Once again those of us in Alice Springs with eyes …

Comment on Nose-diving CBD: it happened on the 11th Council’s watch by Hal Duell.

Once again those of us in Alice Springs with eyes to read and a computer to read from owe our thanks to the Alice Springs News. The above is the most perceptive critique of our 11th Council that I have read.
From my seat in the gallery during both Committee and Ordinary meetings, I would add only one word: Bullying.
There has been bullying during the life of this Council to such an extent that at one point I asked during Public Question Time if Council would consider passing a motion forswearing the practice in its public meetings. There was an initial positive reaction, but the idea soon died when the conversation moved behind closed doors.
They have loved to close those doors. Usually the reasons cited are either that the matter being discussed concerns an employee, or that the matter is commercial in confidence. While I usually agree with the first, I always wonder at the second. And what I wonder goes something along the lines of once the money trail has been obscured, is anything left but trivial pursuit?
It becomes far too easy to assert that all is progressing swimmingly.
Four of our current Aldermen have nominated to become Councillors in the 12th Alice Springs Town Council. I hope two of them are successful.
I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that our next Mayor will be either Steve Brown or Damien Ryan. But whoever it is I beg of you to do two things – become fully conversant with Standing Orders and foreswear leading from the chair.

Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Hazardous waste facility near Alice recommended
“It’s not me! I didn’t do it!” And yet I doubt if there is a household in Alice that doesn’t have at least one product the manufacture of which has contributed to the waste slated for storage.
It’s called denial. If only we did waste as well as we do denial.


Gallery: Friday is the day
Now that would have been an interesting question. Do the residents of Alice really want another art gallery? Or are we being sold a pup?


Bush community learning centre to close
“Batchelor Institute say that increased funding would be needed to run the Centre in 2018, they run similar programs in three Warlpiri communities where they are funded through royalties money.”
Sounds like a plan.


Cops with assault rifles footage six years old
I would like to thank CM Gunner for clarifying the issue of armed and masked TRG police being deployed on the streets of Alice over the coming summer. There won’t be any. Good!
The use of specialised equipment to assist operational officers is a good idea. The perpetrators of youth crime need to be identified.
But this begs the question of what will be done with these young criminals once identified? We can’t hold them in detention, we can’t hold the parents accountable, it seems we can’t do much of anything, really.
These plans are not very encouraging. I suppose they will keep the vigilantes off the streets, but will they keep the kids off them as well?
Perhaps these running-amok kids can be identified as coming from a specific community, and then the royalty payments going to their community can be sequestered until the damages done by them to the residents of Alice have been fully paid for?


Masked cops with assault rifles, but where are the parents?
So it’s come to this. A Tactical Response Group may be deployed to Alice to deal with youth crime. And we have no one but ourselves to blame.
Consider the alternatives.
The NT Police dare not intervene in youth crime for the simple reason that to so much as look sideways at a juvenile delinquent in action is accompanied with reams of paperwork and the high likelihood of a departmental inquiry and possible legal action.
The Town Council is not constituted to deal with policing matters. They can and do host meetings to try to reach a community consensus on what to do about children “getting ready for the summer crime spree,” but internal divisions and differing agendas make theirs a fractured voice.
And while the larger Indigenous organisations often voice their concerns, whatever they may be doing has clearly not worked in past years, and there is little to suggest that this summer will be any different.
And so now we may be seeing armed and (I assume) masked men (and women?) patrolling our streets, not to deal with organised criminals or national or international terrorists, but to deal with children. How inept are we?


Be Sociable, Share!