Media Release: Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney. Monday 1st February 2010

 

Don't punish loan shark Sam Tomarchio's victims


"Centrelink shouldn't punish the victims of loan shark Sam Tomarchio with income management" said STICS spokesperson, Monique Wiseman.

"We've all been shocked by the exploitation by Tomarchio of some of the poorest members of WA's remote Aboriginal communities. Charging exorbitant interest rates - and taking the bank cards and PIN numbers - is exploitation of the highest order."

But, according to the January 19 Australian, Centrelink's solution is to put people on income management - a solution that can only increase poverty and one that devious operators like Tomarchio can get around.

Income quarantining has been a disaster for 'prescribed communities'. The government's own statistics show substance abuse is up 77% and 13% more infants have been hospitalized for malnutrition. Any expansion of IM to vulnerable people across the broader community will only exacerbate social problems.

Amnesty International's Secretary-General Irene Kahn described the conditions in "prescribed communities" as the worst poverty she had ever seen. But there is nothing in Macklin's blueprint to improve this. The overwhelming majority of communities will not receive new housing, home improvements have just been cut back and already struggling services will wither under the new ‘hub towns' policy.

It's the poverty and lack of investment in these communities that has left Laverton open to sharks like Tomarchio and that's what needs to change to stop this type of exploitation.

Instead of punishing the victims of loan sharks like this, the government needs to get serious about reducing poverty and working with communities so that they don't have to rely on dodgy characters like Tomarchio to make ends meet.

It's also disgusting that government agencies have known about Tomarchio from as far back as 2008 but only when the media exposed has any action been taken to provide assistance.

On the 13th of February 2010, Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS) is organising a protest as part of a national day of action against the NT Intervention and for Aboriginal rights.

 

*Stop the NT Intervention - Sorry means you won't do it again. *


*Protest: Saturday, February 13, 2010 *

*9 am* LaPerouse point, Bunnerong rd for the walk against racism to join the Redfern rally.

*1pm* rally at The Block, Redfern

*Speakers include:
Irene Fisher, Sunrise Health (NT)
Pastor Ray Minniecon
Mal Tulloch, CFMEU
Angeline Penrith
Jeff McMullen

*Performers:
The Black Turtles
Nadeena Dixon
Michael Donovan
More tba

*Supporters include:
NSW Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Reconciliation Council, ANTaR NSW, CFMEU, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning Research, Mudgin-Gal, Babana, Reconciliation for Western Sydney, Guriwal Aboriginal Corp., FBEU, MUA, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Illawarra LALC, Bahtabah LALC, Narromine LALC, La Perouse LALC

Organised by Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney

 

*Contact:* Jean 0449646593 or Mon 0415410558 or

Email: [email protected],

For further info: www.stoptheintervention.org