Perhaps some other questions need to be asked. Which, if …

Comment on Are fire vandals the only ones to blame for the state of the river? by Hal Duell.

Perhaps some other questions need to be asked.
Which, if any, of our three tiers of government is responsible for Australia’s waterways?
Would that include the portion of the Todd River within the municipality of Alice Springs?
And if legal responsibility can be sheeted home to one tier of government, is it possible to ask them to do something about the fire and flood hazard that the Todd has become?
At present it sounds like there is still too much buck-passing. From the NT Government to AAPA, from AAPA to the Town Council, but who has the final say?
In contrast to the Todd, the Stuart Highway and the large storm water drain between Bradshaw Drive and Larapinta Drive are well looked after by MasterPath. I think they are under contract from the NT Government to keep that corridor mowed and clean.
Earlier in the year I watched some controlled burns.
They have recently completed an extensive replanting with what appears to be a significantly successful strike rate.
Periodically they undertake work to ensure that any flood water that does enter the drains has every chance of making it out of town. Or at least as far as the Todd.
Can a similar contract be let for the Todd River? The contract could include removing the existing fuel load and keeping it down, and dredging the accumulated sand islands that are anchored by the invasive couch and buffel grasses. The initial costs will be significant, but that’s to be expected after years of dithering, buck-passing and cultural demarcation disputes.
It may be too late for many of the hollowed out and burned out older trees. I noticed another one smouldering last Sunday in front of the Casino.
After dragging out the old, dead stuff and dredging a deeper water course, we could reforest. In time we might successfully re-incorporate the Todd into the life of Alice by making it an area to be proud of rather than an area to avoid.

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.

Be Sociable, Share!