No contraception, no dole, says former Minister
PEOPLE on welfare should be required to have contraception to prevent parents of 'poor means, poor skills or bad character' having children, a former Labor Minister says.
Gary Johns, writing in The Australian, opens his opinion piece with the provocative statement: "If a person's sole source of income is the taxpayer, the person, as a condition of benefit, must have contraception. No contraception, no benefit."
"This is not an affront to single mothers or absent fathers, or struggling parents.
"Such a measure will undoubtedly affect strugglers, it undoubtedly will affect Aboriginal and Islander people in great proportions, but the idea that someone can have the taxpayer, as of right, fund the choice to have a child is repugnant."
"Large families of earlier generations were the result of the combination of absent contraception and the need to have many children, in order that some survive to care for parents in old age.
"These conditions do not now apply. Infant mortality is minuscule in all sectors of society, and the taxpayer picks up the tab for aged care.
"Therefore, there should be no taxpayer inducement to have children. Potential parents of poor means, poor skills or bad character will choose to have children. So be it. But no one should enter parenthood while on a benefit."
Mr Johns, a Minister in the former Keating government, said there were some people who should not have children at all, particularly if it was at the taxpayers' expense.
As commissioner Tim Carmody wrote in the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry report in 2013, ''some families will never rise to the challenge or have the capacity or commitment needed to take responsibility for the children they bring into the world''.
He cited two cases, both indigenous, though he said many non-indigenous cases abound.
It's really gonna kill the mood during foreplay when Gary Johns abseils into the bedroom and forces a full-body condom onto you— Rob Stott (@Rob_Stott) December 29, 2014
The first, in Cairns, involved a single mother with nine children from five fathers.
The second case, in Redfern, involved contested parenting between the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and a grandmother for her daughter's, and an absent father's, six children.
Gary Johns of the Australian makes bid for most repugnant person of 2014 Because poor people don't have human rights http://t.co/RhWSr4BqnO— MelShoe (@ItsMelShoe) December 29, 2014
"Until June, the grandmother was caring for her six grandchildren and two of her daughters at different times, in a small two bedroom house in Redfern."
The commentary has attracted a strong reaction on Twitter, with Mr Johns being accused of being racist.
But as some have pointed out, it is not the first time Mr Johns has tackled the Aboriginal issue head-on.
In 2007, he wrote a strongly worded piece for The Institute for Public Affairs, calling for a return to the Mal Brough-style of intervention in the Northern Territory.
"The pretext for the intervention, the Little Children are Sacred report, found that sexual abuse is rampant in virtually every Aboriginal community in the Territory,'' Mr Johns wrote.
"Its recommendations struggled to avoid offending the prevailing consensus-the dream of a separate Aboriginal society.
"The dream has condemned Aborigines in remote communities to a short and meaningless existence.
"As a colleague of mine observed, 'in Aboriginal policy, the Left have blood on their hands'.
"The report blames the destruction of social mores on alcohol and pornography. It is less forceful on the real cause of the misery, the mistaken view that Aborigines do not have to pay the price of admission to the modern world.
"The price involves taking personal responsibility, attending school for at least ten years, and working. Each of these has been missing."
"The challenge for the future is to ensure that these factors are reintroduced.
"The report made plain the common finding of the 40-or-so reports before it: sexual promiscuity (and drug abuse)
among sub-teenage Aboriginal children is rife.
"The reason that there have not been commensurate adult arrests for child sexual abuse is that much of the abuse is
performed by young boys and girls upon their peers or the very young.
"The story reveals the collapse of morality. The number of teenage pregnancies ensures that the cycle of immaturity
and inappropriate behaviour repeats itself rapidly.
"Banning pornography and grog is sensible, but only as a breather
and as a signal that grog and under-age sex are diversions from a decent life."
"No contraception no dole" aka the demonisation of black women as the welfare momma, creating babies to burden white people with #auspol— Joseph Boston (@ZenMarley) December 29, 2014