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
Date Written: December 10, 2014
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: Suggested Citation