Disruption as reprieve?

Disruption as reprieve? Book Section

Beyond Global Food Supply Chains: Crisis, Disruption, Regeneration

  • Author(s): Altman, Jon, Markham, Francis
  • Secondary Author(s): Stead, Victoria, Hinkson, Melinda
  • Published: 2022
  • Publisher: Springer Nature Singapore
  • ISBN: 978-981-19-3155-0

Abstract: It is a truism that the impacts of any crisis always fall unevenly. In this chapter, we focus on the experience of COVID-19 by a particular population group, Indigenous Australians living in extremely remote circumstances. Here key responses to the disruption wrought by the pandemic have paradoxically registered as reprieve. In Australia, remote-living Indigenous peoples live in deep poverty and were anticipated to be highly vulnerable to food insecurity and supply chain disruption. Surprisingly, the pandemic served to disrupt in other ways. The hegemonic characterization of welfare-dependent Indigenous peoples as morally deficient subjects in need of discipline and control could not be sustained as the country “locked down” and over a million others became “welfare dependent” overnight. Unemployment benefits were temporarily doubled, and onerous work-for-the-dole mutual obligations eased. This essay explores potential positive changes to systems of food provisioning caused by government responses to COVID-19. The remote food security “crisis” is shown to be mainly an artefact of government policies designed to punish the poor and push unemployed remote-community residents into jobs. We propose permanent reform to the social security system that will enhance food security and liberate Indigenous peoples to more effectively self-provision and exercise “food sovereignty”.

  • Urls: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-3155-0_10
  • Publisher Location: Singapore
  • Keywords: Indigenous peoples, Indigenous food sovereignty, Indigenous food security, Remote stores, Supply chains, Welfare conditionality

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Suggested Citation
Altman, Jon, Markham, Francis, 2022, Disruption as reprieve?, Book Section, viewed 21 February 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=38638.

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