Four Corners - Cape Experiment, The
For years he's warned that welfare payments – sit down money - have encouraged irresponsibility and a hand out mentality in indigenous communities. In 2006 Noel Pearson's Cape York Institute began a trial project to rehabilitate several communities on the Cape. The most controversial aspect of the plan is to link behaviour to welfare payments.
Four Corners gained unique access to these communities as Pearson and his team have battled to get their vision accepted and implemented. The program tracks both the resistance to these reforms, as well as the enthusiasm and determination by others to turn their lives around.
During the making of this program the Prime Minister declared Aboriginal child abuse in the Northern Territory a national emergency and announced "major measures" to take control of the Territory’s Aboriginal communities. Much of the Federal Government's efforts reflect the Pearson plan. The hurdles thrown up by the Cape York reforms give an insight into the difficulties the Federal Government will face in the Northern Territory. Noel Pearson broadly supports the intervention but details his concerns to Four Corners.
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