PROMINENT Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson says there should be no “silly hesitation” about removing Aboriginal children from their parents if they are at risk.
Mr Pearson said the case of the 10-year-old girl gang raped in the Cape York community of Arukun was “the tip of a tragic iceberg”.
The rapes took place after the girl was returned to the community after living in foster care with a non-indigenous family in Cairns.
Mr Pearson told the 7.30 Report that a reluctance to place children in foster care had done great harm to many Aboriginal children.
“We have got to shed any hesitation whatsoever about the notion that we have to take children away from abusive situations and place them in foster care, whether it be with Aboriginal families or European families,” said the director of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership.
He went further in a newspaper interview, saying: “As long as Aboriginal society is so dysfunctional that we have to take children into care and protection, we should never hear people bleat about some Stolen Generation.”
He said there was no justification for leniency in the case.
His comments came after outspoken QC Peter Faris said many Aboriginal children needed to be removed from their families.
“There is not much that we can do for most of the adult Aboriginal population. Most of them are lost forever. The only way we can save the Aborigines is to save the children,” he wrote on the Crikey website.
“This involves two things. First, they must go to school. No exceptions. Second, many of them must be taken away from their parents for good. The parents are destroying their own children as they themselves have been destroyed. This must be stopped.”