To THE AUSTRALIAN Is it possible that ‘indigeneity’ should no longer be a category to be considered in the distribution of GST revenue to states and territories (‘GST rewrite for indigenous aid’, 10/1), but that only non-ethnic categories, such as ‘poverty’, should be used? Australians generally are not averse to having some of their taxes used to help those in genuine need, but doubts have persisted ever since the first Whitlam government brought in a new definition of ‘Aboriginality’ that rorting of the system has resulted in the provision of public moneys in various contexts.
Is it possible that we have reached a stage where ‘Aboriginals’, many of whom are only part-indigenous in ancestry, should no longer be especially favoured over other Australians? Many indigenous Australians in the basic meaning of the word have no Aboriginal blood at all. I am one such. Nor has anyone living in Australia today himself or herself been living here ‘since the beginning’. Another matter of concern is that ‘disadvantage’ caused by a person’s own unwise behaviour does not necessarily deserve any financial support at all.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic