“He said he met with AAPA last week and they …

Comment on No shift in council’s priorities in the river by Hal Duell.

“He said he met with AAPA last week and they are having discussions with traditional owners.” I was in the public gallery during last Monday’s council meeting and heard Director of Technical Services, Greg Buxton, make this statement.
One question: When he said they are having discussions, did he mean the Town Council and AAPA are having discussions with the traditional owners of the different stretches of the Todd River, or did he mean that AAPA is having the discussions and relaying back to Council any decisions?
I would like to think our Town Council is a participant in any discussions with traditional owners when the discussions relate to a matter of public safety for all the residents of Alice Springs. Given the concern that the Todd River is now so shallow that a Q20 flood could break the river’s banks, I suggest these discussions would fall within the rubric of public safety.
Just asking.

Hal Duell Also Commented

No shift in council’s priorities in the river
I can’t agree that the Town Council is quite as slack and irresponsible as some would seem to suggest. While I often disagree with Council’s actions, in the case of the Todd River, I wonder what else they can do, in addition to what they are already doing, without more funds and clearer authority.
An increase in rates is never welcome, but without spending more money, how can the grasses be kept from becoming a fuel load? How can the remains of the trees burned by arsonists be removed before they add to next year’s fuel load? And how can the river’s floor be deepened, or its channels improved, so Alice is protected from a Q20 flood breaking the banks?
No one, and on my own I include the Council, wants to see the large river gums go. I suggest the inclination to protect the river is there but is being stymied by other bureaucracies. Why else is Council only allowed to enter the river with handheld tools? Rakes and a whipper snipper or two to look after the broad expanse of the Todd that Council has been given responsibility for by the NT Government? It’s almost as if someone is deliberately putting rocks in Council’s road.
The massacre of mature trees in the riverbed is down to arson, and as Mr Buxton correctly pointed out, that is not Council’s problem. The clean-up is, or could be if allowed, but the act itself is a crime and belongs to the NT Police.
Expertise can be hired. A River Warden has been suggested, but if we go down that path, I would like to see Council remain the designated authority. We have tried splitting authority in Alice before when Tangentyere Council was given authority over the Town Camps, and that just didn’t work. Splitting the Todd won’t either.
I think much of the current problem is that as a town we have turned our back on the Todd. Other than the bicycle path, the Sturt Tce. parklands and the veranda at Juicy Rump, where else is the river the focus? Even in the more than 170 activities listed in the recently released and truly admirable Youth Activities Calendar 2011/12 – summer holidays, not one activity is scheduled to take place in the Todd. Not one.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Open doors, not flogging, will reduce juvenile offending
If only it were so.
As much as I respect the years’ long dedicated work this author has contributed to youth issues in Central Australia, foremost among which being his largely successful work in eliminating the scourge of petrol sniffing out on the Homelands, here I think he is glossing over the issue. “Naughty” not only doesn’t begin to cover it, but is both misleading and trivializing.
The kids in question here are not naughty, but actual criminals engaged in criminal activities.
I, too, have seen Tangentyere Day Patrol on our streets this summer engaging with youth on the streets, and I applaud their efforts. And I have long supported the Gap Youth Centre as a community effort to engage and support youth in the Gap.
But once it and other dedicated outreach centres close for the night, what happens then?
Many go home to what homes they have, but a significant minority do not.
They roam the streets knowing full well that any interaction with the NT Police will be one-sided in their favour.
The police are obliged to back down once any confrontation with under-aged youth takes place. And don’t the kids just know it!
The sad truth is that the line of departing families is growing, while those of us who are staying rely on tall fences, locked gates and barking dogs to ensure out safety and well-being. And until someone, anyone and I don’t care who, can deal effectively with this current and local scourge, the fences, gates and dogs will remain.


What REALLY goes on in our streets: Youth worker
As happens so often these days, Jacinta Price stands tall as an example of a concerned Australian talking common sense. Family responsibility seems to be her mantra when discussing the social ills bedeviling Alice.
And we all know she is right, all that is except for those denizens of the politically correct swamp who would rather further fracture as opposed to heal. They remind me of nothing so much as baby chicks still in the nest, impotent little wings flapping, beaks open and a chorus of gimme gimme gimme gimme.
Walking around town, especially through the shopping centres and the hospital, and the conclusion that this is an Indigenous town is inescapable.
No problem there, but what this means is that the way forward not only has to come from them, but it can only come from them.
Our Town Council would do well to recognize this. Otherwise they risk being consigned to the status of an irrelevant elite watching from behind their fences as our town burns.
And let’s not even talk about Darwin. They may hold immense power over us, but without question they are as useless as teats on a bull.


Lasseters private enterprise beacon in stagnant town
I’m with Scotty on this one. If New Year’s Eve was anything to go by, Animal Bar is putting it mildly.
If Lasseters is having trouble coping with its clientele, they might think about taking a page out of the Gap Hotel’s playbook. Multi-ethnic, multi-racial and zero humbug. An example well worth considering.
And as to John Bell’s suggestion that an irresistible offer from China for Uluru is not far off, if the Vietnamese can gain a 99 year concession to run Angkor Wat, which I was told was the case when I visited Cambodia a couple years ago, then this might not be such a far fetched idea.


Local government: A lot of action beyond the 3Rs
@ Leigh Childs, Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm: Yes, but not for some years now. And I agree that Broken Hill’s size, history and location make it a much better fit for comparison to Alice than does Murray Bridge.
What I remember is an interesting town on the road between east and west (Alice is between north and south), a hub for the surrounding area, a sculpture park on the top of a hill, the uncanny familiarity of nearby Mutawintji National Park, and marveling at how the local government managed to build all the infrastructure even a small town needs with steep hills and a hard rock base to work with, at least in the central area.
Good point. They seemed to be in the process of reinventing themselves in the years when I was passing through, and it’s good to think they have kept going.


Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
Long live Stuart the Explorer and Two-Up the Bunny! Long may they stand with the Undoolya Perenti as monuments to Alice Springs’ artistic identity.
More would be better. Where is the Indigenous hero to join Stuart along Stuart Terrace? We all know Council would fall over themselves to balance the story being told there.
Mark Egan has created a couple of outstanding examples up the track at Aileron, but whether he would again willingly venture into the hotbed of PC naval gazing that seems to be the default atmosphere here is another question.


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