Re Janet Brown, Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:21 am: Anybody …

Comment on Funding announcements flow for ‘Stronger Futures’ in Aboriginal communities by Bob Durnan.

Re Janet Brown, Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:21 am:
Anybody care to attempt a translation? Is she saying that the Commonwealth and NT Governments shouldn’t be maintaining any basic essential services, policing, health services, rehabilitation, drug control and some level of land care to small communities in remote areas?
It seems that she wants some form of urban socialism, with government subsidies and preferred tenders for town-based private businesses, but no basic government services for people living in the bush.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Funding announcements flow for ‘Stronger Futures’ in Aboriginal communities
OK JB, let’s do it. (Re Janet Brown, Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:59 am):
Nobody that I am aware of denies that many people from Central Australian bush communities, and many other parts of Australia, would shift to Alice Springs if they could afford accommodation here. In some cases, they would like to move just about anywhere to get away from the places where they feel themselves to be stuck without options.
But this applies also to many people growing up in small rural communities throughout the rest of Australia, and throughout much of the world. There are many such people overcrowding other peoples’ rented houses in Alice Springs, and this does produce many crises. Past and present governments are indeed culpable for failing to heed all the signs that this was happening and was bound to go on happening, and that people have a right to seek a better or more interesting or safer life by shifting their place of residence if they so choose.
Governments have been neglecting this clear reality in Central Australia ever since the town was founded, but more especially and unforgivably in the last 30 or so years. For the most part, they have deliberately and consistently put political expediency ahead of good planning, often against the clear advice of their professionally qualified planners and advisers.
I know this because I knew town planners and other public servants who were disgusted when the NT CLP government caved in to segregationist pressures in 1979 and truncated their own transitional housing program after a short but very strident and offensive campaign by the Citizens for Civilised Living (which was headed by long term residents such as the former magistrate Scrubby Hall and lawyer Ted Skuse). Far from being a segregationist, I organised campaigns to oppose segregationists in Alice Springs then and on several occasions since. These includes anti-segregationist campaigns such as the one in the early nineties to enable town camp residents who wished to do so to get assistance to shift off the camps and into suburban settings; a campaign in 2006 to support the Topsy Smith Renal Patients Hostel to expand and remain on Eastside (near where I live); campaigns over many years to support NT Health Dept, Carpentaria Services and other NGOs to locate Aboriginal clients in suburban Alice Springs (in a number of instances very close to where I owned property at the time); and ongoing efforts to persuade governments to invest big in affordable and integrated accommodation in Alice Springs so as to enable people from bush communities and workers from throughout Australia who wish to take up employment opportunities in Alice Springs or other parts of Central Australia to be able to do so.
This would all be news to Janet, because she and her husband continually abjure facts, fail to do their homework, and blithely proceed to make radically wrong conclusions based on incorrect information and simplistic analysis.
I haven’t noticed Janet or many of her Action for Alice sympathizers putting their hands up to help pursue these and other true anti-segregationist efforts over the years.
Maybe Janet could be gracious enough now to offer an apology to me.

Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Youth crisis: broken window of tolerance
A very clear and intelligent presentation of key facts concerning the situations of many of the young people who run wild in our streets at night, Rainer. I hope many Alice residents take the time to read it properly.
I particularly appreciated the clarity of your reference to the role that entry to the police and justice system (and later imprisonment) plays in the formation of the identities of many of these kids (to quote: “Especially for young people who are easily impressionable and grappling with a sense of who they are, the mere experience of imprisonment entrenches their identity as a criminal and further orientates them to recidivism.”)
If only more people realised the importance of this insight, and appreciated the folly of failing to respond sensibly and intelligently to this key contradiction.

Seniors concessions praised, but questions about tiers
Fascinating to hear that seniors who were grandfathered will keep their concessions and receive $500.
Would be even more interesting to know what that means.
Exactly what did the grandfathers do to the seniors? Care to tell us, Sue Shearer?

Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’
Neither Paul McCue nor James Smerk understands the role of the police at the TBLs / POSIs outside the takeaway grog outlets.
They are not there for the purpose of policing the outlets, nor for the purpose of proving security for the benefit of the outlets and their customers, although they do some of that incidentally in the course of their main duties.
The reason that police are there is to prevent the trafficking of alcohol by people who have no legitimate place to drink it, and who are intending to drink it in places where it is illegal to do so, such as Aboriginal lands where communities have asked the Liquor Commission to declare areas dry, or town camp leases which the Federal government has declared dry for the wellbeing of vulnerable residents.
These are the sole reasons that police are stationed outside the off-licence liquor outlets.

Booze report: What the government is likely to do.
In response to R Henry on Oct 20th, on who gets the extra markup money?
There is very little brand loyalty to the cheap brands of Chardonnay amongst our dedicated alcohol-drinking punters: They are after the cheapest hit of alcohol for their buck, regardless of its host liquid, not for their next taste of the rank Calabrian / Bortoli products.
Since the vast majority of shoppers generally shift their choice to better value for money when confronted with higher prices (and this happened when Clare Martin knocked the cheapest wines and sherries off the shelves in October 2006: there was a massive shift to beer), there is unlikely to be very much windfall profits via extra markup.
To the extent that there are any windfalls, they are unlikely to be anywhere near commensurate with the decrease in profits that are likely to occur because of the overall impacts of a number of the proposed reforms.
To see if I am correct, keep your ears open for the sounds of the interstate alcohol industry cartels – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and their paid public relations reps squealing about the alleged injustice, unfairness and unworkability of these visionary evidence-based reforms.
It is going to be an interesting war, and the outcome will decide whether the NT has any future worth speaking about.

Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.

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