Thanks Rowan (Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:32 am), but …

Comment on Spot a tree? Chop it down! by Bob Durnan.

Thanks Rowan (Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:32 am), but if you’d read the earlier posts you would have seen that we already very clearly knew most of that.
My main complaint was about the tendency of some fire fighters, on at least some occasions, to stand watching fires spread to grass at the base of obviously vulnerable trees without taking action to arrest the flames before they engulf the trees.
They had plenty of water, had the opportunity to act without endangering themselves, the trees were close to where the fire engine and tanker were parked, but they chose not to act. When challenged one explained to me that if the fire bugs were going to light these fires, then why should fire fighters bother to try to save the trees?
Granted, the job is dangerous, often tedious and often thankless. Granted, that the activities of drunken firebugs are very frustrating.
But the point is, these are not the fire bugs’ trees, they are some of Alice Springs most precious assets, and where possible they should be protected.
I suspect that after this debate in the Alice Springs News, more efforts at protecting these trees will be made in the future.
Already the work that quite obviously should have occurred last winter (clearing the matted dry couch and thick clumps of buffel grass from around the bases of mature trees along the river banks between the Schwartz Crescent and Casino causeways) has finally been done, mainly by work gangs made up of prisoners, over the past few weeks.
Let’s hope that this work continues at regular intervals before the danger to these trees returns.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Spot a tree? Chop it down!
There are several questions, to my way of thinking: one is why trees were permitted to continue burning once they had caught fire, when at least sometimes the burning could have been caused to cease, with the likelihood that some of these trees could have been saved; but more importantly is why trees were permitted to catch fire in circumstances where, in at least some cases, this could have been prevented without too much trouble?
Why are many trees in the Todd and Charles beds still permitted to stand closely surrounded by densely packed, dry buffel and couch banks, in unnaturally dangerous conditions for the trees, without any attempts to remove the danger by cutting and removing these domineering introduced grasses?


Spot a tree? Chop it down!
This awful planning by whomever at Larapinta camp is in keeping with the long trend in Alice: a war against natural shade and healthy vegetation by a variety of authorities, including some involved at the municipal council, as well as some at PAWA. Where the CBD once had many useful and beautiful shade trees in Bath, Hartley, Todd and other streets where people park cars, they have virtually all been eliminated by the treephobes in our midst. (A treephobe is one who has an unnatural fear of falling leaves and bark; they are so litter- and risk-averse that they would prefer that people living with forty-plus celsius temperatures should enjoy full sunshine on their vehicles rather than having to put up with kurrajong seeds or cedar berries pummelling their windscreens, or a bit of natural litter on the footpath. The treephobes also honour the ideal of fully concreted pavements, rather than risk the growth of a blade of grass or a seedling, or a bit of natural soakage for the root systems of any remaining trees that dare to attempt to survive in the urban wonderland. The continued existence of the wonderful arboreal giants on the Melanka block is probably currently causing them to suffer regular nightmares).
Alice residents would have observed also the recent wholesale eradication of mature trees and bushes in the car park opposite the YHA/old walk-in cinema, on the corner of Leichhardt Terrace and Parsons St, and the apparent decision by authorities to not try to save many trees that caught fire in the river bed over the last three months. On enquiring twice (in late August, early Sept) to fire crew members who were standing by and watching trees catch fire from dense buffel grass, as to why they weren’t attempting to douse these flames burning next to red gums before they inevitably set fire to the bark and dead wood on the trees, I was given to understand that since “they” were lighting all these fires, then it wasn’t the firefighters’ job to save the trees. It didn’t seem to occur to the firefighters that the trees are the collective heritage and wealth of all townspeople, and a major tourism asset, or that it was their job to protect this naturally occurring ‘property’ as well as constructed assets. (Having also reported some fire outbreaks to the police number in Darwin, and on occasion having been met with complete disinterest unless the fire was likely to affect constructed property, it is obvious that it’s not just some Alice firemen who don’t seem to think that the red gums are important to the wellbeing of Alice Springs. On one occasion my offer to supply a description of a person who had just lit a fire was also met with lack of any interest at the Darwin end of the phone).
Admittedly some of the elimination of the street trees was probably carried out by the treephobes under the cloak of a floral version of politically-correct xenophobia (get rid of the foreign-born vegetation with a bit of botanical ethnic cleansing), the fashion for this has now subsided to a significant extent, so it may be a good time for shade fanciers to speak up more about these civic crimes.
How about an anti-fascist shadey alliance to seek a presence on the next Town Council?


Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.


I’m not kungka, I’m arelhe
Does anybody know if the hours when the Arrernte words teaching program is held at the Apmere angkentye-kenhe are available somewhere on the net, or anywhere else?
I thought I had seen it advertised for every Wednesday night at 6pm, but this doesn’t appear to be the case?
I have gone there at this time, found it closed, and no notice or info on the door.
Anybody wanna clarify here?


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Alex, of course one part-time worker with CAALAS is not able to, in your words, “work closely with EVERY SINGLE young person going throughout Central Australian court system, their family, community, lawyer, school and other service-providers to provide the young person with the support they need to get back on track and stay out of trouble”.
That is exactly my point, and why it is wrong for you to lay the blame on that worker, as you did when you wrote “if your PART-TIME advocacy programme co-ordinator did her job after this child’s court appearance in March, then he wouldn’t have appeared in court again in May.”
As I said earlier: That advocacy programme co-ordinator performed her job with great diligence and dedication, and cannot be held to blame for any alleged failure of duty of care, as the case load of such cases far exceeds the ability of one worker to cover even a small proportion of them. She was doing her job very well, covering as many of the cases as she could, but she wasn’t a magician. So your cheap jibe at her reputation is wrongly placed, and you should withdraw it.


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Evelyne Roullet, Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm: Ralph was not talking about where or how the kid should be housed. He was referring to the bigger issue of the huge trauma in his life, caused by the alleged killing of his mother by his father. Kids who experience this level of trauma need intensive help and support, and we need to make sure that they get it, from wherever it may be best available.


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Alex, on June 22, 2017 at 11:44 am you said, and I quote: “If your PART-TIME advocacy programme co-ordinator did her job after this child’s court appearance in March, then he wouldn’t have appeared in court again in May.”
So you cast an aspersion on her. It is entirely unwarranted.
Don’t wriggle out, apologise.


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