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

Make September 8 Australia Day, anthem in Pitjantjatjara
Has anyone asked the descendants of Matthew Flinders what they think of the proposal to bring his remains to Australia? I hope so, as surely common courtesy would make that a first step.
Just asking …


Adelaide’s Indigenous gallery out of the starting blocks
This is a good move from the perspective of a National Indigenous Art Gallery.
An excellent location in a capital city with ready access for national and international visitors. There’s lots to see and do in Adelaide. I predict it will be a huge success.
In contrast, let’s look at Alice. We may love it – I certainly do having lived here for forty years with no plans of leaving.
But aside from access to some unique country, what do we offer our visitors? Here’s a clue: Go into town on any day and watch the loud and aggressive drunks stumbling about making fools of themselves.
Or how about spending an hour or two in the Coles car park any night you choose? Not exactly a good look!


Planning another plan
To further develop the CBD without first addressing flood mitigation would be leaving the cart before the horse and a blueprint for future heartbreak.


Make Oz Day a celebration of the future, not the past
Domenico: Please stop misquoting me. I do not and have not suggested Anzac Day be also known as Australia Day.
“If (IF!) we want a national day to celebrate our coming of age in the crucible of war, Anzac Day amply suffices.”
No one, myself included, has suggested we meld that day into Australia Day.
You are doing your argument no favours by resorting to underhanded and misleading rhetorical tricks.


Make Oz Day a celebration of the future, not the past
Domenico: Perhaps we need to think again on what constitutes an acceptable national day, or day of unity.
We already have a designated Federation Day, but does anyone really pay much attention to it? And falling as it does on the day after the global party of New Year’s Eve makes it hard to imagine it becoming anything more than what it already is.
If we want a national day to celebrate our coming of age in the crucible of war, Anzac Day amply suffices.
My suggestion of the last Monday in January was mostly to offer a minimal alternative to January 26, which will never be accepted by many.
Following comments to my letter, I am coming around to the idea of September 1, or Wattle Day.
It is politically neutral, it is the first day of Spring, it celebrates the green and gold, and it allows for the participation of schools and school children.
Not a bad combination when celebrating the present and looking to the future.


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