February 22, 2005 | Graham

We are family

An interview on ABC radio this morning said it all (no audio that I can find, so no link) – we all belong to families, apparently. Minister responsible for Family Impact Statements, Kay Patterson, was asked to define exactly what a family was. After not much rambling she revealed that even a person living alone was a family, because, well, we all have families don’t we? The department appears to have been putting some thinking into defining this concept.
The youngis reporter appeared to have trouble accepting this fairly obvious definition, and kept quizzing Patterson about single parents and childcare – obviously for Generation-whatever-letter-of-the-alphabet-we-are-down-to define families as involving children, perhaps more evidence of an increase in conservatism in the young. The Minister is much more a swinger and seemed to even embrace the possibility that same sex couples are really families.
So, what is a “Family Impact Statement” supposed to cover? Just about everything, it seems, which may disappoint Family First, whose idea it was anyway. Perhaps we should rename them “People Impact Statements”? Not sure that this is what FF had in mind. Afterall, Family First implies elevation of a certain type of human living arrangement. If it could be translated as just People First its claim would appear to be more an elevation of our particular species, or perhaps an anti-corporatist pitch!
You wonder exactly what sort of statements governments have been putting out with their legislation in the past if these statements can be regarded as an innovation. I mean, all legislation is supposed to have a beneficial impact on people, isn’t it?

Posted by Graham at 10:26 am | Comments Off on We are family |
Filed under: Australian Politics

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