After declaring a national emergency, sending in the military, and calling this Australia's version of Hurricane Katrina, Howard is now telling the locals not to panic.
A letter sent to the local elders "polititely advises that a small contingent of federal and territory officials, together with at least one Federal Police officer, would like to visit and talk to them this morning." Never mind that the troops are already on the way and the locals' right to deny them access has already been abolished.
And can you believe this:
A three-week investigation of allegations of abuse in the community by a joint police task force last year — including over 100 interviews with local people — failed to find evidence of abuse capable of prosecution in this community, local elders say.Or what about this:
In one of the many intricate, interwoven dramas complicating the political story of the Howard intervention, the Mutitjulu community administration was tossed out eight months ago by Canberra and replaced by a Perth firm which, only a month back, the locals succeeded in dumping through an appeal to the Federal Court.No wonder the locals think this is all about Uluru tourist revenues. (Alex Mitchell suspects it could have more to do with the mining industry).
Don't get me wrong - if there are kids in danger, we should do whatever is necessary to help them. But this whole thing stinks to high hell of media spin and political opportunism.