"They think of indigenous people living in central Australia or in Arnhem Land or anywhere in the top end as somehow living a lifestyle of a noble savage, living off the land ... the reality is these people are dying of diabetes because of an inadequate diet, they are dying of malnutrition because their parents don't feed them adequately, they have diseases which have been eradicated everywhere else."
One of the causes of today's blight, Brough argued, could be sheeted back to Gough Whitlam. An old stockman had said to him: "It was Gough, you know ... sit down money, it destroyed our people." The man explained that "no one respected me as an elder any more because some white fella handed the money over and there was nothing in return. It had no value, so no one had to work."
Noel Pearson and Warren Mundine had argued against welfare dependency, Brough said. "If you keep handing money over which is used for all the wrong things: $15,000 in the pot for a game of cards where children don't get fed for 24 hours."