Welfare reforms a part of the answer

THE emotion being generated by a small number of people, many of them young, with no respect for other people's property is not only justified but demonstrates the frustration parts of the community feel as a result of these attacks.

Perhaps it's the hot weather but these types of confrontation seem more apparent at present than, say, in the middle of July with frost setting on the ground.

Today's story on page 6 relates the stories of people who try and get on with their lives but have to deal with attacks - and there seems no better word - on their property and lifestyles.

Strident calls for welfare cuts have been issued, both from affected residents as well as mostly anonymous weblogs, but it's not the whole answer.

The Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said: "Removing their welfare benefits could form part of the broader conversation but we need a mechanism to hold to account those recidivists who have disdain for the community."

Removing families from state-provided housing might be seen as an answer but it's only short term.

Accountability is the problem and when you add to the mix drug and alcohol issues as well as physical abuse, a grim picture emerges.

The answer lies somewhere in the middle ground between extreme action and constant handouts. The phrase hand-up rather than hand-out has been a rallying cry in the past.

We know the troublemakers are a minority and often fly under the radar. How we build confidence and pride in themselves and their families is the part of the answer.

But most of these people must want to make a difference themselves rather than expecting others to do it for them.


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