@1 A couple of points: The trees in the river, whether …

Comment on Spot a tree? Chop it down! by Hal Duell.

@1 A couple of points:
The trees in the river, whether sacred or secular, are destroyed by firebugs, not by those who attempt to put the fires out.
Does AAPA have no objections to the removal of the carcasses currently littering the Todd’s riverbed? That would be such a welcome statement as they are an eyesore, a fire hazard and a impediment to the timely flow of floodwater through town. As a member of AAPA, is Mike Gillam willing to make that statement?
The Todd looks like a war zone. A cleanup and some replanting would do it and Alice the world of good.
The insinuation that I harbor political ambitions is ill-informed.

Hal Duell Also Commented

Spot a tree? Chop it down!
Mike
Please re-read my original post. I asked a question which you have answered in the negative. OK. I accept your denial. (That’s why I didn’t repeat the question in the second post.)
I then pointed out that fire-fighters have been seen to watch trees burn and not try to put them out. To consider they would do that within the municipality without instruction is, I think, an insult to their professionalism. So who told them not to?
To watch a fire burn would take someone with a level of authority to be found, by my reckoning, only in Council, the NT Police, the Fire Department or AAPA. Perhaps you would care to nominate one of the other three, or make a different suggestion altogether?
If you can establish that someone else prevented the fire-fighters from extinguishing a fire, then I will apologise for speculating that it was AAPA. I note that in our exchange so far you have not denied outright that AAPA was involved in the decisions to allow the trees to burn, but you do keep on about DISCLOSURE. I have nothing to disclose, but the repetition makes me wonder if confirmation is out there waiting for discovery.
I mean either someone told the firies to stand down or the individual fire-fighters took it on their own initiative to allow our magnificent River Gums to burn. I find that second notion hard to credit, but if it is the case, I suggest your argument is with the NT Fire Department.
As to where we go from here, will you now give AAPA approval for Council or some other authority to begin removing the carcasses now littering the Todd, both the standing dead and those already fallen?
ED – The Alice Springs News Online will now ask AAPA whether it has instructed to let the trees burn, and the fire service whether they had decided to let them burn, matters the two correspondents could easily have clarified themselves. We will of course publish the answers.


Spot a tree? Chop it down!
Bob
About the trees left to burn in the Todd River: Is it that the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority is the source of the resistance to putting out these fires?
It is my understanding that not only are Council and the Fire Department prevented from extinguishing the fires once they start, but that if the tree burns through and falls over, no one is allowed to remove the dead wood either.
If this is the case, it would seem that AAPA considers it best practice for the carcasses to stay so they can either burn again in next year’s fires and/or provide an impediment to water getting away in a timely fashion when the river floods.
In addition to increasing the potential danger from future fires and floods, the visual impact can only be described as very, very ordinary.
Could this be a case of a government instrumentality created with the best of intentions – to protect areas of aboriginal significance – becoming crazed by a sense of its own importance and forgetting that the safety of the municipality and all its residents also deserve consideration? I mean, we are talking of a tree on fire in the first instance and dead wood in the second.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Gallery: Friday is the day
Now that would have been an interesting question. Do the residents of Alice really want another art gallery? Or are we being sold a pup?


Bush community learning centre to close
“Batchelor Institute say that increased funding would be needed to run the Centre in 2018, they run similar programs in three Warlpiri communities where they are funded through royalties money.”
Sounds like a plan.


Cops with assault rifles footage six years old
I would like to thank CM Gunner for clarifying the issue of armed and masked TRG police being deployed on the streets of Alice over the coming summer. There won’t be any. Good!
The use of specialised equipment to assist operational officers is a good idea. The perpetrators of youth crime need to be identified.
But this begs the question of what will be done with these young criminals once identified? We can’t hold them in detention, we can’t hold the parents accountable, it seems we can’t do much of anything, really.
These plans are not very encouraging. I suppose they will keep the vigilantes off the streets, but will they keep the kids off them as well?
Perhaps these running-amok kids can be identified as coming from a specific community, and then the royalty payments going to their community can be sequestered until the damages done by them to the residents of Alice have been fully paid for?


Masked cops with assault rifles, but where are the parents?
So it’s come to this. A Tactical Response Group may be deployed to Alice to deal with youth crime. And we have no one but ourselves to blame.
Consider the alternatives.
The NT Police dare not intervene in youth crime for the simple reason that to so much as look sideways at a juvenile delinquent in action is accompanied with reams of paperwork and the high likelihood of a departmental inquiry and possible legal action.
The Town Council is not constituted to deal with policing matters. They can and do host meetings to try to reach a community consensus on what to do about children “getting ready for the summer crime spree,” but internal divisions and differing agendas make theirs a fractured voice.
And while the larger Indigenous organisations often voice their concerns, whatever they may be doing has clearly not worked in past years, and there is little to suggest that this summer will be any different.
And so now we may be seeing armed and (I assume) masked men (and women?) patrolling our streets, not to deal with organised criminals or national or international terrorists, but to deal with children. How inept are we?


Council not keen on offer of help to fight crime
One objection to Mr Alice’s comments as reported above would be that rather than a need to clean up our town to make it safe for tourists, we need to clean up our town to make it safe for residents. Accomplish that, and tourist safety will not be an issue.
Yes, there is a need to make parents accountable for their underage children, to address our irresponsible consumption of alcohol, and so much else. And perhaps chief among the “so much else” is a need to really look at what the rampaging kids are showing us.
And what might that be? I suggest that within these “gangs” that we are reading about, and no matter how fleeting and unarticulated, there will be hierarchy, loyalty and discipline.
Can we possibly provide that within a whole-of-town context, instead of a three hour talk fest going nowhere and beset with a confused hierarchy, split loyalty and little discipline?
The kids are showing us what is needed. Start there.


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