"I robbed my first house at 7 - tax cuts risk more kids like me" - lousy cheap politicking shot from their ABC
What about a few stories of people doing worthwhile things with their own money?
Not from Their ABC.
This politicking is beyond the pale.
I robbed my first house at the age of seven.
I dealt drugs, my brother was in and out of court, my father was imprisoned briefly for cannabis.
My mother was often institutionalised due to major mental health issues.
We moved from house to house with periods of homelessness in between. The houses were raided regularly for my father's cannabis or the goods my brother and I had stolen.
Persistent exclusion from the community meant there was little protection from the steady stream of paedophiles we encountered throughout our lives. I was on my own, without a parent, by 14, using methamphetamine, and expelled from school.
We grew up resenting police, resenting a society we believed had no place for us.
At 21, I finally gained the stability to integrate with society — but not everyone is so lucky.
I went on to graduate from university with distinction, and now work a fulfilling career within advocacy and human services.
What was it that turned my life around?
I never went to prison to be "corrected", but instead benefitted from service provision. I was rewoven back into the fabric of society.
It was my youth worker who helped with the stitching of the loose threads, the frayed ends of my life. He was the one I called in a crisis.
When I was experiencing problems with drug use, violence, or mental health relapse, he was there, ready to pick me up and get me the help I needed.
Even more than that, encouragement back into school. A voice I desperately needed to tell me of the life I was capable of.
Even today, I still have his number in my phone.
It was not fear of harsh sentencing, but mental health intervention, housing, youth services and a chance at an education that enabled me to break the cycle of offending in my family.
If only I'd had even more early intervention, it could have prevented so much harm.
Instead, the services that transformed my life are being starved of funding by a Government prioritising tax cuts and a return to surplus, whatever the public cost. Labor has voted alongside the Coalition to put more money in the pockets of the well-off, while refusing to raise payments for the most impoverished.
I grew up resenting a society I felt had no place for us. That resentment threatens to return now as we see a government, on both sides, turn its backs on the community.