Thanks Alex for one of the most rational and sensible …

Comment on Is the town over all the talk? by Bob Durnan.

Thanks Alex for one of the most rational and sensible contributions to the public debate about these issues that I’ve read in the past 35 years in Alice Springs. I also walk along the Todd on an almost daily basis in the morning or evening, between Mills St and the Taffy Pick Causeway or the Gap, often partly on the sand or on the tracks used by the police and Council workers. Most weekday evenings I also cross the river on foot after sunset between the end of Mills St and the Totem Theatre, walk past the Senior Citizens Centre, through Snow Kenna Park, past the Todd Tavern and down the Mall to Parsons St and check my mailbox at the post office. (Like Alex, I used to sometimes have problems with stray dogs, but I rarely have that problem these days. Also like Alex, I avoid using the Wills Terrace Crossing and its walkway on foot late at night, as I have heard stories about young hooligans attacking people on it a number of times over the years). After checking my post office box I often then visit one of the supermarkets and return home via the Uniting Church lawns and the Mall, crossing the river in the same area.
I have been walking and bicycling along the river, and crossing it at both day and night times, usually alone, for most of the last 15 years since we bought a place in Mills St. I have never once been assaulted or threatened, by anybody. Like Alex, I often engage in conversations with people I come across who drink, picnic, relax, camp in, argue, fight or otherwise frequent these places. I have more problems with tourists who don’t understand which side of a bicycle path you should use in Australia than I do with anybody else, although I do sometimes get irritated by locals who take up all the path by sitting on it when partying, and the broken glass on these paths can sometimes be a hazard. The presence of far too much litter is a continuing annoyance.
Last night I walked to and from the meeting in the Andy McNeil room and felt completely safe, although I wouldn’t go near the Bo’s / Rock Bar area late at night on foot, as when working late in an office in that area I have sometimes had apprehensions about the intent of aggressive and heavily intoxicated people in their vicinity. However I think that people like Renee G. (@Posted March 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm) and Dianne (@Posted March 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm) and many others who assume that all our public spaces are going to be unsafe at night should reconsider some of their assumptions. I understand that women often have more reason than men to be apprehensive, but I fail to see why anybody would be scared to attend a meeting in the Alice Springs Town Council buildings at 6.30pm on a Wednesday night under most circumstances.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Is the town over all the talk?
Are we lost in some surreal episode of an Australian version of Mad Men? Have any of these candidates who want to abolish all the alcohol restrictions of the last few years realised that, if they succeeded, then the cheap wines would be on sale from early in the day at less than a quarter of their current prices? i.e. young people being introduced to grog, including young pregnant women, as well as binge drinkers and people who habitually drink at excessive levels, would all be able to purchase four times as much pure alcohol each pay week or fortnight, compared to what they have been able to buy in recent times. They would be able to buy as many as they can afford of the 5 litre casks full of the cheapest wines in the world. Alice Springs would be awash with a king tide of alcohol, dwarfing what we currently see. There would be much more drunkenness. We would have to put up with far more crime, violence, traffic accidents, foetal alcohol syndrome, vandalism, hospitalisation, imprisonment, chronic disease and bad behaviour than our town presently hosts.
Think about it, Steve, Eli, Dave, Samih and Geoff.
You too should think about it, voters.


Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Billen’s family: Make telling hotel where you trek mandatory
Ruth Gibbins (Posted January 23, 2019 at 7:55 pm): Monika Billen was not at Trephina Gorge, the park reserve about 85 km east of Alice, where the German couple, the Thors, died from thirst or exposure 12 months ago.
Monika visited a different park reserve, Emily Gap, which is only about 10 km east of Alice. She seemingly walked there by herself on a very hot day, above 40 degrees centigrade.
Monika was apparently found under a tree in a rugged area, well away from the road, about three km back towards Alice from that small gorge.
So she died in the bush about seven km east of Alice, but in the bush, off the road.
There is no established walking track through the bush from Emily Gap to Alice.
Sadly, Monika had been missing for a week before anybody realised that she had not returned from her walk to and from Emily gap, along a non-designated route, in the extreme heat.


Police drop MLA’s trespassing charge
InterestedDarwinObserver (Posted January 24, 2019 at 8:52 am): Your statement is highly confusing. Are you really saying that Bruce is like a perpetual victim, identity politician and social justice warrior, and that Sandra Nelson MLA stood him up? I know that Bruce has been a bit of an anti-fracking warrior, but I would have thought that your description of him is a bit excessive.


Firm ‘no’ from PM, Scullion to bailing out ‘bankrupt’ Territory
Evelyne Roullet (Posted January 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm): Re your question “Why does a Federal Government help a Labor Government?”
I could just as well ask: “Why shouldn’t a Federal Government help a Labor Government, or any other type of government, for that matter?”
Federal governments of both persuasions help state and territory governments in all manner of ways all the time, and why shouldn’t they?


End of search for Monika Billen
New Tech (Posted January 17, 2019 at 8:38 am): The police announced early in the search that they were making very extensive use of drone technology.


Drug dog sniffs out grog runners
Evelyne (Posted below on January 14, 2019 at 10:15 am) says rhetorically: “Is there a law dictating how much alcohol can be carried in a vehicle? No!”
I have no idea whether Evelyne is correct, but it is evident that she is not aware of the powers conferred on NT police (and now on the NT Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors, aka PALIs) by a new Commonwealth law enacted by John Howard’s Federal Liberal-National Party Coalition government in September 2007. (The Federal law was immediately confirmed by the then NT Government in complementary amendments to its NT Liquor Act).
From that time NT police have been empowered to seize, and keep or destroy, any alcohol when they judge that the person in possession of it may be intending to illegally on-sell it and/or has no intention of consuming it in a place where it is legal to consume alcohol.
This power has formed the basis for almost all the POSI, TBL and PALI activities outside liquor outlets since they were first introduced by police under the Henderson Labor government in May 2012, up to the present day.
So Evelyne, the amount of alcohol in a vehicle is irrelevant. The powers of police to make a judgement about the situation are the key factor.
As for Ms Roullet’s opinion that “People should learn to control their environment”, it is hard to disagree. What an excellent “motherhood statement”.
It is even harder to fathom how Evelyne thinks this might begin to happen, in any constructive, sustainable and just manner, without the great help of the PALIs using the special powers conferred on them back in 2007, especially in relation to those people who are generally the main victims of alcohol-fuelled mayhem and waste: Infants, other children, many women, the weak, the infirm and the elderly. Do you think they should all be trained in the martial arts and issued with tazers and mustard gas, Evelyne?
Under exactly what circumstances do you think people would be able or likely to “learn to control their environment” if they were again engulfed in a tsunami of alcohol, Evelyne?
Would you be there to throw life jackets to the victims of the excessive drinkers?
Or would you prefer to let the survival of the fittest apply, and more generations of children fail to get a fair start in life?


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