Compulsory income management and Indigenous peoples - exploring counter narratives amidst colonial constructions of 'vulnerability'

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    Abstract

    This article explores counter narratives to the dominant colonial narrative about Indigenous welfare recipients classified as 'vulnerable' under the compulsory income management laws. The compulsory income management laws and policies were implemented initially in 2007 as part of the Northern Territory Intervention, and were modified to some degree in 2010 in what the Government alleges to be a non-racially discriminatory manner. These laws were further entrenched and extended in June 2012 as part of the Stronger Futures legislative package. The laws have a particularly significant impact upon Indigenous welfare recipients in the Northern Territory and, increasingly, across some other Indigenous communities outside that jurisdiction. The government narrative about income management maintains that it is beneficial for those subject to it. However, there are other marginalised narratives that shed light upon the compulsory income management discourse. These suggest that law constructs, rather than merely describes, the vulnerability that the Government claims to seek to redress via these laws.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)695-726
    JournalSydney Law Review
    Volume36
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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