When Ministers use “Taxpayers Dollars” to justify inhumane decisions we should all fear for our future
Today’s news that the Wangchuk family of Queanbeyan NSW, on the very doorstep of the seat of government in Canberra, are being refused permanent residence on the grounds that their deaf son Kinley would be, in the Minister’s words ‘a burden on the taxpayer’, is nothing less than appalling and simply wrong.
What message does that send to the deaf or otherwise disabled members of our nation? That the government considers them a ‘burden on the taxpayers’ of Australia. That they are not welcomed in our community because they are ‘different’ or ‘less productive’ than those without a disability.
Yesterday we saw the Prime Minister promising a Royal Commission that will examine violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in the Disability sector and decrying the poor treatment of so many of the disabled members within our community. He then tearfully dedicating the inquiry to his disabled brother in law.
How seriously does he expect the Australian public to take his tears if his government can deport an entire family on the grounds that one disabled member might drain the public purse of funds that could otherwise be used to fund their re-election promises. Is an entire families future worth another ‘chicken in every pot’?
What was the National Disability Insurance Scheme established for if not to show that we take seriously and indeed value the contribution and the needs of our disabled people; All our disabled people.
Gandhi said it so very clearly. “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members”.
We are already failing badly in the way we often treat our homeless, our addicted and our elderly. Do we truly want to slip even further down that uncaring slope or will we demonstrate once and for all that every person in Australia is valued because of who they are, not for what their worth is in dollars and cents.
The Democratic Labour Party calls on the Minister to do one final act of compassion and humanity by welcoming every member of this family as valued members of our society.
Prove to everyone that we are all of equal worth simply because we exist.
Stephen Campbell. Federal Secretary, Democratic Labour Party