Compulsory Income Management and Indigenous Peoples — Exploring Counter Narratives Amidst Colonial Constructions of ‘Vulnerability’

Shelley Bielefeld, ‘Compulsory Income Management – Exploring Counter Narratives amidst Colonial Constructions of Vulnerability’ (2014) 36(4) Sydney Law Review 695-726.

32 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2014

See all articles by Shelley Bielefeld

Shelley Bielefeld

Griffith University - Griffith Law School; School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

Date Written: December 10, 2014

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.

Keywords: Indigenous peoples, income management, welfare reform, racial discrimination, vulnerable welfare payment recipients, exemptions, critical race theory, colonialism, procedural fairness, human rights, structural violence

JEL Classification: K30

Suggested Citation

Bielefeld, Shelley, Compulsory Income Management and Indigenous Peoples — Exploring Counter Narratives Amidst Colonial Constructions of ‘Vulnerability’ (December 10, 2014). Shelley Bielefeld, ‘Compulsory Income Management – Exploring Counter Narratives amidst Colonial Constructions of Vulnerability’ (2014) 36(4) Sydney Law Review 695-726. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2536692

Shelley Bielefeld (Contact Author)

Griffith University - Griffith Law School ( email )

Nathan Campus, GU
Nathan 4111
Australia

School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

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