Ray, posted May 4 @ 4:24pm and Janet, posted May …

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, 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.]

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.
Rex and Ray, I recommend you Google the Overview of Australian Indigenous Health Status 2011, pub. 1/12 @ www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au. I’ve presented those stats several times, but if you go into the Alice Springs News archive and search under my name, you’ll see the more salient stats.
In relation to your claim that there are no stats on CONSUMPTION, the NTG (22/2/11) stated that “Territorians consume alcohol at 1.5 times the national average” and I underestimated the cost of that abuse at $642m p.a. See also PAAC release (1/4/11).


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
@ Gavin Carpenter. Posted 21st August, 2018. 12:58PM: Yes, Tennant Creek is not Alice Springs and Nyinkka Nyunyu had staffing problems, but despite that cultural chestnut, it was case specific for the town, whereas I don’t think the current art gallery project proposed for Alice is.
Perhaps, because of its cultural and geographical uniqueness, Alice Springs is ungovernable except by a big stick and the Gunner Government feels (as did the Feds in denying them the right to legislate euthanasia) that they are on the right track with their approach.
Perhaps, they’re right.
It’s kind of weird that Nigel Scullion as Minister of Indigenous Affairs supported euthanasia, but getting back to economics, who funded Nyinkka Nyunyu and what do you mean by humungous?


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
I remember when Nyinkka Nyunyu, the Warrumungu-owned art gallery / cafe / dancing space opened in Tennant Creek some years ago, just after I’d been living there, on and off, from the mid-80s to the mid-90s.
It was a cool place to hang out and buy art / artifacts / coffee / lunch, etc, but the non-rhetorical question I have is, how come Alice Springs doesn’t have its equivalent?
“Eugene’s Mate”, here’s an invitation to beguile us again.
And another thing, if the Gunner Government wants economic modelling, why can’t it commission figures from Nyinkka Nyunyu?
The TC building and space are adequate for the town and climate and it attracts tourist blog compliments.
There are a number of integrated community, climate-sensitive buildings in Outback small towns and centres, e.g. Muttaburra, without having an “iconic, once-in-a-lifetime” art mausoleum erected in Alice.
My third question is, how is it that Aboriginal organisations in Alice invest in supermarkets and car dealerships, yet they, to the best of my limited knowledge, haven’t said more than where they want the proposed art gallery / culture centre project(s)?
For some time, Territorians up and down the track have considered Alice to be a dysfunctional basket-case of a town.
“Once-in-a-lifetime” has just about passed its use-by-date.
Where is the vision?


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
@ Hal Duell. Posted 20th August. 2:51am
If politics really is the art of the compromise, then you might expect some attention be paid to my post of August 17, below.
Not just because it’s mine – others have said much the same – but because it suggests that the government has the economy in mind by investing in Alice Springs’ commercial heart.
Such a Keynesian gesture must ultimately survive on market forces and this is not the Museum of Modern Art.
A compromise such as I have alluded to aims to limit considerable taxpayer exposure while creating employment opportunity. Add in Trevor Shiell’s Yirara-style hospitality / cafe arm and it’s cooking.
However, as you comment, there’s more at stake than the economy.
All I can see is another court house on Anzac Oval and not from the government that gave us the first one.
All hail confusion!


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
The government assessed the original proposal, but didn’t act on its recommendations, so now we have another in the making.
Long-term viability, based on artworks is a risky business. Art cannot be made to serve a purpose, especially one designed by a government committee.
A compromise by blending art with a culture centre at the old Melanka site would give an architect and curatorial staff a brief that just might result in something out of the box – interesting, informative, entertaining and meeting the economic criteria.
It could involve music and theatrical performance in a multi-level, living space.
The way this predictable project is going, it will end in expensive tears.


Lambley gets hype not dollars on gallery
The Gunner Government recently stumped up for a full-page advertisement (with the ACT) demanding “rights” to legislate euthanasia, but that Bill was defeated yesterday by Senators changing their minds after consultation with the medical profession.
One wonders if the Gunner Government consulted similarly, before spending the dollars.
Maybe, like the Greens who also supported the Bill, they expected doctors to fall in line or be outed according to conscience.
Meanwhile, we read the same political pork-barrelling dished out in accusations to Jacinta Price.
At least, we have equality.


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