I have never read an article that has given me …

Comment on Hot debate in council over youth curfew, public stays away by Steve Brown.

I have never read an article that has given me a more sickening sense of shame. Shame at the pettiness, shame at the shear stupidity, and shame at the completely compassionless betrayal of a town and its children by its so called representatives. Of course a curfew isn’t “the” answer to everything, it’s simply a tool to both assist and force our various agencies to deal with a problem that they, and now our aldermen, refuse to address. I am completely gob-smacked by Sandy Taylor’s closing quote: “Those most in need of Social Support are those most likely to be subject to a curfew and most likely to fail its conditions.” Well what can I say “Ah Derrr, Sandy”.
That is and always was the intention of a curfew! Those that are good citizens and who obey the law do as it commands and stay off the street. So that means the ones on the streets are the ones you want to deal with! The ones without parental control or without a home!
Of course they’re the focus of the curfew, that’s the whole bloody point of the curfew isn’t it?
But what absolutely disgusts me is the willingness of our councillors to put petty hates and jealousy above the welfare of our town and more importantly above the welfare of our children.
Jane Clark actually wants proof that our problem with youth exists! This despite the thousands of articles, radio and TV commentary, a flowing conversation of admissions by police and other agencies reports such as Little Children are Sacred, millions of dollars poured by a very reluctant government into various agencies to address the issue, not to mention of course the literally thousands of reported crimes, bashings and break-ins inflicted on the poor citizens of this town.
Even the Prime Minister knows about it but not apparently Jane Clark!
What an arrogant disgusting insult to the citizens of this town who have lived with the daily trauma created by this problem for years.
Oh, and you don’t think it’s that bad anymore? It’s dropped by 15% apparently in the past few months. That’s fantastic, is it? That means the rate is now only up by about 485% over the past eight years – we really are going places aren’t we!
And somewhere in there you talked about a more intelligent sophisticated solution! So where is it? Where was all the work on that? I think for a bunch of petty squabbling councillors the idea of an intelligent solution may well be the perfect working example of an oxymoron with the emphasis on the word moron.
The facts are you undermined and ridiculed this motion because of your petty dislike for new chum Eli Melky, and if that’s not bad enough, you did it without any empathy, compassion or regard for the kids who roam and give up their lives to the streets at night.
You did it without any respect or regard for the citizenry of the town, many of whom spend sleepless nights in terror of being victimised by these kids, and you did it without any respect for the position you hold. As a person who has put an enormous amount of time into backing many of you, who worked very hard at getting you there in the first place, as a person who talked you up when many others thought you were crap, I now feel a real sense of shame that you have allowed yourselves to become so compromised that you can no longer see the woods for the trees.
And you can’t see your way through lies, deceit and bullying to a position of moral decency. So in the years to come when hopefully all this is behind us, and some person or other asks what it was you did as a councillor to help save the kids on the streets back in 2011, you’ll be able to answer with great an absolute clarity: “I DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.”

Steve Brown Also Commented

Hot debate in council over youth curfew, public stays away
John, my initial response was an admittedly angry rebuke to aldermen, some of whom I hold in great respect, over behavior that has emerged regarding Eli Melky. The intensity of the dislike the aggressive bullying intolerance is really deplorable especially when some seem quite willing to sacrifice long held beliefs in order to attack him.
My comments come not just from the article but from what I have observed first hand both at Council and through a good many conversations with a number of aldermen.
While council is playing petty one-upmanship games, people – many of them children – are hurting. Of course council doesn’t control law and order but a well respected council can and should be an enormous influence on government decisions.
That means making strong, visionary, useful points to government, then having the intestinal fortitude to stand behind those decisions. What Alice doesn’t want is a cringing, ingratiating, cannibalistic council that may raise plenty of eyebrows within government, but generate precious little respect.
Furthermore and finally, what Alice’s needs is a council that represents its citizens not the glorious careers of aldermen. The recent criticism of Action for Alice by some in council raises many questions about just who councillors think they are and who they think they represent.
The membership of Action for Alice during peak moments of the town’s anxiety earlier this year bordered on 500, mostly businesses. That, John, is a huge majority of local business! Our wealth generators and our employers!
[ED – Time to move on the the next subject, gentlemen!]


Hot debate in council over youth curfew, public stays away
Yeh! John, you have the audacity to talk about the “debate”. Debate is for people with both ideas and open minds, given your contribution has been a never ending spiel of Labor Party propaganda and its pathetic justifications you obviously have neither. You’ve maintained your unquestioning support for the Territory Government and the Labor Party even though it’s demonstrably against the wishes of, or the interests of, a massive majority of this town’s population. I think the Labor Vote is somewhere around 20% isn’t it? Why is that John?
You still thinking of putting your hand up for the Labor Party at the next election? I personally can’t think of a good reason why you shouldn’t. Your leadership skills and achievements absolutely match the criteria.
So why is Eli, “the new kid on the block”, at forefront of attempts to do something about our youth problem?
Where is what should by now your very well developed policy? Could it possibly be that this problem has escalated year by year on your watch and you don’t have one? How long have you been in council now John?
Let me help you, you’ve been there long enough to have put into effect all the answers you think you have. How long do you think you would need before you came up with any kind of solution or even produced an attempt at a solution – another 10 years? You seem to be able to produce a remarkable spiel of reasons as to why we shouldn’t do anything or why something won’t work. Yet we never see from you as an individual or Council as a whole any kind of leading the way.
You say you came up with some good policy as part of the other night’s discussion, so where is it? Where are the motions? The facts are that your intent the other night was aimed solely a shooting down the new chums’ motion. It was in fact part of the pathetic bullying power game that been running against any alderman who has the temerity to put a motion that could be construed as being critical of, or outside the policy of the Territory Government. This week gutted stance not only lets down the citizenry of Alice who rightfully expect that aldermen should stand up and vigorously represent their point of view, but as with all policies of appeasement, it has made our council a laughing stock on matters of public policy. It results in our town’s opinions being completely disregarded by a Territory Government that always bases its decisions for Alice on minimizing input. As for the rest of your points, John, perhaps you should have read a little more closely my strong language was directed at behavior not individuals and John, I don’t think you have to support a curfew as long as you have an alternative response.
One which doesn’t involve DOING NOTHING AT ALL! Which, by the way, is now the position of Council since your rejection of Ald Melky’s motion obviously does away with the council’s previously held stance of supporting a curfew.
Gutter Politics John? You mean like those who play the “race card”, use it as an excuse to do “nothing”! Even though the result is the absolute victimisation and destruction of those they pretend to protect! Would you like to give us a run down on just how well Aboriginal Centralians have done while people like you have been arguing for separate and different treatment? People argue that, John, because they don’t have the guts or the basic human decency to do the right thing by these kids no matter what their race!
They do it because they’re scared of being accused of being “racist”, and you know what, John? That in itself is a blatant racist and uncaring act! Where else but in the gutter would I speak to someone like that?


Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
The longer this process goes on the more likely we are to lose it altogether. That’s a loss of $150m into our economy, just on build!
The government has made up its mind on the site. That’s their right! That’s what we elect them for, to make what they see as the best decision, on our behalf!
So, while about 4% of the population whinge about it, and try to foil the process, keep this in mind.
If it doesn’t go ahead at Anzac there will be no new rugby grounds! Another $20m to $30m.
There will be no amphitheatre or the CBD space to put one. Another $3m to $4m.
We will miss out on an expansion of CBD parking. Millions more!
And we will miss the opportunity to create much increased foot traffic into the CBD and the resulting growth in small business. Millions more.
There is now very little chance of it going anywhere else. It will either go at the Anzac Hill site or we will lose it altogether!
Federal Politicians looking for an excuse to fund it in South Australia have been handed exactly what they want, local dissent!
It shouldn’t take much more to tip the scales, if the damage hasn’t already been done.
If we believe in our community, if we want to grow our economy, create opportunity for ourselves and our children into the future we have to be prepared to accept change, to put our petty likes and dislikes along with what often amounts to rather shallow competitive political viewpoints aside for the greater good.
To put it bluntly, “suck it up and stand aside in support of the best obtainable outcome for our community!
Let’s not cut off our nose to spite our face!


The millions and the misery
Interesting article that this may be, I would not like to see discussion centred around the ins and out of funding to various Aboriginal organisations being conflated in anyway with our discussions around funding and locating our proposed youth centre.
We are attempting to get a whole of community approach to this!
That approach, if it is to be successful, will most certainly include the organisations mentioned.
While we clearly share everyone’s enthusiasm for the Old Memo Club as an ideal site for our centre and have said so publicly on a number of occasions, the fact remains that this is the legally owned property of Centercorp and the only way that we could possibly acquire it for the centre is if these organisations believe in our cause and choose to come on board, something that I very much encourage them to do.
My apologies Centrecorp and Congress if we have caused inconvenience, we were “dreaming” our best possible options for getting something off the ground, ASAP.
We fervently hope in the interests of this community’s children you will give the promoted concept some very serious consideration and come to understand as many already have, the true value to the community, and all your investment in it
It is having a happy, healthy, united community where kids know they are cared for and see exciting future prospects in front of them, with staff, volunteers and mentors from our new centre showing the way.


Memo Club for 24/7 youth centre?
@ Evelyne: No, definitely too far from CBD and don’t think the neighbours would be to keen.
The bed requirement part of the concept is “emergency bed requirement” only, as per “Careful’s” comment probably not a large demand for it. We could manage with temporary facilities and grow after assessing demand.
I imagine that most kids would catch the bus at the cessation of evening activities. The most important part of this centre will be kitchen, dining and activities which would also clearly encompass such things as after school care.
As for existing facilities: This is not a petty competition nor are we interested in the petty politics of those more interested in protecting their own backsides than looking after children.
Let’s deal with the basic facts: Governments of all persuasions have struggled with this issue for 50 years or so. They have funded and de-funded all manner of organisations in the process!
And they have failed.
Yes, there are existing organisation who have cross over interests.
However, we still have the issue.
In fact it is a large growing generational issue, at times literally hundreds of kids hanging about on our streets, growing crime and increasing isolation, increasing division, increasing us and them, increasing have and have not and increasing community anger and resentment.
The concept of bringing kids and community members, not just street kids into a central location, is not just about food and activities, it is about containing the hanging out to a really “cool” location and it is about cross community interaction.
Breaking down the division!
It is about rebuilding a community out of a rapidly growing divide that threatens its very foundations.
The issue is far greater than the petty self interests of a few professional youth workers who feel someone is intruding on their turf!
If your a genuine committed professional youth worker you will know the value of the community interaction too which I refer and you will get on board.
This is not a government initiative, it is a community movement, the only ones in the end who can really make a difference.
And not just for neglected kids, not just for underprivileged kids, but for all the kids in our community, which in the end means a difference for all of us!
We envisage that those centres already working in this area would come on board and work with us, probably moving their services into the central complex or maintain offices there, or doing pick ups and drop offs so that everybody’s together, part of the activity and excitement, of things going on: That is what we want to create.
We have said all along, while we are looking at a community youth centre driven by volunteers it would also incorporate professional management and youth workers.
This is about everybody in the sector putting aside selfish interest and uniting to bring about effective change.
It’s about making a massive difference to a whole lot of young lives and making our community a whole lot happier place to live for everybody.


Memo Club for 24/7 youth centre?
While I share the enthusiasm for getting our priorities right and dealing with our Youth issue first up, projects such as the art gallery are equally important in building a successful community … no economy, no people, no funds or assistance for a centre.
So we aren’t looking to swap one for another, we are looking to do both and more!
Importantly I can report to you that I am running into a great deal of support for the youth centre project from all sectors and I don’t think we are going to have to many issues funding this project, even with the art centre going ahead.
The cross community support I have encountered so far leads me to believe we are going to be successful in getting the project off the ground.
My real concern at this stage is the amount of time it will take to do that!
Obviously if we can’t find an existing facility of the right size and location i.e. the Memo Club there is likely to be a period of at least a couple of years before we can build and be operational.
This is a really urgent issue, requiring immediate action, especially when you think of those two years through the eyes of an eight year old child virtually living on the streets.
Two years is a lifetime, and for that matter for a town being battered by a street kid crime wave, two years is also an eternity!
So clearly we need to act and act now! All ideas are welcome but we must have large open space kitchen and dining, multiple toilets / bathrooms to cater for several hundred kids in a central well lit location.


Memo Club for 24/7 youth centre?
We were always aware that Congress had intentions for the Old Memo Club and our project certainly doesn’t hinge on being able to get our hands on those premises.
I put it forward as a potential location so that everyone would understand the desired CBD location, building size and layout that our proposed Centre requires, large open areas, dining and kitchen facilities – very much like the Memo Club.
This of course would have been ideal if it were available.
So if you change your mind Congress, there’s a lot of kids who would greatly appreciate it.
In the meantime I imagine we will be looking for temporary premises to get things underway while we raise the funds to build to our design.


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