Kimberley Catholic welcome for Senator Amanda Vanstone

The Broome Diocese Office of Justice, Ecology & Peace has praised Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs Minister Amanda Vanstone for her decision to take time to visit remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley to listen to the views of local people.

"It is pleasing to see that Senator Vanstone has taken time to make personal visits to remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley," said Office Coordinator Br Shane Wood (pictured).

But he added that he hopes she will spend "more time speaking with and listening to the local people than the fleeting few moments that it takes to make a media statement".

In two communities, Bidyadanga and Warmun, she will make announcements about new Shared Responsibility Agreements for the provision of swimming pools in exchange for increased school attendance.

Br Wood was critical of such agreements in a recent issue of the diocesan magazine Kimberley Community Profile, and said yesterday that he maintains his stance.

"While Senator Vanstone is making an announcement about the provision of a pool in the Warmun community, the residents in that community continue to suffer from the lack of appropriate housing and frequent breakdowns in the supply of water and power," he said in yesterday's statement. "The community has also been without the permanent presence of nurses in the community for the past six months."

"I hope that Senator Vanstone remains on the ground long enough to be made aware of the shocking day-to-day conditions that these people have to live with. The provision of yet another sophisticated and non-essential piece of infrastructure to maintain in the long term will do nothing to alleviate these other problems that need urgent attention today," Br Wood concluded.

Visits by Senator Amanda Vanstone welcomed (Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace, Diocese of Broome 2/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Diocese of Broome | Kimberley Community Profile

3 Aug 2005