National Indigenous Council (NIC) member Warren Mundine has thrown his support behind the Aboriginal community justice proposal raised in Dubbo this week.
The former Dubbo councillor agreed with Gordon Centre manager Terry Doolan’s call to get tough on thugs terrorising residents in the community.
Mr Mundine said communities such as the Gordon Estate had suffered too long and should be given the power to rid their neighbourhoods of crime.
“There has to be a mutual obligation on the part of residents living in these estates,” he said yesterday.
“If people are burning down houses they are obviously breaking the standard code of behaviour (for public housing tenants).”
Mr Mundine said the time had come when people had to stop making excuses for those involved in criminal activities.
He said the situation had gone “beyond a joke” and those responsible for terrorising these neighbourhoods had to be brought to justice.
“People continue to make excuses,” he said.
“They say, if they had employment things would be different.
“But I know a lot of good people who are unemployed who are not criminals. These people are poor but they don’t go out and steal off their neighbours.”
The other excuse Mr Mundine said had worn thin was parents saying the law prevented them from disciplining their children.
“It’s rubbish,” he said.
“No law is going tell us (he and his wife Lyn) how to bring up our kids.
“Our children are no different, there has been times when we’ve had to pull them into gear.
“That’s what responsible parents do. To use the excuse, ‘the law won’t let us belt our kids’ is just a cop-out.
“You don’t have to belt or abuse your kids, you just have to show them right from wrong and what is acceptable behaviour and what is not.”
Unfazed by the amount of flak he has copped since backing the Prime Minister’s mutual obligation strategy last year, Mr Mundine says he is determined to push ahead with a plan to empower communities such as the Gordon Estate.
“Through the NIC, I’m determined to get a community safety plan and economic plan in place within the next six months,” he said. “It’s long past the point where the wider community and the Government is going to continue propping up Aboriginal communities that are not giving something back.”
“Look at Dodge City at Brewarrina, the houses there have been rebuilt three or four times.
“It won’t, and shouldn’t happen again unless those people are prepared to give a commitment to safeguard the houses and the community.”
Mr Mundine said he applauded the efforts of Dubbo MP Dawn Fardell, who has called on police and the Department of Housing to evict unruly tenants and jail lawbreakers in the estates.
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