A proposal to tackle crime rates in the Northern Territory brought forward by the Country Liberal Party (CLP) has been slammed by Indigenous leaders as “ignorant”, “dystopian” and a “continuation of the genocide” of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children in the territory.

Per the NT Independent, the proposal was floated to the CLP by a party member known only as Geoff. It suggested using fly-in-fly-out contractors from Singapore to work as “hooded cane masters” in the territory and dish out corporal punishments to anyone sentenced to a year or under for crimes committed.

These FIFO workers would also wear masks to “protected them from possible revenge attacks” which sounds alarmingly familiar. It has already drawn comparisons to the Klu Klux Klan and has been blasted as being “straight out of the KKK playbook”.

CLP president Fiona Darcy told the NT Independent the proposal was “being considered” as a measure to address crime rates in the territory.

Proud Danggalaba Kulumbirigin and Tiwi woman Mililma May told PEDESTRIAN.TV this proposal by CLP party members didn’t make any sense and isn’t actually addressing any of the issues that lead to people committing crimes in the NT.

“I’m disturbingly not surprised at the harsh measures the CLP want to take to attempt and reduce crimes,” she said.

“They want to commit crimes to reduce crimes. That doesn’t make sense. The introduction of what the CLP is trying to bring forward now is just a continuation of the genocide and punitive measures that they’re willing to take over Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children in the Northern Territory.

“We do know that the pipeline to crime [is] poverty-driven. So if we aren’t addressing employment security, food security, housing security and education that actually caters to the needs of First Nations people then, of course, we’re going to see crimes because people’s needs aren’t being met.”

Mililma — who is also the CEO of Uprising Of The People — said youth diversion programmes run by Aboriginal people like Brother to Another and Mayála-Bol are much more practical solutions to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

“They’re all these local Aboriginal mob who have the solution so the money needs to go there rather than paying people from Singapore to further abuse our children,” she said.

The proposal being “considered” by the CLP was allegedly meant to be a balance between what Geoff saw as Anglo and Indigenous punishments. He also claimed he saw Indigenous people using similar physical discipline when he was younger.

Mililma said this is a “very ignorant understanding” of what Indigenous laws are actually about. She explained that Indigenous communities have been using dispute resolution through relationships, trust and mutual respect for millennia.

“There’s a lot more complex details and laws that follow suit with this terribly ignorant observation that Blackfellas just flog each other,” she said.

“That is not our law. We are not a culture of harm.

“A whitefella eye will view an incident like that with a very different perception on what a Blackfella who’s gone through law and how they will view that situation. And we cannot make any judgement about that without understanding the complex laws behind that.

“The bottom line is that our culture is not violent and it’s not abusive towards children.”

Image: Getty Images / Ute Grabowsky / Country Liberal Party