Crime in Alice Springs is associated with alcohol, almost every …

Comment on LETTER: Taking no prisoners by Hal Duell.

Crime in Alice Springs is associated with alcohol, almost every time, whether in acts of public disorder or major crimes like murder and arson. And yet whenever alcohol restrictions are mentioned, the ensuing debate would spin a wind turbine.
You are right, I do support restrictions. Nationally I would like to see a volumetric tax, and locally I would like to see three take-away free days. My nominations would be Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I’m not holding my breath for either development.
The lack of adequate funding for alternatives to prison extend across Australia. An article by Graeme Innes in today’s Fairfax papers points out that in 2007-2008, Australia spent over $2 billion on prisons. That statistic in now four years old,
but I have no doubt current figures will have kept up. The total equated then to $269 per prisoner per day. My guess is it would cost more today.
This is a lack of government imagination, a misuse of public money, a spinning of bureaucratic wheels. We’re wasting a chance.
I also think that anyone living in Alice Springs has a part to play. It doesn’t matter if you are a local Aranda, a Melbourne shusher, from the Pit homelands, an African refugee, a Warlpiri or a tradie on a tear. Alice Springs is an urban center. We all need to pull our socks up.

Hal Duell Also Commented

LETTER: Taking no prisoners
Bob: It seems we all agree that minor crimes do not deserve prison sentences. I still wonder about recidivists, and especially chronic recidivists, but we can leave that for another day.
And thank you for your observations about education levels. It’s about what I imagined them to be. This reinforces my view that more education is needed. Hopefully the new Federal initiatives will help bring that about. Hopefully.
But here’s a question: If there is no home in Alice Springs, and the arrested person is in town because they are estranged from their own communities, then how is the our urban society supposed to deal with these law breakers? If prison is too draconian, and home or community detention not possible, and programs are all too often still in the planning or waiting funding, what happens today and tomorrow?


LETTER: Taking no prisoners
I know it’s more information than we usually get, but it might tell part of the story if we knew:
1 What is the crime?
2 Is he/she a recidivist?
3 Did (does) he/she go to school?
4 Where is he/she from?
5 Does he/she live in a house?
One year ago most of us in Alice were horrified to see what was happening on our streets, that is if we were out and about late at night or early in the AM. At that time I had an early morning job and going by KFC and over the Stott Tce bridge was scary enough in a motorcar. It was truly scary on a bicycle.
Now a police blitz is arresting crims (they are not being arrested for doing nothing), and our lockups are running out of room. This is not surprising, and while being locked up in crowded conditions is no fun, just maybe there’s a lesson there: Prison is not fun – think about it.
About my five questions:
1 After an initial wake-up jolt, minor crimes don’t deserve extended prison time.
2 Recidivists probably deserve to do some time.
3 I ask about schooling because I would like to know.
4/5 I ask about where from and houses to suggest the alternative to prison of home or community detention.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

The gallery drama: Will there be a happy ending?
There is something profoundly sad about taking the idea of a National Indigenous Art Gallery and using it to increase the sale of trashy, probably China-sourced tourist baubles (and short-blacks).
There is emerging an impression that this whole issue has degenerated into an exercise in political clickbait. Not real pretty at all!


Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
Mr Gunner would do well to remember that the last NT Chief Minister to lose control of the streets in Alice was Martin, and the Intervention followed. Turnbull might have a smoother smile, but he is cast in the same mold.
And Where’s Warren will again wring his hands and cry shame, but the only shame is that he is still there. Go Jacinta! I don’t know if you will be any more effective, but remember this: You cannot do worse.
Also, consider this: There has recently been a national Angst over all the kids in detention in the NT being Indigenous, but then think how many priors each of those kids had to have had before they finally earned detention.
CM Gunner’s answer to the collapse of Alice seems to be to ignore the clearly stated preference of the majority regarding the art gallery and to work with them, but to instead indulge in a swinging big-dick moment. He wants to get real while there is still an Alice to get real over.
And the TOs and their families and friends? To be honest, I think they are scared of their own children. Or perhaps they are scared of each other.
Either way, they sure as hell aren’t doing anything.


Some creatures in The Centre used to be big
So glad the Ducks of Doom feature. As soon as I get back to Alice I will visit.


At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
It will be interesting to see if the results of Council’s survey are similar to those published today by our local print newspaper.
Over a two week period it conducted an online poll asking residents of Alice what they thought of plans to use Anzac Oval for an art gallery. The results are unambiguous: From a total of 988 votes, 32.4% said it was a good idea and 67.6% said it wasn’t.
As for the old high school, over to you, Alex Nelson.


Aboriginal-led ‘from the bottom up’: cultural centre
A National Indigenous Cultural Centre is arguably so much more important, nationally, locally, and indigenously(?), than another art gallery. I imagine it would include an important and pertinent section on the birth and development of the Central Australian art movement. This last point alone would obviate the need for a National Indigenous Art Gallery, especially given that all major cities and most of the smaller ones already have their own collection of Indigenous art.
As an aside, do we really imagine that the cities, both large and small, will strip out their own collections to further a gallery in Alice Springs? Will the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory be sending its rare and priceless collection south to Alice? Of course they won’t.
And for a National Indigenous Cultural Centre to be led and directed by local Indigenous voices, in consultation with other Indigenous voices from around Australia, is only right. Their culture, their land, their choice. Hopefully Gunner and Co will, this time, listen and learn.


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