Ray, you make some good points amongst a lot of …

Comment on Female tourists sleeping in car alleged to have been sexually assaulted: all three suspects now charged, rifle still not recovered. by Russell Guy.

Ray, you make some good points amongst a lot of tired old arguments, but running a small army of patrol officers and more police etc. has to come, not from government grants, but from a finite fund of taxpayer dollars which are largely occupied in policing alcohol-abuse.
I don’t know about you, but I pay my taxes and work very hard to do it, so I’m claiming the right to say where I believe it’s being misappropriated.
The cost of alcohol abuse in the NT is in excess of $300m p.a. plus additional servicing costs by police, health, courts, correctional services, etc, at the expense of education, housing, rates, etc. If we keep going like this, more will have to given to the great idol of grog, which is never satisfied.
What amazes me is that alcohol, the chief cause of this expense, including woefully planned and massively expensive Rehab options, is considered untouchable by Alice Springs councillors and the Leader of the Opposition.
They will not address the statistically-proven, nationally overly-represented NT consumption figures. The power of this legalised, under-regulated, out of control, lifestyle drug to hold us hostage is something for adults to behold, while kids stare and wonder.
I don’t think too many have the developmental focus to consider what it means for their future, but if it’s a tragedy now, what will it be like as lawlessness increases?
We in Alice Springs still have the ability to pull some levers and show the nation, and the world, what is possible in alcohol reform, but not for much longer.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Female tourists sleeping in car alleged to have been sexually assaulted: all three suspects now charged, rifle still not recovered.
Dear Eli,
Thank you for the invitation to participate in a discussion with you about the alcohol and its effect on Alice Springs. Yes. I agree to participate.
On the subject of ‘ground rules,’ I’m in agreement with Bob Durnan (posted May 8, 2012 @ 11: 37pm). You have invited Bob and myself, but do you have any other names that you would like to invite? You have only nominated those who have contributed to this debate, so far. I presume that you mean via the Alice Springs News.
It seems to be more of a forum, rather than a debate. If that is the case, I believe that it should be open to anyone to attend, because that is what will most likely occur. We have no way of identifying who has posted, but the success of the event depends on the quality of the input, so could you clarify if you would allow questions and contributions from the floor of the meeting or how do you see it?
I have no problem with Erwin being Chair, if that seems best to you. I think it fair that all media should be invited. I would like the event to be outcome focused, i.e., taking note of where the goal posts are and attempting to kick a few, rather than going around in circles.
I agree to Erwin’s agenda and his suggested terms as protocol on which to begin as it’s clearly a ‘hot potato’ subject, but as the Police Commissioner has said “police cannot solve the acutely dysfunctional social elements in this town.” I also agree with Chief Magistrate Hilary Hannam who has noted that alcohol-abuse “is the community’s greatest concern in the NT.” The Alcohol and Other Drugs Tribunal (SMART Court) is correctly named.
I’m not sure how the ‘live streaming’ would be governed – outgoing and incoming – it may distract from the discussion, but I’m open to further comment.
I’d prefer the meeting to be in the evening, commencing at approximately 7pm, so that workers can attend. What venue do you have in mind? What date are you considering? Please post your answers.
Regards, Russell Guy.


Female tourists sleeping in car alleged to have been sexually assaulted: all three suspects now charged, rifle still not recovered.
Ray, posted May 7 at 9: 02pm.
It’s time you posted with your surname, Ray. We, who do, along with the Editor, recommend that you have the courage of your convictions and it negates confusion from other “Rays.”
The recidivist statistics, which you ridicule, are posted at the AS News SMART Court reportage. Google the archives. I doubt that you are reading the links suggested, because if you were, you’d be better informed.
Like others, you totally ignore the positives because you have an agenda, or you refuse to see the incremental gains made by the SMART Court and voluntary restrictions such as a floor price. More posts are now supporting a take-away sales restriction.
The arrival of the Police Commissioner is another positive, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the only salvation. The Law and Order approach is related to supply restriction and Rehab.
I have made reference to the bursting prison stats during the past three months of this debate.
Your comment about Aboriginal fathers “dragging” their kids to a lawyer, overlooks the verifiable fact that some of these kids you refer to haven’t got a Dad or Dad is in gaol. I know of many such cases which puts more pressure on extended family and commnunity. This is an issue that has not been disclosed by those who have made wild claims about Rehab solutions.
Your comments about taking responsibility, while correct, have been made ad nauseum. Try getting with the program and do a little reading, it may cure you of your disdain for evidence-based policy.


Female tourists sleeping in car alleged to have been sexually assaulted: all three suspects now charged, rifle still not recovered.
Ray, posted May 4 @ 4:24pm and Janet, posted May 7 @ 10: 13am.

Ray, I hope you’ve had some time to read the link I posted to the Overview of Indigenous Health 2011, published in January this year. I’ve been thinking about your use of the word “huggers”, in relation to those who show concern for problem drinkers in Alice Springs.
And Janet, I hope that you too will take the time to read that link, because it contains information on the long-term health issues endured by Indigenous people in the history of “the rules of this society”.
Both of you are dictating in terms of “go somewhere else” or learn to like Western society, justified by the right to drink alcohol and dismantling Indigenous institutions that allow for cultural difference. You want a return to the Assimilation Policy, but it’s a waste of time and taxpayers dollars.
Social inclusion is a more contemporary term. In the 1980s, it was called a Treaty, but it didn’t get very far, mainly because the dominant European society hasn’t evolved that far from the old Squattocracry. Some still want the blackfellas to go somewhere else, out of our face and out of our town, or “back to their homelands” as was recently posted. That ain’t gonna happen either.
This status quo has created some unfortunate statistics in which Indigenous have been disproportionately represented since the rule of English law arrived on our shores, but good news, the SMART Court (Alcohol and Other Drugs Tribunal or AoD) has arrived.
Part of the NT Government initiative to reform some of the carnage caused by Western-style, seven day a week take-away alcohol sales, cheap, nasty grog and early openers, the SMART Court stands for Substance Misuse Assessment and Referral for Treatment.
It allows the mainly alcohol related offenders to undertake rehabilitative programs, instead of being sent to Gaol, as would more likely happen under the Court of Summary Jurisdiction.
However, convictions including disqualification for holding a driver’s licence and community work orders are still imposed. Violent offenders are, controversially for some offenders, excluded, but include alcohol, cannabis and methamphetamine, and not all are Indigenous.
The savings to society, already evident in recidivist statistical data, includes health, policing,court and prison costs, leading to positive future benefits like full-time employment.
As the AS News has reported, only the longer term will tell to what extent the SMART Court can reduce re-offending and include rehab in the NT, but it’s a huggers court, where offenders are encouraged and rewarded for success.
It proves that the West is not intractable and that a more compassionate society can be created out of what Chief Magistrate Hilary Hannam in describing alcohol-related offences, is “the community’s greatest concern in the NT.”
[ED – Google SMART Court in the Alice Springs News Online.]


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
@ Eugene’s Mate. Posted July 15, 2018 at 6:42 pm.
Thanks, “Eugene’s Mate”, for standing on Sue and my shoulders and posting your information, which I’d like to believe is informed and reliable, but I haven’t failed to realise anything about the Gunner Government’s intentions.
In fact, I have made a point of supporting their alcohol reform.
I’m glad that “most other NT Cabinet members share this analysis”. I’m not cynical in doubting that they are taking the initiative.
I’m also glad that you share my analysis of frustrated motivation. I worked for decades with youth, both when I was one and more recently. It’s not rocket science, but please permit me to set you straight over your claim of “ignorant and patronising” suggestion.
You teeter on the edge of reason with the rest of your post in terms of the art gallery / culture centre and the government’s consultation process.
I’m also not sure what you mean about Mr Shiell’s failure to see that the gallery should be at “the heart of the town”. As far as I understand, a section of the Aboriginal community have suggested it be south of the Gap, which aligns with his suggestion.
Thanks for the directional inspiration.


Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
@ Sue Fielding. Posted 14/7/18. 8:46AM: In my opinion you have correctly identified generational trauma, racism, alcohol abuse and domestic violence as some of the reasons for anti-social behavior among the young people responsible.
Anger and frustration are two of the motivational issues, apart from mindless vandalism which is existential for many kids. I did it occasionally at that age, without really knowing why.
With regard to “the support and social cohesion necessary for them to make a way forward (in 2 world’s), into education, jobs, a stable life”, you are essentially discussing giving them direction.
Motivating the kids to take an interest in their surroundings (town) begins in family life and then in the school environment, but when this is dysfunctional, then special treatment is warranted as is the case with case management, but more than one-on-one is required, because that only attends to the electrons whizzing around the nucleus.
Perhaps, the kids sense that the town lacks direction.
Who could blame them for reacting the way they are out of frustration?
If you look at the local economy as tourist-based, at least for six months of the year, then getting kids focussed on how they might contribute to that opportunity through education, innovation and the kind of ideas which Trevor Shiels often posts at this site, e.g., Yirara students training for the proposed art gallery and/or a culture centre, then perhaps that could be a direction.
The problem, as I see it, is that Mr Shiels’ posts often seem to go unremarked.
You call for local MPs and Alice to focus, along with the support providers. All of this appears to lack direction.
Alice Springs is a town that has the makings of a recovery, but without the ability to help itself out of the problem.
Could this be a form of self-inflicted vandalism brought about by ennui, i.e, stunned like the rabbit in the headlights?
Maybe, it’s a Pavlovian impotence, where the dog keeps getting an electric shock, but doesn’t want to or can’t get out of the box?
Perhaps, Alice as a town is the Pavlovian dog.
It will keep on receiving these toxic social shocks as long as it lacks direction, or the will to get out of the box.


At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
@ Maya. Posted 26th June. 7:16pm.
The Property Council of Australia recently commissioned a report which examines the future of Australian cities. It has been reviewed as applying equally to Sydney as to a country shire in the outback.
It’s basic premise seems to be the creation of “mini-CBD’s” over the usual model of one CBD, but the interesting thing about the second volume of the three volume report is how it charts employment growth in GDP per capita.
The take-home bit for me is that limiting the planning (?) of Alice Springs to a single CBD concept over the creation of mini-CBD’s, limits employment opportunity, e.g., transport between them is an obvious one.
Alice Springs is set up for such a vision, with some of the points you make, but with many more outlying.
It may allow for diversification and reduce the focus of social unrest on the present CBD, which seems resistant to change or reform.
The challenge might be to link them into a coherent town plan that has a future outside of the narrow confines of the present.


Indigenous gallery location done and dusted, says Lambley
@ Trevor Shiell. Posted 22nd June. 4:24pm.
The Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founder’s Museum in Longreach are kilometres from the CBD, but the Town Council has had to build an additional caravan park on the river because, in peak season, the others are full.
The new dinosaur park in Winton is out of town.
Probably because they build the town in the wrong place back then.
If only they’d known.
Some people have been calling for a Town Plan in Alice for years, but have given the game away and it’s easy to see why.
Even you have expressed this Yirara idea several times.
Ever get the feeling you’re a cracked record?
Actually, ‘blessed are the cracked for they shall let in a little light.’


Pine Gap’s new role as a war fighting command centre
Redundancy in the use of GPS technology, especially in relation to aviation and weather forecasting, is vital, but who knows how many satellites there are, which ones are kaput and which are fully functional for commercial or military purposes?
So many of us take satellite-based technology for granted in our daily lives, more especially as cyber warfare, recently exposed as influencing Australian elections, becomes a hot-button issue for the democratic world.
In those terms, Pine Gap is a significant asset, although, I note that Professor Blaxland is an academic from the ANU which recently rejected a fully-funded scholarship program for studies in Western Civilisation, while hosting similar programs from Asian and Islamic sources.


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