Since the introduction of welfare (income) management, the specter of …

Comment on Can the town afford the welfare burden? by Hal Duell.

Since the introduction of welfare (income) management, the specter of hunger through misuse of the dole has faded. Now everyone is guaranteed the wherewithal to at least buy basic food stuffs. To take this away from those Australians that have missed out on the chance to earn an income of their own would be cruel.
Therefore, we may as well accept that some people will be getting the dole for life, or at least getting that part of it that gets credited to the BasicsCard.
Some of the other dole monies are already contingent on school attendance. There are differing opinions on whether this will work or not, but let’s give it a chance and hope it does. As Kay Eade points out, “businesses have more success with young people who attend or have attended school”.
I think the other big structural change that needs to be made in welfare is to allow restitution orders for property damage caused by adults and their children to be made against that part of the dole not already committed to the BasicsCard. As I understand it, restitution orders are not allowed under the current welfare system.
Being on the dole is not a good life choice, but it would be foolish to think it’s not being made. In a recent television program focusing on education in bush communities, a young teenage girl was especially pleased with herself because she could now write her name and date of birth.
My initial reaction was to admire her desire to register to vote.
When I expressed that, I was laughed at. She was pleased because she could now register for the dole.
This is the coal face where the work needs to be done.

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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