of his push to expand the cashless welfare card.
Mr Forrest leads the Minderoo Foundation, which along with outgoing Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan and community leaders commissioned the confronting video (seen below).
Mr Forrest says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten must confront the “horrific” issues plaguing WA towns.
“We are coming to Canberra – as concerned parents and as concerned community leaders - representing the voiceless children and to highlight the daily horror of the hideous crimes that are happening in our towns right now,” he said.
“These defenceless children are suffering unspeakably, because of the unabated and abhorrent violence against them… in towns right across Western Australia.”
Port Hedland mayor Camillo Blanko, who appears in the video, says events in WA's remote towns are among the most shocking imaginable.
“I'm a father and I just can't understand how many children are being abused in one town. Young children are being raped... little kids,” he said.
“Alcohol and drugs are killing our towns, turning adults into child rapists.”
Mr Forrest’s foundation wants to expand the use of the cashless welfare card, which is being rolled out in the east Kimberley, Pilbara and South Australia to combat drug, alcohol and gambling abuse.
The Indue cashless welfare card system quarantines 80 per cent of welfare payments on to debit cards that cannot be used at ATMs, bottle shops and casinos.
“It is not a silver bullet,” Mr Forrest said.
“It's not going to fix all of these community's problems. It is not going to save every child.
“But you know what, it might just give these children some protection from adults who are so drunk, so high on drugs, that they attack their own children.
“It might give families a fighting chance at building an optimistic future.
“As Professor Marcia Langton said... Aboriginal people are 'Royal Commission-ed out, we're panelled out, we're experted out. Enough, just do it.”