That the voters in Alice Springs have had enough of …

Comment on Port Augusta’s Mayor: When softly-softly diplomacy isn’t enough to get a town out of the morass by Hal Duell.

That the voters in Alice Springs have had enough of a softly softly status quo should be evident to anyone following the recent election returns. Three of the top four primary vote winners come from Action for Alice. The Greens have the fourth spot, and theirs is a captive market.
So where to from here? I suggest it comes down to a chain of command with the Alice Springs Town Council (ASTC) having the chair. ASTC does not go cap in hand to Lhere Artepe, Lhere Artepe comes to ASTC. The same goes with Tangentyere Council, Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, Central Land Council and all the other semi-autonomous bodies that we have legislated into existence over the past three decades.
They have morphed into monsters with their own agendas, and too often they consider themselves superior to our three tiers of democratically elected governments. Just as in Port Augusta, someone needs to restore some order and common sense, and local government is clearly the right place to make a start.
So no more nonsense, no more cultural cringe, no more politically correct emasculation. And here is an idea to start things off. Instead of beginning Council meetings with an acknowledgment of the Traditional Owners of Alice Springs, why not begin with an acknowledgment of the actual owners of the building in which we meet and the land on which it stands – all the residents of Alice Springs and their democratically elected representatives, the Alice Springs Town Council.

Hal Duell Also Commented

Port Augusta’s Mayor: When softly-softly diplomacy isn’t enough to get a town out of the morass
Perhaps the single biggest change to the continuing alcohol-fueled dynamic swirling around Alice Springs was mentioned in today’s news.
Apparently one of the new initiatives in the Federal Stronger Futures legislation is support for 20 remote communities in the NT to develop alcohol management plans.
If so, the potentially positive impact on the urban centres strung along the Stuart Highway will be huge. I don’t know what impact this will have on the 20 remote communities, but if handled well, there is no reason it can’t be equally positive.
We live with alcohol, so let’s do that.
I would still like to see a closing of the bottle shops on one day a week simply for the civic relief it would bring. I also wonder if restoring the sale of cask wine might not reduce the broken glass on our roads. Some mornings it can look like a ski field out there.


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?


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