Truancy remedy attracts another state

Amanda O’Brien; 12/12/09

Western Australia is considering tough Noel Pearson-style welfare reforms to tackle rising truancy, after impressive results in a Queensland trial inspired by the indigenous leader. Premier Colin Barnett said yesterday he was monitoring the trial on Cape York, where Mr Pearson’s tough approach has seen school attendance almost double at one of the nation’s most troubled Aboriginal communities, Aurukun. Under the scheme, when children repeatedly miss school the matter is referred to a commission of community leaders and a magistrate, who can direct that the parents’ income be managed. Dozens of orders have been issued.