Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest has branded the Greens ‘the party for paedophiles’ for opposing cashless welfare cards.
The billionaire mining magnate championed a switch away from cash welfare payments to curb ‘rampant drug and alcohol problems’ in Aboriginal communities.
His call came after Aboriginal elders last week released a confronting video showing a man stomping on a child and dragging them by the hair.
Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest branded the Greens ‘the party for paedophiles’ for opposing cashless welfare cards
Mr Forrest, a philanthropist worth $6 billion, accused the Greens and others of putting lofty principles and ‘human rights horses**t’ ahead of practical action.
‘The Greens might as well be the party for paedophiles, the party for child sex abusers – you’re the party of human rights and you’ve forgotten the human rights of children,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Fortescue Metals boss said welfare was being spent on drugs, alcohol, and pornography – leaving children to wander the streets as it was safer than at home.
He was flanked by Aboriginal community leaders Bianca Crake and Jean O’Reeri from Ceduna, South Australia, and said local people were ‘begging’ for the cards.
‘Kids are dying and the instant someone plays politics, you literally consign another life to being molested, to being abused, to being kept from school, or worse, committing suicide,’ he said.
His call came after Aboriginal elders last week released a confronting video (pictured) showing an Aboriginal man stomping on a defenceless child lying on the ground
He was flanked by Aboriginal community leader Jean O’Reeri (R) and Port Headland mayor Camillo Blanco (L) and said local people were ‘begging’ for the cards
Mr Forrest said the government was instead listening to academics and left-wing politicians who claimed to know better than the communities themselves.
He also had the support of Port Headland mayor Camillo Blanco and Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price, who said violence between Aboriginal people was too often dismissed.
But Greens senator Rachel Siewert, an outspoken critic of cashless welfare cards, claimed Mr Forrest was running a ‘bizarre commentary’ against his opponents, saying no one had a ‘monopoly on the truth’.
‘I will not be bullied into supporting the cashless welfare card and will not be dignifying his absurd and offensive comments any further,’ she said.
Greens senator Rachel Siewert (C), an outspoken critic of cashless welfare cards, claimed Mr Forrest was running a ‘bizarre commentary’ against his opponents
Mr Forrest, a philanthropist worth $6 billion, accused the Greens and others of putting lofty principles and ‘human rights horses**t’ ahead of practical action
Trials began 18 months ago in East Kimberley, WA, and Ceduna and reduced alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence reports, homelessness, and ambulance call outs.
But there were also claims of work-arounds and increased crime, and half the 2,000 trial subjects said the cards made their lives worse.
The budget announced it would expand the trial to four sites, but this would require the support of parliament, where the Greens and Labor said they would not support bringing it to communities that didn’t want it.
Aboriginal and community leaders hoped the horrific CCTV released last week would shock politicians into supporting a wide-ranging expansion.
In another piece of confronting footage (pictured) a man can be seen dragging a child by the hair
Aboriginal and community leaders hope the horrific video (pictured) will shock the government into expanding the use of cashless welfare cards
The disturbing footage was put together by the Minderoo Foundation, councils and the police to show the dire situation in regional Western Australia.
The video reveals communities torn apart by drug abuse and alcoholism, where children are committing suicide and being attacked by their own families.
Men are caught on camera punching, kicking and stomping on children, and dragging their limp bodies by the hair.
Large groups of men and women can also be seen brawling in the street in front of children and young families.
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan says children in the areas are falling victim to endemic violence, sexual abuse and even rape, The West Australian reported.
‘It is a war zone out there and the victims are little children,’ he said.
Mr Forrest said the government was instead listening to academics and left-wing politicians who claimed to know better than the communities themselves
Ms Blanko appeared in the video pleading for help dealing with the horrors being inflicted in the region.
‘Young children are being raped, little kids. Alcohol and drugs are killing our towns, turning adults into child rapists,’ he said.
In the town of Roebourne 300 child abuse charges have been levelled against 36 men, and 184 children out of 500 have been sexually assaulted.
In Leonora, the last 18 months have seen lat least six children commit suicide.
Minderoo Foundation Chairman, mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, believes cash welfare is to blame for the rampant drug and alcohol problems in the region.
‘It might give families a fighting chance at building an optimistic future and a chance to redirect their money to spend on food for their children,’ he said.
Commissioner O’Callaghan said welfare dependency means a ‘circuit breaker’ is needed.
He also called on the Federal Government to prioritize the wellbeing and safety of children and not wait for town leaders to act.