"There goes another shiftless Aboriginal," said the Pioneer bus driver to those of us taking the half-day tour of Alice Springs. "We give them cars, they drive them till they're out of petrol, then, bloody hell, they just leave the bloody things by the side of the road."

The two elderly ladies in the back of the bus were particularly dismayed by such allegedly outrageous behavior. They pointed to a young Aboriginal family about to enter a clinic as we drove by.

"See them?" continued the driver, speaking through a microphone to this captive tourist audience. "You and I can't get into that hospital if it killed us. We all pay for those people to get special treatment. And they're drunk half the time to boot. I mean, you wouldn't read about it!"